Hair Removal Laser, Scars, Spots, Who?

would like to take a laser treatment against hair growth, but are afraid of dark spots and scars. I have light skin and dark hair. Who may be exposed to such damages or side effects? Thanks for Answer on forehand

Doctor Answers 4

Pigmentation or dark spots and scarring as a result of Laser Hair Removal

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The good news is that with light skin and dark hair, you are a perfect candidate for Laser Hair Removal as the laser's target is color, so the darker the hair, the better. With lighter skin, the laser doesn't have to compete with color in the skin.  Having said that, the clinician should always evaluate your ethnic background when consulting with you, to determine if there is any potential to pigment, i.e. do you have American Indian in your background?  If there is a potential, the settings should be adjusted for that which means the treatment is still effective, but it may take a few more treatments.  Safety is always first, followed by efficacy.  Ask questions about the laser as well.  The laser we use in our clinic, Lumenis LightSheer Duet, is FDA cleared to treat the darkest skin-type as well as tanned skin.  If my clinician sees that there might be a potential for pigmentation (especially on the face), a prescription called Hydroquinone is dispensed in order to suppress excess melanin production.  Infrequently, hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation can occur, but is usually transitory.

Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Hair Laser Removal and potential scarring

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Hello, thanks for your question!

All lasers can potentially cause burns or skin damage which can lead to scars. If using an IPL laser for hair removal, then you need to avoid sun exposure for at least 2 weeks before the procedure. Our CoolGlide Laser can be used on all skin types, whether you have sun exposure or not. Also, I recommend shaving the area the day of the procedure and avoid waxing, threading, or depilatory creams for several weeks before you start your laser treatments to get the best results. I would recommend going to a physician's office for these treatments and selecting a board-certified physician for your procedure if you can. Best of luck!

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

The Light Sheer Duet is an ideal laser for hair removal

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With light skin and dark hair you are the ideal candidate for laser hair removal. It is important to not have a tan when you have the treatments, shave or cut the hair so it's present but very short and make sure you're seeing a qualified dermatologist or their assistant for treatment to minimize risks of burns and scars. It is also important to know that you will need multiple treatments, best done at 1 month intervals for optimal and lasting results. Most people need 6-8 treatments, depending on the area treated.

Doris Day, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Hair Removal - Avoiding Complications

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Avoiding complications in laser hair removal is critical.  The wavelength of laser as well as the presence of cooling can help minimize risk to the area.  In addition, an experienced team can help design an effective series of treatments for you to ensure your safety while maximizing the laser's efficacy.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 177 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.