Could laser procedures break down the filler in my cheeks and nasolabial folds?

It could just be bad timing, but I feel like laser procedures like IPL, Fraxel, and even Clear and Brilliant break down the restylane in my cheeks and nasolabial folds. I've stopped getting them because I feel like I always need injectables about 1-2 weeks later. Am I just imagining this?

Let’s think about the science first, and then the common sense part. There’s really no science, that I know of, that would support this. Also, if you think about where the filler is placed in the skin and where the laser procedures go in the skin, it doesn’t make sense. The filler is being placed in the mid dermis, deep dermis or very often deeper. The laser is acting on the epidermis or the high to mid dermis, generally. Remember the parts of the skin:

  • the outer dead layer of skin is the stratum corneum
  • the outer barrier layer is the epidermis
  • and the deeper, thicker layer where all the collagen is and blood vessels, etc, is the dermis

The IPL acts on the epidermis and high dermis, as does the Clear and Brilliant. A deep Fraxel (the erbium which is the more popular one) treatment would go deeper – high to mid dermis – but most Fraxel Restores are done at more medium settings. You would have to have a very superficial filler placement coupled with quite a deep erbium for the filler to be affected.

I’m wondering if what you’re seeing isn’t  the mild swelling associated with these treatments, which goes down after 1-2 weeks. That could seem like a little less volume?    And, you always have the option of just scheduling your filler treatments always 1-2 weeks after a laser. You can read more in-depth on laser problems here, and filler problems here.

Hope this helps,  Dr. I



Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself.
  • My medical office in Seattle has treated thousands of patients for 15+ years.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product, treatment or device.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes! I have handpicked some of what I consider to be the best skin care products, and offer them for sale on SkinTour's shop. This is based on my team and I's testing and research at our clinic. Many of the products are in my own regimen. What could be better than using skin care products a dermatologist uses?!