I had laser hair removal treatment a week ago and now I have burns all over my lower legs. Will I have scars and discoloration on my skin? I'm applying Silver Sulfadazine cream and topical antibiotic/corticosteroid. Thank you.
Will I Have Scars and Discoloration on my Legs After Laser Hair Removal Burns? (photo)
Doctor Answers 2
Burned from laser hair removal
I am very sorry about your treatment. This is quite simply, a very bad treatment and burn. First of all, I'd say that the treatment wasn't done properly to begin with. Those bars are the placement of the treatment head. For a proper treatment, the bars are supposed to be stacked right next to each other. Not separated with about 1/4-1/2" as yours is. I would suggest that you use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone 1% as well as the other products you are using. This will help you avoid itching as the burns heal. Additionally, the redness will lighten with it. Over time, you may need to use a strong Rx like hydroquinone 8-12% to treat any post inflammatory hyperpigmented areas that you have - and I suspect you will have these. I'm very sorry about your treatment. Please do not return to this office and seek advice from another board-certified dermatologist for a future plan and treatment options to avoid scarring as best you can.
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Treatment of laser hair removal burns
My recommendations for treatment of laser hair removal 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 and sunscreens.
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.