Got Burned by Laser Hair Removal and Have Dark Spot, How Can I Get Rid of Them Fast? (photo)

Hello, I had my 3rd laser hair removal 6 days ago on my upper lip and full brazilian area. I noticed that it was more painful than usual and swollen when I got home so I put some ointment and the technician put some cortizone. 2 days after my treatment , my belly bottom area, entire bikini area, upper lip and the sides turned black and I see some scar, also in the inner buttcheeks. I have been putting cocoa butter, ointment and a discoloration cream. What should I do? Pictures are attached!

Doctor Answers 4

Burns and Dark Spots After Laser Hair Removal

It does appear from the pictures, that there is some darkening to the area – something we call post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH. This is a fairly common side effect in darker skinned individuals and we see it for a variety of reasons – the main one being that the skin was not cooled enough prior and during thetreatment. It can also occur if the settings are too strong, or if the area is traumatized for some other reason.

Although this is not 100% avoidable, you need to make sure the laser technician or IPL technician is well skilled and well versed in laser hair removal. We do suggest that the best places to have these treatments are at board-certified dermatologists or plastic surgeons offices.

If there is a burn or area of PIH, the office where the procedure was done should be able to handle the concern and recommend the appropriate treatment. They should have advised you what you needed to be looking out for and when you need to connect with them if something did in fact go wrong. You need a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to look at you to determine what is the most appropriate course to take to make these go away quickly.

Laser hair removal is buyer beware – cheap is not always good.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation following laser hair removal.

Light based therapy that targets melanin in darker skin types can cause hyperpigmentation.  Pretreating with hydroquinone may reduce the risk.  Conservative energy settings may also be beneficial (often the fluencies are increased with subsequent treatments).  Sun avoidance during treatment is important (wear sun block).  The hyperpigmentation will fade over time.

Robert Sleightholm, MD
Brampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Burns after Hair Laser Removal

Hello, thanks for your question. First and foremost, make sure you follow up with the provider who did the hair removal so they can follow you and make sure this continues to heal. Based on your pictures, it does appear to be healing, so keep using vaseline and sunscreens to protect your skin. Wait a few weeks before starting a discoloration cream or anything stronger. Take care!

Shankar Lakshman, MD
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Burns after laser hair removal

Dear writer, Burns after laser hair removal are not common but may happen in darker skin type patients, particularly if treated with single wavelength devices (lasers), rather than IPL devices. Fortunately, your affected areas show very superficial burns, and will most likely heal uneventfully without any permanent scarring. I would reccommend early use of topical steroid and antibiotic ointments twice daily for two weeks, followed by generous moisturization (aquaphor healing ointment OTC) and possibly the use of a bleaching cream. Sun avoidance is ultimately most important. Best to you, Dr. Bowes

Leyda Elizabeth Bowes, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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.