How Long Do The Burn Spots of Laser Hair Removal Stay on my Skin...I Am So Worried (photo)

I have done it before and never got such a problem...I am so afraid its gonna stay forever...this was my 5th time and only this time I got such a bad long does it going to be like this???does this go away at all?pls hel...which grade of burning is that???

Doctor Answers 4

Burns From Laser Hair Removal

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 Based on the information you provided, it is hard to know exactly what recommendations to make. The melanin in your skin is what absorbs the laser energy which then turns into heat that can result in burns. I think it is important to speak to your dermatologist about this asap. This person will be able to provide you with more specific answers. 

Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Treatment of laser hair removal burns

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Potential risks of laser hair removal include burns even when optimal laser treatment parameters are used. This 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
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Burns after laser hair removal

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You didn't mention when your treatment was, but assuming it was within the last few days then these look like superficial crusts or scabs.   Keeping them most with aquaphor or Vaseline petroleum jelly is critical at this point.  You need to apply it every two hours.  You also need to VIGILANTLY avoid the sun.  You can put a zinc oxide based sunscreen on as well in the morning before you apply the ointment. If they are scabs, they will peel off wiithin the next several days.  Don't help it along by rubbing or picking.  Be very gentle with your skin..   The skin underneath may be pink and at that time you are at high risk for post inflammatory hyperpigmentation so the sunscreen and sun avoidance are critical.  If your treatment was longer ago, then these spots likely represent post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  You will need a prescription hydroquinone (HQ) and  perhaps even a retinoid or glycolic acid product.  These decisions can be made by an excellent board certified dermatologist with experience in laser procedures.  Go to the web site for the American Society for Lasers in Surgery and Medicine as well as the American Society for Dermatological Surgery to find someone in your area.    .  

Jacqueline Calkin, MD
Sacramento Dermatologic Surgeon

Burns After Laser Hair Removal

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Thank you for your question and photographs. Laser treatments can lead to crusting and formation of scabs around the area treated. A mild bruising may also occur on sensitive skin. These side effects appear within the first few days of treatment and disappear shortly afterwards. You should use a skin healing ointment, such as cortisone cream on the burns to help prevent hyperpigmentation. Please remember it is important to stay out of the sun before and after treatment. If you still have any concerns, I recommend seeing your treating physician. Best of luck!

Hardik Soni, MD (not currently practicing)
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician

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.