What are Fraxel Laser Treatment Side Effects?

Like every responsible potential patient of the Fraxel laser skin resurfacing procedure, one should always ask if there are any harmful side effects - especially if the treatment is to be done on the face. The face is our point of contact with the world and one would hate to regret taking any cosmetic procedures we could have avoided if it made our conditions worse.

Fraxel is being touted as a great alternative to ablative skin resurfacing treatments because the downtime is being advertised as considerably less. However, is this really the case for patients who have actually gone through the procedure?

Just like people are born with acne prone skin, some people are also just blessed with the ability to heal better and faster than others. Also, it depends on the intensity of the treatment and the severity of the skin problem. Some people do have minimal effects after the Fraxel laser treatment and experience slight swelling and redness which is a normal sign of healing and regeneration. Others, however, experience puffy chipmunk-like swelling to the face and eyes along with sunburn redness with peeling. Some even experience breakouts of acne due to the skin aggravation.

After the skin resurfacing, your response to Fraxel might cause you to have a longer downtime than expected. You might not be feeling comfortable or confident to leave the house for a few days. You are expected to apply the post procedure cream (which is a burn cream), stay out of the sun, keep your skin moisturized, and if need be, apply ice for the swelling. It is also recommended to have some acne medication available to fight any potential breakout of pimples.

Again, on the other end of the spectrum, the procedure is very well tolerated by other patients and they can continue on with their jobs and social engagements the same day. Some people only need to apply light makeup to hide the effects of a recent Fraxel procedure. For some men, their face is not so sensitive that they will have to hold off shaving for a few days.

The importance is to have this conversation about the Fraxel side effects with the dermatologist before the procedure. Everyone is different and you might or might not be one of the lucky ones to have a problem free downtime period. If that is the case, you need to have a contingency plan for your post procedure recovery.