Will CO2 Laser Treatment Under Eyes Cause Loss of Pigment?

I am fair skinned and want to have CO2 laser under my eyes and on upper lip. Will I see a lose of pigment in those areas. I am afraid of looking like a racoon. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

Hypopigmentation unlikely

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Hypopigmentation or loss of pigment under the eyelids is something that is feared by many patients. We have all seen people walking around with lighter circles around the eyes or mouth from an old resurfacing treatment.  Most lasers these days are fractionated or ultrapulsed (meaning super fast) so the risk of hypopigmentation is extremely rare.  Talk with your physician and see what type of laser they offer

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Pigment and resurfacing

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Any type of resurfacing (Laser, Chemical peel, or Dermabrasion) will cause a degree of hypo-pigmentation or loss of pigment to the skin. The way that I explain this to my patients is that this is a cause an effect issue. In order to have less wrinkles, you have to give up some pigment of your skin. The less wrinkles you want, the more pigment you sacrifice. The problem is not when you do your full face. The problem is when you only do segments. Doing segments makes it a lot harder to hide this differences as if you do your entire face. Hope this helps you understand.

Gustavo A. Diaz, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon

Loss of pigment from laser

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If you have ablative non-fractional carbon dioxide laser resurfacing there is a chance that you can develop delayed (one year after) long term lightening of pigment. This tends not to happen with ablative fractional carbon dioxide laser such Fraxel Repair.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

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CO2 laser treatment to face

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Using any laser whether it is CO2 or erbium may cause changes in pigmentation especially if you only treat isolated areas. You may be better off treating the entire face.

Pigmentary issues with CO2

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Hypopigmentation after laser therapy can be a permanent complication. The CO2 wavelength is especially prone due to thermal collateral damage. However, the CO2 wavelength also is very good at removing wrinkles and tightening the skin. There are some less aggressive alternatives such as an Erbium or fractionated CO2 lasers.

CO2 laser treatment under eyes cause loss of pigment

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This is an informed consent issue. There is a possibility that de pigmentation will occur after CO2 laser therapy. This should be explained to you prior to the treatment.

From MIAMI Happy 4th Dr. B

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.