Alexandrite Laser Hair Removal Burns on Upper Legs - Austin, TX

I had a laser hair removal treatment on my upper...

I had a laser hair removal treatment on my upper legs, yesterday. I have olive skin with dark hair and hate shaving the back of my thighs. I get ingrown hair and often you can see my hair under the skin so it looks like stubble.

This is the second time that I have visited this aesthetics clinic for treatment and both times have walked away with burns. They assured me after the first treatment that the aesthetician would be reprimanded for setting the laser too high, and that I would have a new, more experienced person to do the treatment the second time around. They also comped the second session.

Last time I was able to visit my dermatologist (with insurance) to treat the burns. He prescribed an ointment to accelerate the healing. This time, the burns are more mild, but I am wondering what you think. Will these heal? Are they normal and should I continue treatment and ask that the Alexandrite Laser be set to a lower setting? She had the machine set to a 12.

This time, the burns are more mild, but I am wondering what you think. Will these heal? Are they normal and should I continue treatment and ask that the Alexandrite Laser be set to a lower setting? She had the machine set to a 12.

Skin by Ann Webb

Unfortunately, laser hair removal is still something reserved for the wealthy. If you try to do it on a budget, you are likely to get someone who does not have the proper experience to operate the machines. If I could afford it, I would go to a dermatologist.

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Did you develop hyperpigmentation? If so, did it go away?
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I'm sorry I only saw your post today, otherwise I could've told you that those aren't laser burns, that's just the natural reaction the skin has after the hair on your legs has absorbed the energie of the laser itself. I now because I'm a beauty therapist who works with laser Hair removal, using the laser alexandrite.
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JessTheLaserGirl, no they never developed a scab. They were just red, itchy and very unhappy for 2-3 weeks. I had been told that the redness would go away in 2 days. I went to a dermatologist (MD) after the session. He said the machine was set too high.
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Did these marks turn into scabs? These don't look like a burn to me but a histamine response.
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Ooohh my how horriblee,, i was just so excited to get lazer hair removed all over.. But am having second thought seing all these things happen.. Goshh cant imagine trusting some1 thinking they're experts and mostly paying to get this done and all u get is burned and scared 4ever..! Never thought it was this Badd... I guess wats to do? Trust anyway?! Even a well trained expert can fail soo,, how can u know who to trust ur bodyy..
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Hair removal is not reserved for the wealthy and doctors make plenty of mistakes! This site is littered with Dr. error, and I've experienced it first hand and payed a ton to so-called experts and specialists.
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It doesn't look like a burn bur rather perifoliculitis which is normal after laser hair removal, the more intense and effective the treatment the more it swells around each folicule and that's what I can appreciate on your picture.
If it forms a blister then you can think that the setting were too high for the Alexandrite Laser which is very powerful.
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I should also mention that the technician made me wait 8 weeks between sessions. My appointments kept getting further apart.
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Leg laser hair removal should be performed 6 to 8 weeks appart, so she was correct.
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I had 5 treatments done at a dermatologist's office. The first 3 sessions didn't hurt at all. In fact, the treatment wasn't even uncomfortable. I kept telling the technician that I wasn't feeling anything. On my 4th visit, she finally turned up the setting. I finally felt it and finally saw some results. Does this mean that the first 3 sessions were ineffective because of the low settings?
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most likely
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Do I have any recourse for the wasted sessions? I feel that this was done so I would have to pay for more sessions. I spent a lot for the 5 sessions that I received; and now I know that more than half were ineffective and this was done on purpose...this is upsetting. This is a major betrayal of trust. Now I've probably waited too long to make an issue of it.
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Well, it has almost been three years since my original post. I'm slightly offended that Nicole thought I was a man :) I guess that wasn't the best way to pose. Just wanted to let readers know that my reaction went away completely, but it did take 3+ weeks. The first time, I was told that the redness would be gone in a day or two, yet it ruined a 20 year class reunion on the beach in Key West. I was the only one who could not wear a bathing suit, and that was two weeks later. Those were the results following my first session, which were much worse than the second time. Because of the reaction (burn or otherwise) I never went back for any additional treatments. After two sessions, I will say that my upper thighs have less hair, and that I don't have to shave as often. I also wanted to clarify that, as you can see in the photos, the reaction was only on the paper thin skin which is on the inner thigh. The treatment did not have the same effect on the outer thigh or on the back. I still have a feeling it had something to do with the process. Maybe the gel that Nicole suggests would have helped. It was not used in either session. Also, I wanted to add that the pain was more than it should have been in the first ten minutes of my first session. It felt like someone was snapping a rubber band with all their strength. That lasted for about 5 minutes, before the technician sensed that I was uncomfortable. She lowered the setting from a 17 (I think) and then it was more tolerable. The photos from my first post were from the second session, when the laser was turned way down to 12. Even still, I had that reaction and it took weeks to completely heal.
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Thanks for the update. : )
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Oh I should add that I didn't itch (that I remember). Maybe the cream your doctor gave you is making you itch?
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My legs looked exactly like yours, except worse. But it never alarmed me at all. I never even thought they were burns, don't think they are? Not sure why you are upset about this? The person just put some aloe and other ointment on me and it went away in a few hours and definitely by the next day. What you are looking at is normal. The only mistake the person made was perhaps not telling you this.
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Try hydrocortisone cream, 1% over the counter or have your doctor give you a RX for 2%. I also get very itchy with laser on any part of my body. It goes away in less than a week.
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No, I am very light and white with dark hair growth (PCOS). Which of course make these bright red angry bumps glow! It is even worse this morning. The itching is truly making me crazy.

