Will Fraxel Laser Treatments Work on my Olive Complexion?

Doctor Answers 7

Both Fraxel Restore and Repair can be safely performed on Olive Complexion

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Both the Fraxel Repair and Fraxel Restore can be safely and effectively used on Olive skin complexion.  I have treated many patients with Olive skin complexion with great results.  The key is to be aware of the increased risks of temporary hyperpigmentation and to do everything you can to minimize that risk-- including sun avoidance (using sunscreen, hats while outdoors), using a pre and post treatment regimen with bleaching agents, and seeing an experienced dermatologist who knows the right setting to use in your type of skin.


Dr. Mann

Cleveland Dermatologic Surgeon

Fraxel is safe for olive skin tones but the right doctor is needed

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Fraxel is safe for Fitzpatrick III (darker white skin) and IV (brown skin) patients. Fraxel Re:Pair [CO2] can cause hyperpigmentation if you are not careful healing. For someone with olive skin, I would recommend avoiding direct sunlight for the first 2 weeks after your treatment. Afterwards, you should use sun block and a good hat. You are better off going with a doctor who has enormous expertise on the subject, however, as this procedure can require a lot of skill to perform on someone with olive skin.  With higher melanin, you are more susceptible to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).  Be careful and you should be alright.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Fraxel works on Olive Complexions

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Both Fraxel Restore and Fraxel Repair can be safely used on Asian, Mediterranean, Latino, Persian, and other Olive Skin Tones.  The key is appropriate pre and post op clear instructions including a high spf sunscreen and bleaching cream for 2 weeks before your procedure to block the pigment cells from creating extra pigment called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  Also, discuss with your physician how soon you can resume the bleaching creams after your treament.  Some of the most recent studies have shown that topical application of 6-8%hydroquinone, the active bleaching ingredient, immediately after Restore can improve resistant melasma and we have seen this in our Asian patients.

Grace Liu, MD
Newport Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Fraxel can treat olive skin types.

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The darker your skin the more likely there will be some temporary pigment darkening.  It is called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and can last many months.  My patients with olive skin are aware of the potential and are treated before and after their Fraxel with lightening agents, retinols and sunscreens to reduce the risk. 

Susan Van Dyke, MD
Paradise Valley Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Safe in the right hands

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If you have an olive complexion, you need to be extremely careful who does your laser resurfacing (Fraxel) treatments.  It can be used on someone with darker skin, however you must be cautious, because patients with darker skin are more likely to end up with hyperpigmentation (temporary darker discoloration) if a Fraxel treatment is too aggressive.  Make sure to ask your dermatologist about your concerns.

Mandy Lynn Warthan, MD
Dallas Dermatologist

Fraxel re:store is safe to use on all skin colors and skin types

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This laser is used to treat textural irregularities, like fine lines and acne scars, and sun damage and age spots. It is also used for melasma, but this is a more difficult problem to treat. It has been shown to be safe to use in all skin types and skin colors. There have been no long term or permanent color changes reported with this laser, but there may be temporary darkening in the treated area during the healing process. The darker the skin is the more likely this is to occur.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon

It depends on what you want to address

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We have both the Fraxel Repair and the Fraxel Restore and use them both on olive skin to address sun damage and acne scars. You will have a higher risk of temporary discoloration than someone with fair skin, but the risk is slow if you go to an experienced dermatologist. Take care, Dr. Groff

William Groff, DO
San Diego Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 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.