Does Retin-A Work on Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation After 1550 Fraxel Treatment?

I'm 30 years old persian female. I have developed Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation due to 1550 fraxel laser. I did the procedure about 10 months on my face and my face is so dark now. I can see where the laser has stop which is under my Jaw (under my Jaw is dark and as moving forward the skin becomes lighter. I have been using Retin-A to help the dark color. I was wondering if Retin-A or TCA peel would help me?

Doctor Answers 4

I like a combination of Low Fluence QX-MAX Nd:YAG laser and the COSMION Mask for treating hyperpigmentation in dark skin types.

If the wrong treatment is used, PIH will get worse in dark skin.  I like to use Vitamin C with the Cosmion Mask and low fluence (1.2 to 1.6 j/cm2) Q-Switched ND:YAG laser with the Fotona QX-Max laser.  I also recommend daily skin care with M2, Lumixyl and Lytera.  I like to avoid hydroquinone in dark skin types.

Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Fraxel Laser and Hyperpigmentation

Thank you for your question. I would recommend using Hydroquinone in addition to Retin-A to lighten up the hyperpigmentation. I would recommend consulting under the supervision of a Board Certified Dermatologist for safest and best treatment option. I hope this helps.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Fraxel laser and other lasers can cause hyperpigmentation and it's more common in some skin types

Some skin is especially more prone than others to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation from any traumatic cause, such as chemical peels as the TCA peel, Fraxel or other lasers, microdermabrasion, etc. Depending on the depth of the pigment, some patients derive benefit from prescription lightening creams. Mild peels are occasionally done every few weeks, to help the lightening creams work better. Whatever is done, however, may take a long time to create improvement, and all treatments risk worsening the hyperpigmenation. Excellent sun protection techniques need to be employed.

 The information provided in Dr. Shelton's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice.  The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Pigment after laser can be corrected with time.

Fraxel 1550 and many other lasers can trigger unwanted pigment in darker skin types.  Sun exposure tends to worsen the situation but in time (it can take a year!) the pigment will normalize.  To speed things up use SPF 30 or higher religiously to prevent the sun from stimulating the pigment.  In our practice we have had success with the bleaching agent Hydroquinone in prescription strength combined with multiple gentle laser treatments with Clear and Brilliant (a Fraxel like laser that is much less intense).  Retinols definately add to the improvement as does a new product from SkinMedica called Lytera (found at doctor's offices).  The key is a combination of things:  SPF, hydroquinone or Lytera, Retinol and gentle laser resurfacing.  Don't be tempted to be too aggressive!  Patience and persistance will give you a good improvement.

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

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.