My legs after my first laser treatment - scarring? (photo)

So I hear this is a normal reaction. Maybe I'm prone to foliculitis. My doctor said my legs should heal. Ive posted a picture before with more whiteheads than i have now. The white heads have gone down which is good. But I'm worried that now I'll have scars all over my legs. And another laser treatment following that seems a little insane. I don't want to permanently damage my legs even more. What should I do about the scars? And even if my legs do heal, should I chance another laser hair treatment?

Doctor Answers 2

Laser treatment

If the scars go away within 6 weeks I see no problem with you having further treatments. If they last any longer than that I would be hesitant to proceed with further treatments. I highly recommend going for a follow up to the doctor. There could be multiple reasons for this skin reaction. Best of luck to you. 

Scars on legs?

I presume the laser session was done very recently, may be within the past week? If that is the case what is seen on the picture do not look like scars. Your doctor is right. The term "scar" is being loosely used by many of us, for everything that does not look like normal skin color. Not everything that is discolored is a "scar". The heat generated would burn the follicles and can produce a temporary inflammation, and some redness and swelling called follicular edema. You should use cortisone cream, avoid sun exposure, and use sun block and follow up with your provider in a week or two to detect any early sign of hyperpigmentation, and treat that accordingly. If that happens, might also have to use a different laser next time, or a lower power (fluency) with the current laser/IPL. Lower power is safer, but does not necessarily mean effective. Is scarring possible with lasers and IPL? Yes; thats why carefully selecting the appropriate laser, fluency and pulse width for the right skin type is essential, and needs a lot of experience, though sometimes even with best efforts scar and hyperpigmentation are possible especially with darker skin tones and recent sun exposure; and that should be a common understanding as a rare but still a possibility in all non-Caucasian skin types and sometimes even in Caucasian skin types with a recent sun exposure. 

Ram Chandra, MD
Edison Physician

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