Laser Hair Removal Burns on Stomach - Will It Scar?

I Just Got Laser Hair Removal on my Stomach but I Got Burned. I am so worried that i have ruined my stomach forever...i made a poor choice with laser hair removal i guess..this burn is two days old...do you think i will make a swift recovery or will have to deal with bad scarring? im worried : ( i have been putting maderma on during the day and neosporin on at night. i went back to the dr that did it and they said it was fine, but i know that can't be normal, so i went to immediate care and the lady told me to put neosporin on at night and stay out of sun.

Doctor Answers 10

Burns to skin after laser

For most people with fair to medium toned skin, a superficial burn won't cause permanent scarring or skin darkening. The first step is to keep it moist/hydrated and free from infection. If there are open blisters, you can use Neosporin for a few days, but stop if you develop a rash or more redness and use something mild like vaseline or aquaphor instead.

Once it's completely healed, use sunscreen whenever the skin may be exposed. Keep in mind, regular clothing only has about 15 SPF, so if you are wearing thin fabrics wear sunscreen underneath. At night, use a cream with hydroquinone if the burned skin looks darker than the surrounding skin or a silicone based scar cream if it is pink or thickened. It may take several weeks to months for the color to normalize completely, depending on how you heal, but most likely it will be fine. Also, avoid further laser treatments in the area until the appearance is completely back to normal.


Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Laser Hair Removal Burns

It is hard to say how your skin will react to the burns. Normally over time, superficial burns heal well with minimal skin changes. It may result in hyperpigmentation which you can use skin lightening creams for such as hydroquinone daily for a few months. The main thing is that you keep the area moisturized with products such as aquaphor 2-3 times a day until it's healed and avoid any sun exposure on the area while it is healing. Follow up with the provider that did your treatment to make sure things are healing properly and so that they may address your concerns and adjust future treatment settings accordingly. They may also be able to provide you with information on what you can do on your end to help reduce the chances of reactions in the future, such as sun avoidance prior to treatment and avoiding certain medications that may make you more photosensitive.

Burns

Burns can happen and you are at a higher risk when the treatment is performed by an inexperienced aesthetician. The discoloration can sometimes be permanent but yours don't appear to be so.

Melaquin AM and Melaquin PM for pigmentation of the skin

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation may cause discoloration of your laser area.  I would begin a regimen of Melaquin AM and Melaquin PM immediately until the wound heals. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Laser hair removal and burn

It is not a definite that you suffered a burn, or at least, it is difficult via photograph inspection to diagnose your issue.  Swelling and redness is not unusual but bruising can also occur. If there are blisters, do not pop them.  Neosporin may cause an allergy the more you use it so be careful to stop it immediately if there is itching or new blisters that form. A dermatologist should see you to manage your skin's condition. It may leave with no scar, but there could be long term discoloration from post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, for which the dermatologist can prescribe some creams and follow you.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Treatment of burns after laser

Looking at your picture it does seem as if you had been burned from the laser treatment.

Most important is to avoid the sun and keep the area moisturized with some topical antibiotic cream such as Bacitracin.

In the early phases the use of a topical steroid such as hydrocortisone 0.1% my reduce the inflammation and help prevent a PIH (post inflammatory Hyperpigmentation).

If the burns persist and produce Hyperpigmentation bleaching agents and actually further laser or IPL treatments may be used to treat the condition.

The Risks of Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal can cause burns on the skin for various reasons. This can occur even when optimal laser treatment parameters are used. They are usually superficial and rarely cause scarring. Hydroquinone cream may help if there is increased pigmentation that persists. Be careful to use a good sunscreen to protect the new skin from developing excess pigmentation. Fortunately, the risks of laser hair removal are usually minimal.  Side effects may include a bruise, redness, blistering, increased or decreased pigmentation, and swelling in the treated areas.  These usually do not last more than a few days.  Permanent side effects or scarring are rare.

 

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Burns after laser hair removal

You are right in that you need to stay out of the sun.  These burns look superficial, so hopefully they will leave only hyperpigmentation and no skin texture changes.

Neosporin is a great topical antibiotic but it can cause allergic contact dermatitis, so if you see incresing redness or itching at the site, stop the neosporin immediately.  Mederma does not really do anything for scars so it can be stopped immediately.

 

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Burns from laser hair removal will heal but is an undesitable result

Burned skin is one of the risks of laser hair removal, particularly in patients with darker skin. Your photo demonstrates the complication. This should be treated as a burn and be allowed to heal. Antibiotic ointment is fine to use. You may develop reactive hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin in the area of the burn. The best way to prevent this is by meticulously preventing this area from becoming sun exposed. If darkening does occur, there are prescription cream that may lighten it. If your skin is the type that tabs easily, you should only have hair removal with an nd YAG laser. This is the safest wavelength for darker skin. You must not be tan when treated and must protect yourself from tanning for 8 weeks after treatment. Make sure you find treatment in a physician's office with an experienced provider and an ndYAG laser. Steer clear of salons and spas without proper medical supervision.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Laser therapy, Hair removal

I ami sorry to hear about your problem.

Generally for fair skinned inrdividuals,  unless the laser treatment burned the entire thickness or most of the thickness of the skin, then permanent scarring is unlikely.  Sometimes, however you can get prolonged redness, hypopigmentation (lighter color) or pigmentation abnormalities.

If you develop blisters, etc, most of the time these will resolve owith time and good care.

For such injuries, the best thing to do is to apply moisturizers and certainly avoid the sun at all costs.

This may take time to heal but have patience. 

I am not sure if mederma is appropriate for this injury at this time.

Good Luck

Shashidhar Kusuma, MD
Plantation Plastic Surgeon

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.