Is It Normal for Freckles to Turn Darker After Laser Hair Removal?

I had my first treatment of Laser hair removal on my upper lip and chin yesterday. I have noticed that the freckles on above my lip and chin have gone much darker, and now are a very dark brown. Is this normal, and will it fade?

Doctor Answers 5

Normal for freckles to turn darker after Laser Hair Removal

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Freckles and even moles will sometimes darken after laser hair removal. This is temporary, and then the darkened skin will usually fall off, leaving either no freckle at all, or a significantly lighter freckle.

Alexandrite hair removal lasers can be 'tuned' by your physician to focus on hair removal or pigment/freckle removal, but both will happen when these lasers are used since the settings have some overlap.

Most likely your freckles will 'fall off' in a few days.

The important thing in the meantime is to not pick the area, and keep it protected from the sun with a hat or mineral-based sunscreen.

Dark Freckles After Laser Hair Removal Should Resolve Fairly Quickly

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Darkening of a skin lesion following laser hair removal can happen, as others have noted, and this is something that is not very common, and should resolve fairly quickly after the laser hair removal procedure. If it does not, I would suggest that you go to a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to allow them to examine the areas in question and make sure that the lesion(s) are in fact benign and not something that might require immediate attention – these are the docs most skilled in this field while others may not be that familiar

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Yes, it’s possible for freckles to turn darker after laser hair removal.

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The laser usually gets attracted to any pigment on the skin- hair or freckles. The darkening of the pigment is only temporary and will fade away in seven to ten days after the treatment. To help lighten it faster you may exfoliate or use some prescription strength bleaching cream, such as 4% Hydroquinone. Try to avoid direct sun exposure after the treatment and use a physical sun block every day.

Darkening of freckles and moles after Laser Hair Removal

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This sometimes happens, but it is temporary. The laser is attracted to pigment (color), so it sometimes goes after freckles and moles. This is why we don’t want any sun exposure or anything that changes the pigment of your skin. You may want to use a hydroquinone “lightening cream” on the area or triluma cream. Please consult with your physician regarding the creams, most of the time you need to stop using it prior to your next laser treatment.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Darkening of skin after Laser Hair Removal

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It is possible for existing freckles to become darker after laser hair removal. However, this is usually temporary. For quick resolution you should avoid any further treatments at this time and avoid sun. You can also use a lightening cream such as Triluma (by prescription) and it will fade away faster.


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.