I had my 5th laser hair treatment yesterday evening. Large dark brown spots after treatment. Is this permanent? (photos)

I have got dark brown spots on my legs. Some of them have blisters. It happened after an hour after treatment. This morning it hasn't gotten any better. I am very worried. Is this permanent? Nothing like this happened previously although they were done at a different place and with a different laser machine. I went to a new place for my fifth treatment and really regret it now. They are darker than they appear in the photos. These photos are from last evening approx 2-3 hours after treatment.

Doctor Answers 2

Burns after Laser hair removal

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You can easily get burned if you are tan or have any self tanners on. Any areas that are opened should have an antibiotic ointment and covered with a bandaid. You want to keep your legs out of the sun as well. These burns will eventually heal and go away on its own but applying Hydroquinone 4% will help lighten the spots quicker.

Risk of laser hair removal

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Looks like you may have superficial burns from the laser hair removal.  This is a potential complication and can occur due to using a more aggressive laser on ethnic skin or tanned skin such as the alexandrite . It can also occur if the settings are too high. It is also important to note that this can also occur even if the settings are reasonable.  

Rest assured that most often, this is temporary. But there are some things you will need to do to take care of it.  First apply a bland ointment such as Aquaphor and don't pick or peel the skin.  Second , make sure you use sunscreen but the best option is to avoid sun exposure until the spots are gone.

Once the skin does peel, the spots can appear darker or lighter than the surrounding skin.  This can take several months to up to a year to resolve. I would contact your provider so they are aware and can help you recover.

All the best

Dr Hardik Soni

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

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