Is Fraxel safe on tan skin?

Doctor Answers 3

Fraxel is not safe on tanned skin - but is safe for all natural skin tones

Skin that is freshly tanned is still recovering from the inflammation of UV exposure, and there is a risk with Fraxel Dual Laser that you can create hyperpigmentation (dark spots).
I'm sure you already know there are many reasons you don't want to tan - premature aging, skin cancer, and the increased risk of hyperpigmentation from everyday scrapes and bumps. If you are considering Fraxel Laser treatment, you'll want to avoid tanning both before the treatment, for safety and best results, and after the treatment, to protect your investment.

In regards to Fraxel's safety and efficacy for skin that has a naturally tan or olive appearance, the answer is different. Fraxel is completely safe and effective for all skin tones, when administered by an experienced and skilled provider. In New York state it is especially important for patients to check their providers' credentials, as the laws are fairly lax about who can provide laser treatments. Make sure to do your research, and select a provider with specialized skill and experience in laser skin resurfacing.


Bridgewater Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Lasers are not safe on tanned skin in general

Tanning turns on the pigmentation cells, the melanocytes. When they are stressed by the laser, they will produce too much pigment and lead to hyperpigmentation. Although this is usually reversible, it can take months to reverse. Your skin should be the lightest possible when undergoing laser treatment.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Fraxel and Tan skin

Fraxel is not appropriate for tan skin. The laser will perceive it as pigment and you can get burned. Always consult a board certified dermatologist for Fraxel and lasers. Best, Dr. Green

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.