What is the best laser to treat sun damage discoloration on chest? (photos)

I have had BBL (Broad band laser) treatments at least 2 or 3 times which did not seem to touch the redness and sun damage on my chest. I have also had IPL which didn't do anything. I have very thin skin and always cover it up in the sun now. It will look as red as this in the dead of winter. It blanches when I press on it—fyi, so it clearly seems to be capillaries close to surface. What about Excel V laser by Cutera? Is there any hope with lasers? Is bleaching cream too toxic or even effective?

Doctor Answers 3

Sun Damage/BBL Laser/IPL/Excel V/What's Best?--Fraxel lasers, IPL, microneedling/prp, skin care, sun protection

It can take multiple treatments to deal with sun damage. I recommend a combination treatment of Fraxel lasers, IPL, microneedling/prp, rather than a bleaching cream.  It is best to make a formal consultation with a cosmetic dermatologist who can come up with a long term solution. Best, Dr. Emer.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Discoloration on the Chest

Technically what you have is called poikiloderma - it's when you see that combinations of browns and reds and usually happens on the neck of people with sun damage. I have a practice in the mountains of Lake Tahoe so without treatment, most all of my patients start out with it.

Although it hasn't been your perfect fix to date, I do find the backbone of treatment is a series of 4-6 sessions of BBL performed by an experienced user with the settings that only experienced users are comfortable with. For almost 3 years now, I have been combining BBL with the Halo laser in the same setting. This laser, if used appropriately, is very safe of the face and you get exceptional results in an average of 3 settings combining BBL and Halo in the same treatment.

The very best to you.

Rebecca Gelber, MD
Incline Village Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews


Thanks for the great questions and the photos. When down properly, BBL should be able to remove the pigment and redness in your skin. Often times it takes 3-6 treatments with BBL until the skin has lightened significantly. The problem with using lasers on the neck and chest is that the skin there is thin and does not have the same about of blood vessels in it as the face. This means that the neck and chest is much more likely to have burns, hypopigmentatio, and scaring after being treated with lasers. If you are interested in coming into my office for a free consultation I would love to meet you in person and see what I can do to help get rid of this sun damage. 

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.