Does it look like my skin might improve after laser skin resurfacing? (Photo)

My skin became darker on the cheeks. I spoke with a woman about getting a chemical peel, and she mentioned I would need to wait a month to heal. I thought it would only be 7 days for healing. I had the procedure done on the 9th of February

Doctor Answers 9

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Thank you for your question. The discoloration you are experiencing will fade with time. Please consult with the board certified facial plastic surgeon who performed your procedure to determine the best post-op recovery techniques tailored to the dark spot. 
Best wishes,

Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Your Skin Discoloration Will Fade in Time

Thank you for posting a photo. I would recommend against getting a chemical peel for a little while. You have what is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, meaning that your skin has darkened following your laser resurfacing treatment. You appear to have a darker skin type, which is more prone to this kind of reaction. Normal healing time is 7 days, as you mentioned, but your time will likely be longer because of this reaction. This may be a bit frustrating, but rest assured that it will fade. Be sure to wear sunscreen every day while your skin recovers, and hold off on the chemical peel until your skin tone has returned to normal. Best of luck.

Otto Weiglein, FRCSC
Burlington Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Pigmentation and laser resurfacing

It appears you already have had some sort of treatment to your cheeks and it is demonstrating your tendency to hyperpigment.  Be careful with full laser resurfacing as this is notorious for creating this post procedure dilemma. This will slowly fade back to normal over time, and is best treated with skin bleaching products and full sunblocks.  I would not recommend a peel as any inflammation from a peel will just add to more pigmentation.  In time you might consider microneedling with HQ gels applied in the final pass of needling, or a proprietary peel that has glutathione or hydroquinone as part of the peel.    

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Erbium laser skin resurfacing

Thank you for asking a question and sharing your photo. Erbium laser skin resurfacing would probably be excellent for treating your irregular pigmentation and uneven skin tone. The benefit of the erbium laser is the short downtime and low risk. See a specialist and use of this laser. 
Good luck,

James R. Gordon, MD, FACS, FAAO
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Wait but could use q switched yag.

This will gradually clam down but an option for hyperpigmentation is q switched yag laser which can safely on any coor of skin reduce hyperpigmentation.

Morris Westfried, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Hyperpigmentation On Face -- Clear + Brilliant/Viva/Fraxel, Microneedling/PRP, Skin lightening, Aerolase

This is post inflammatory hyperpigmenation.  I use a combination approach. It is best to see a physician with laser experience and see you for a formal consultation to determine what is best. You will need skin care and microsecond yag lasers to start.  Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Darker after Laser Resurfacing

Hi Melly. Don't proceed with a chemical peel at this point.  With medium skin types, you can hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin after fractional lasers and it needs time to heal.  A hydroquinone based bleaching product can speed up the resolution of the dark area and you should ask the practice that did the resurfacing if they have such a product.  Good luck.

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

Post laser hyperpigmentation

This is called PIH - post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  It can occur after laser resurfacing in anyone who has darker skin tones.  Usually starts about 2 weeks after the laser, and can last for several weeks.  We put people on a bleaching product to help this resolve more quickly.  Use a lot of sunblock each day.  It will improve. 

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Laser resurfacing

Be careful!   You are recovering from a laser resurfacing procedure.Your skin has healed but you have discoloration.  You are a darker skin type and prone to hyperpigmentation (darkening) after this type of procedure.  You need to be on a good skin care regimen. You need to be staying out of the sun and wearing and reapplying sunscreen. Please talk to your treatment professional about the best regimen to be on to get faster improvement. A peel would not be an option right now or in a month.

George Orloff, MD, FACS
Burbank Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 11 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.