Hyperpigmentation Risk from Light Laser Resurfacing?

How high is the risk for light laser resurfacing to cause hyperpigmentation (example active/deep fx)? Although my derma says that my complexion is pretty fair, I do have some olive in my skin because of my Italian/Russian nationality. I have hyperpigmentation from sun tanning and acne spots now but I would like the tigtening effect that the laser says it can do for the skin. Thank you for your time!

Doctor Answers (4)

Avoiding PIH with laser resurfacing

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Microablative Fractionated  CO2 laser is the treatment of choice for your skin condition. The laser will need to be adjusted if your skin is thin or atrophic.  Some patients need to be pre-treated to prevent PIH.


Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Hyperpigmentation with laser resurfacing

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I usually prep most of my patients before and after fractional co2 laser with topical skin creams such as Melarase, but an examination is needed to assess your risk.  Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

There is always a risk with resurfacing

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Any procedure in terms of resurfacing can cause hyperpigmentation. You may want to have a test spot done first, away from the central face, to see if it develops pigmentation. If it does, then don’t do the procedure, but realize that if it doesn’t you may still pigment when it is done on the rest of the face. Make sure you use sunscreens every day with both ultraviolet A and B protection

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

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Hyper-pigmentation occurs from inflammation and is based on how much melanin is in your skin

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Dermatologists rate skin color from1 to 6. Type one is the fairest and type 6 is the darkest. You sound like a type 3. In other words, you can tan lightly on sun exposure. Depending on which laser and how aggressive the settings are, you may experience some hyper-pigmentation. Typically, hyper-pigmentation can be treated with lightening creams which your dermatologist would be well aware of.

Good Luck!

Lenore Sikorski, MD
Orange County Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.