Any suggetions?
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from what i have read- alexandrite is for light skin people.. yag is more appropriate for darker skin tones..i guess your olive skin= darker:)
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Well, it looks like you are allergic to the cryogen, those do not look like burns, plus you said you felt really itchy. Just put some hydrocortizone cream or take some allergy medecine. But that is DEFINATELY not a burn.
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Did your reaction go away? How long did it take? I think that is the same that I have. It looks horrible and itches soooo bad. I am taking Benadryl and hydocortizone cream. It is still really bad. I can't stand how bad it itches.
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I had same burns from Alexdright, I did my whole legs but butns are only on my upper tight no lower legs. Now I'm left with white spots all over.
Did you get hypopigmentation? Did it go away?
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I am a laser technician and have done thousands of hair removal treatments on both the YAG and Alexandrite. I don't suspect that a setting of 12 on the Alex would burn someone with LaBoliviana's skin type...and as such I am going to say it looks more like severe irritation than a burn. The fact that he is itching gives good indication of that bc typically laser burns don't hurt or itch as they heal, they just look bad. And burns are usually in the perfect shape of the laser beam...circle or square...not flush and rash-like like his legs.

I use sonogram gel on my sensitive clients. I also ALWAYS use gel on facial areas and areas with thick hair follicles. This moisturizes the surface...and offers great protection on those with skin types of Fitz 4-5 -- allowing medium skin types to be treated safely with the Alex, which is my personal favorite machine for hair removal.

Try a protective layer of gel before treatments and let me know if that alleviates the irritation.

Also, always keep in mind that while laser treatments are not painless...a treatment causing that much discomfort while it's happening should be a red flag! That is not normal. The discomfort should not continue after the laser moves away. If it does -- or it feels like a cigarette burning your skin -- then something is wrong. It should only hurt at the immediate moment it pulses -- for a moment.

While laser burns don't look good and could take several weeks/months to heal, I have never personally seen any permanent damage caused from a hair removal treatment. The skin always repairs itself and fully heals.

Good luck!
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I am a man in my 40'S skin type III and have owned an IPL for about 12 years. My wife and I started up a HR clinic and used this machine on many patients including myself. I must have had hundreds of treatments over the years and have NOT had very good results with the intense pulse light system; the hair kept coming back. So I did my research and tried a Yag with slightly better results, but not what I was hoping for. So I decided to try the Alexandrite and after my first treatment I ended up with 2nd and some 3rd degree burns on a good portion of my middle and lower back, some on the shoulders also. This was the worse pain I have ever encountered in my entire life! My suggestions is to be extremely careful if using this class V laser. I would do a test spot of several inches first, followed up by more test spots later before doing any large area. I also would check the credentials of the practitioner before signing or allowing them to perform any treatment. It took me a very long time to heal from my injuries, and I spent countless sleepless nights because of the pain. And any compensation for this type of injury is NOT worth the aggravation. Be careful! DO your homework! Best regards.
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Thanks for sharing your experience. Wow -- How are your burns doing now?

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