How Should I Treat Burns?

I Had Laser Hair Removal Done Using Light Sheer Duet and I Am Burned. I have medium dark skin with black hair and she started using setting six but I felt this Hurt so she reduces it to five. I have burns all down my arms and legs and bikini line. How do I treat these and prevent scarring? She uses the light sheer duet laser. Could you also advise what settings should be used for my skin type???

Doctor Answers 4

Laser hair removal complications

May I ask what type of setting (spa, office, hospital) did you get your laser hair removal in? These devices are very powerful and it sounds like you experienced too high a setting. I have done the initial clinical trials for the Lightsheer Duet and I can tell you its a great laser but it takes a well trained person to treat patients safely and with minimal risk for complications. I would also encourage you to see a dermatologist to assess your burns and to come up with a wound care regimen. 

Stamford Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Treatment of Burns After Laser hair Removal

The best treatment for burns is prevention, of course.  If you are dark skinned, you are more likely to get burned. If during treatment you feel like the treatment is especially painful you need to tell the operator to stop and turn the machine down. Treatment for the burns should be antibiotic cream like Silvadene and avoidance of sun exposure. 

Mark A. Schusterman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Treatment of laser hair removal burns

Burns from laser hair removal can lead to temporary or even permanent hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation. To help prevent this, my recommendations for treatment of burns in the skin are as follows:
1. Keep the areas clean by washing with a mild soap twice daily.
2. If there is blistering, relieve the pressure and hasten healing time by gently popping all blisters using a sterile needle or pin at the side of the blister. This should be a painless procedure. Do not remove the roof of the blister but allow it to settle down so it is flush with the skin. The blister roof will then form a protective cover.
3. Apply Aquaphor Healing Ointment (available without a prescription) to all involved areas to keep them "greasy". The greasier the area is, the faster it will heal. The drier and scabbier the area gets, the slower it will heal.
4. Permanent scarring is unlikely but you have to guard against post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation by constant protection from the sun for these areas such as using protective clothing as well as broad spectrum sunscreens.
5. Make certain you are under a doctor's care and watch for signs of infection so that oral antibiotics can be started as soon as possible if necessary.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Burns from laser hair removal

I'm so sorry. A good technician should have seen your skin responding this way and stopped the treatment for evaluation and made adjustments. Basically what you have is hyperpigmentation and burns. Sometimes darker pigments when treated will surface (usually because too high of settings were used). Your technician should have been more careful with the settings on the laser and you needed to have much lower settings used. First, I would contact the office and say how badly you have been burned. A hydroquinone cream, which is a prescription cream available from a physician, can help, and you need to use a quality sunscreen and avoid any sunburns. A microdermabrasion could help some too as this will get ride of the more surface spots. I suggest you see a dermatologist asap for an evaluation and proper care. These burns could, yes, result in some long-term issues if they are not taken care of quickly and properly.

As per your question about the correct settings to use, there are so many settings and lasers so to give a blanket answer without seeing you or testing your skin would be improper. I don't have a light sheer duet laser, but any laser, when done improperly or on too high of settings, can cause burns. While laser hair removal is great, it needs to be done by trained technicians under the direct supervision of physicians.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 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.