Acne treatment Acne treatment

Fraxel Complications

Fraxel Complications Fraxel Complications Fraxel Complications

The Fraxel laser treatment uses microscopic laser column technology to target small areas of skin damaged from the sun and the passage of time. With a goal of removing older damaged skin and stimulating the production of healthier skin, this treatment has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove fine lines and wrinkles, skin discolorations and irregularities. As with any treatment or procedure, there is always the potential for complications. An understanding of all potential risks is worthwhile in order to make an educated decision about whether Fraxel is right for you.

Bruising and Swelling

Skin swelling and bruising is a common complication which, according to the Fraxel website, can last anywhere from 1 to 5 days. To minimize swelling after Fraxel, Dr. Alexander Z. Rivkin, a cosmetic surgeon and faculty member at UCLA, recommends applying the herbal cream Arnica Montana on the day of the treatment and subsequently until the swelling subsides.

Permanent Scarring

The laser can be used on all skin types, but is more likely to cause complications in patients with darker skin types, according to the Visage Medical Skin Care website. The Fraxel manufacturer says that the risk of permanent hyperpigmentation or scarring does exist, though the risk is small.


A sunburned appearance followed by peeling and flaking is common after Fraxel laser treatment. According to the Baylor School of Medicine Dermatology Department, a numbing cream together with a cooling device used during the procedure can help keep associated pain at a manageable level. Rivken also advises patients to apply generous amounts of moisturizer together with sunscreen for several days after the treatment.

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