Should I Never Have Laser Resurfacing Again If I Got Hyperpigmentation After One Treatment?

I had erbium laser resurfacing done under both eyes on 7-19-11. I have what looks like post inflammatory hyper pigmentation that has developed under my entire right eye. What I want to know is does that mean that I should never have laser resurfacing done again. I really wanted to do full face later but now I don't know if it is a good idea. I have not spoken to my doctor about the hyper pigmentation yet I go to see him on sept 7th. Should I wait till then to talk to him about it?

Doctor Answers 6

Laser Resurfacing Hyperpigmentation is Almost Always Temporary-Some are Prone To It

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Post Inflammatory Hyper pigmentation is more likely to happen in patients with darker skin types. The problem is not usually the Hyper pigmentation but the Hypo pigmentation that occurs a year or two later.

Since you have developed Hyper pigmentation after Laser Resurfacing I would recommend that you not have Ablative Resurfacing again. You may be able to have non-ablative resurfacing-discuss with your doctor

Speak to your doctor soon after hyperpigmentation from laser resurfacing

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Do not wait to see your doctor from laser resurfacing hyperpigmentation. the sooner it is treated the bettter the results.  Some people have a temporary hyperpigmenation and it resolves completely. it can take many months to more than a year wtih time, chemical peels, lightening creams, sunscreens and sun-avoidance, and laser including Fraxel Dual laser. If the pigment does disappear, then you could consider more laser resurfacing, but there would be a risk that if pigmentation occurred again, that it wouldn't all go away the next time.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Some people are prone to develop hyperpigmentation after any resurfacing procedure.

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Some people are prone to develop hyperpigmentation after any resurfacing procedure. However experienced dermatologists can often prevent this in future resurfacing, especially if they know that the person has a history of this problem.

William P. Coleman III, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon

Laser resurfacing if had pigmentation following previous laser resurfacing

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Unless you are very fair skinned (Fitzpatrick Type I Skin) there is always a possibility of getting a prolonged tan. This can be treated with Hydroquinone, Retinoids and other chemicals.

A more unpleasant and unpredictable  complication is hypopigmentation or depigmentation. Fortunately, it is very uncommon but it is permanent. There is no treatment.

All possible complications have to be discussed with your Doctor prior to treatment.

Make sure you are being treated by an experienced, Board Certified  Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon.

Eugene Mandrea, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation after laser

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  Of course you should speak to your docto about this.  But PIH almost ALWAYS resolves with appropriate treatment so additional laser may certainly be an option for you again in the future.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Hyperpigmentation is sometimes inevitable

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Avoiding Sun exposure and using sunscreen as soon as your doctor tells you (usually around 1-2 weeks after the lasering or when you stop oozing and having raw areas). Hyperpigmentation is worse with the darker hair a person has in combination with the lighter skin a person has. Asians are one of the worst in terms of getting hyperpigmentation.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.