Fraxel treatment is a laser skin treatment technology in which dermatologists use microscopic laser columns to damage the underlying layer of your skin. Unlike other laser treatments, however, Fraxel lasers only damage the under layer of your skin, so that you can experience the regrowth of young, smooth skin without the downtime that comes with some traditional laser skin treatments. If you have dark skin and receive a Fraxel treatment, you can be susceptible to hyperpigmentation.
Fraxel Treatment and Its Side Effects
Fraxel treatment is different from other types of laser skin treatment in that it carries fewer side effects and requires a shorter recovery time. Fraxel re:fine and Fraxel re:store treatments can improve mild to moderate skin damage, and require only a few days of recovery time. Common side effects can include swelling, redness, itching, dry skin, peeling and flaking.
Hyperpigmentation and Fraxel Treatments
One of the more serious common side effects of Fraxel is hyperpigmentation, a condition in which areas of the treated skin may take on a discolored appearance. This occurs because Fraxel treatment inflames the cells that produce melanin, or pigment, in the skin. These inflamed cells then produce excess melanin, resulting in skin discoloration.
Patients of all skin types are vulnerable to hyperpigmentation. However, it usually occurs in those with darker skin types, such as those of Asian, African, Latin or Indian origin.
Coping with Hyperpigmentation
Discolored areas caused by hyperpigmentation will fade on their own, but glycolic acid or hydroquinone, applied topically, can treat it. Chemical peels or dermabrasion may be used in advanced cases.