Is this pigmentation going to be a permanent mark? (Photo)

I did coolsculpting 2 months ago on my thigh, unfortunately during the treatment the machine was showing an error msg of thermal event. i didnt know what was that mean &no nurse was around, my thigh was under that temperature for hour and when ppl saw the error msg, they did 2nd treatment and same error occured, my thigh was under that cool sculpting temperature for almost 2 hours. And now i have a big dark pigmentation on my thigh. Is it gonna be healed???

Doctor Answers 7


 Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation should not usually occur after CoolSculpting, and treatment should not have continued if there were error messages. However, hyperpigmentation can be treated in a variety of ways, including topical solutions, peels, or lasers. I recommend visiting a board-certified dermatologist for a consultation and treatment plan. 

San Diego Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after Coolsculpting.

Your skin is alive and the deeper tissues are healing. Unfortunately, regardless of the cause (and this can happen even without "error messages") in order to kill fat cells via freezing, the skin must also be sub-lethally damaged. That's how Coolsculpting "works"--killing fat cells while preserving skin.

So, with the skin having been chilled/frozen, there can be inflammation that leads to hyperpigmentation. This will gradually resolve over time, but there are prescription medications that your surgeon or Dermatologist can prescribe to aid in the process. Plus, you must stay out of any ultraviolet exposure as long as there is visible hyperpigmentation in order to avoid re-stimulating the pigment cells that are causing this discoloration.

Resolution can take several months. Talk to your surgeon for more advice. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews


I would suggest following up with your treatment provider for treatment of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  They should be able to guide you in the right direction.  It will eventually fade over time but specific products can speed this process along!

Thank you for your question!

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews


The mark is just some hyperpigmentation that will fade over time.  You can ask your provider about hydroquinone or sun avoidance to help it fade faster.

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews


I appreciate your question.
When a thermal event code happens, it should've been repositioned and tried again.
If the same message appears, it should've been discontinued 
The post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) need to be treated 
The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

best of luck!

Dr Schwartz

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Hyperpigmentation Lines On Legs

I suggest seeing a cosmetic dermatologist, post inflammatory hyperpigmenation can last a while.  It needs peels and skin care at this point.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Pigmentation From Coolsculpting

I would definitely return to your treating physician for examination for this area and contact the company to understand what that error meant.  Please keep us posted.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 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.