I have been in the sun (tanned) and done laser hair removal 2 months later. Now I have brown spots on my back? (Photos)

How can I get rid of them? Can I use Differin adapalene cream? Or Skinoren cream?

Doctor Answers 3

Pigmentation from laser hair treatment

Thank you for your question. It appears that your pigment may be darker to begin with. Clients with more visible melanin in their skin need to be very careful when being treated with lasers as it can cause burns if not treated at the appropriate settings or if a client has been exposed to the sun or taking certain medications. Speak to your dermatologist or provider about post care for the area to avoid permanent pigmentation concerns.

Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation From Lasers -- Skin Lightening, Light Peels, microsecond YAG

I suggest you start skin lightening creams and glycolic washes in the shower.  Avoid any sun exposure.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Brown spots after laser hair removal

Thanks for your question. This is unlikely to be related to sun exposure 2 months prior to the treatment. It appears that you have a darker skin type (Fitzpatrick skin type 4) which can hyperpigment after laser treatment regardless of recent sun exposure. This can happen even if there has been no sun exposure, especially if the laser used does not have really good contact cooling or if it was an IPL device rather than single wavelength/true laser. Sun exposure of the area before or after the laser session, even if it was not enough to produce a 'visible tan' can also be a risk factor for this reaction. In addition to consulting with the person who performed your treatment (and confirm that it was true laser device and not IPL as the former is better for your skin type), at this point you could consider using a product such as this which you can order online from the ZO Skin Health Website.
Lisa Vuich, MD
ZO® MEDICAL $80 Qty:
Brightamax™ Non-Hydroquinone Non-Facial Skin Brightening Crème 75 mL / 2.5 Fl. Oz.
A full body treatment formulated to help reduce skin discoloration and even skin tone. Benefits
  • Skin brightening properties
  • Antioxidants help protect and defend the skin against environmental stressors
  • Soothes and helps reduce appearance of redness
  • Helps to hydrate the skin

Advanced Information
  • High potency retinol and ascorbic acid-2 glucoside: Breaks up existing pigmentation and increases cell turnover to rapidly brighten and even skin tone
  • Glutathione, soy isoflavones and N-acetyl glucosamine: Prevents new age spots and uneven color
  • Stachys officianalis: Helps block melanin production by blocking messengers triggering melanogenesis
  • Vitamins C and E: Provides antioxidant properties

Lisa Vuich, MD
Nashua Physician
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 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.