I just had a session of laser hair removal a couple of hours ago and noticed some burn marks on my skin. They are defined lines all over my arms, however they are not dark red or anything. It feels like a minor sun burn. I've had laser hair removal before so I know these marks are much worse than normal. My question is, how can I tell in this early stage, if these burns will turn into scars? Generally does a burn need to scab over to become a scar? Any insight? will they go away?
Laser Hair Removal Burns, Will this go Away or is it Likely to Scar? (photo)
Doctor Answers 1
Treatment of Laser Hair Removal burns
Laser hair removal can cause burns on the skin for various reasons. Fortunately they are usually superficial and rarely cause scarring. Potential risks of laser hair removal include burns even when optimal laser treatment parameters are used. This can lead to temporary or even permanent hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation. To help prevent this, my recommendations for treatment of burns in the skin are as follows:
1. Keep the areas clean by washing with a mild soap twice daily.
2. If there is blistering, relieve the pressure and hasten healing time by gently popping all blisters using a sterile needle or pin at the side of the blister. This should be a painless procedure. Do not remove the roof of the blister but allow it to settle down so it is flush with the skin. The blister roof will then form a protective cover.
3. Apply Aquaphor Healing Ointment (available without a prescription) to all involved areas to keep them "greasy". The greasier the area is, the faster it will heal. The drier and scabbier the area gets, the slower it will heal.
4. Permanent scarring is unlikely but you have to guard against post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation by constant protection from the sun for these areas such as using protective clothing as well as broad spectrum sunscreens. Hydroquinone cream may help if there is increased pigmentation that persists.
5. Make certain you are under a doctor's care and watch for signs of infection so that oral antibiotics can be started as soon as possible if necessary.
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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.