Laser Resurfacing for Razor Bump Scars?

Is Laser Resurfacing an effective treatment to remove razor bump scars on dark skin?

Doctor Answers 5

Laser treatment for pseudofolliculitis barbae

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Ingrown hairs can cause bad bumps and even keloids. If the hairs stop growing, some of the bumps, unless they already are keloids, may diminish on their own. Laser hair removal is a great treatment for this. Bumps in general don't respond as well to laser resurfacing and respond better to corticosteroid injections but there are side effects such as discoloration and overflattening with depressions that should be discussed by your doctor.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Is laser resurfacing an effective treatment for razor bump scars on dark skin

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Razor bump scars, otherwise known as pseudofolliculitis barbae, is an inflammatory condition of facial or neck skin due to ingrown hairs.  That usually results in raised hyperpigmented nodules.

Those are best treated with intralesional injections of Kenalog, a cortisone, to decrease the inflammation and size of the lesion, as well as topical medications for hyperpigmentation.  I usually combine a low potency cortisone gel, a benzoyl peroxide and a topical antibiotic gel like clindamycin to be used once or twice a day.  A fading cream may also be necessary, but the above combination usually does a good job of fading the spots.

I do not believe that a laser resurfacing procedure would be beneficial for these lesions.  In addition, certain laser procedures, such as ablative resurfacing or IPL, may result in hypo- or hyperpigmentation in the area. 

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

How can I get Rid of Razor Bump Scars?

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Hello.  The first step is to treat the underlying problem, the hair.  Laser hair removal will succeed in getting you to the point where the razor bumps do not exist any more.  For laser hair removal in a dark skin type, search out an experienced laser provider that uses the long pulsed Nd:Yg laser as it is well suited for your skin type.  Sciton Profile is one example of a device that can be used.  We also use the Laserscope Lyra.

Once the hair has been removed (this will most likely take 12-24 months), then you can address the scars. If the scars are pigmented (dark), we would suggest either a hydroquinone bleaching program or q-switched Nd:Yg laser treatments (this is a different laser than previously referenced).  If the scars are bumpy or pitted, the options are more limited because of your skin type and you may have to consider dermatologic surgery rather than laser procedures.  Specifically for textured scars you may want to look into:

  • Excision
  • Subcision

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Laser Resurfacing for Razor Bump Scars?

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BAD idea as you can read in the previous expert posters responses. Seek in person derm evaluation. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski

Laser hair treatment for pseudofolliculitis barbae

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Razor bumps are an inflammatory problem with the hair foliicle, known as pseudofolliculitis barbae. Therefore, laser resurfacing is absolutely not the right approach for this problem. You should consider either steroid injections or laser hair treatments. They treat the actual source of the problem.

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.