Are there any complications, risks or side effects associated with any Fraxel™ procedures?
The Fraxel™ treatment is relatively safe. However, there are a few side effects related to the laser beams that are used. Immediately after the treatment, you may notice your skin slightly swollen or turned a bit red. Some patients may also notice minor peeling of the skin. However, this peeling is very mild and not as bad as other laser treatments.
Side effects with any laser beam include pain. There is also the possibility for scarring. It could be a depressed scar or a raised scar. Depressed scars are atrophic scars while raised scars are hypertrophic scars. Pigmentation is also a possibility when treating brown spots or Melasma. Melasma is a condition of very dark patches on the skin. While Fraxel™ laser treatment is used to treat this skin condition, it can work for some patients, but with some, it can get worse. Melasma is a very tough condition to treat and one of the risks is that you can make it darker.
So it's important to understand the risks and make an educated decision by going through all of these possibilities with the doctor during the consultation period. It's not unusual for a patient who is prone to hyper pigmentation that the doctor conducts some initial tests on spots behind the ear, upper forehead or underneath the hairline in order to observe the skin's reaction to the treatment.
Some patients are prone to getting fever blisters while some others might have been exposed to the cold sore virus when they were kids, but never had a cold sore. The sudden laser beams used in the treatment can wake up the virus, starting an episode of fever blisters on raw skin. Such fever blisters multiplied by 50 or 100 could cause scarring. For this reason, patients keen on undergoing Fraxel™ treatment who have had fever blisters, as well as patients who have not, are offered a prescription of anti-viral medication around the time of the laser resurfacing.
There's always the risk of scarring with any procedure but it's extremely rare with Fraxel™ Restore.