In this article we answer the question “Why did my skin get darker after laser?”. Click here for more frequently asked questions.
What is post-laser hyperpigmentation?
Post-laser hyperpigmentation is a condition characterized by the darkening of the skin after a laser treatment. This happens when the melanin-producing cells in the skin are triggered to produce more pigment, which results in dark patches on the treated area. It is more common in people with darker skin tones and those who expose their skin to the sun after the treatment. To prevent post-laser hyperpigmentation, it is essential to avoid sun exposure, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and follow the after-care instructions provided by your laser treatment specialist. If you experience any skin discoloration after a laser treatment, consult your dermatologist immediately.
Is skin discoloration after laser treatment normal?
Skin discoloration after laser treatment is a common occurrence, but it usually resolves within a few weeks. The discoloration is caused by post-laser hyperpigmentation, which is a darkening of the skin due to increased melanin production. However, proper skin care can help soothe the skin and minimize its effects. It is important to avoid tanning before and after the treatment, and to use sunscreen diligently. Additionally, topical creams containing hydroquinone and kojic acid can also help improve discoloration. In some rare cases, skin discoloration may be a sign of infection or scarring, in which case it is important to consult a dermatologist.
Why does laser hair removal cause hyperpigmentation?
Laser hair removal causes hyperpigmentation because of the heat generated by the laser which stimulates melanin production. The melanin then moves to the skin surface and oxidizes, causing the skin to become darker. This is more common in individuals with darker skin tones, as they have more melanin in their skin. Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by inadequate cooling during the laser treatment or exposure of treated skin to the sun. Protective measures such as avoiding sun exposure and using proper cooling techniques can minimize the risk of hyperpigmentation after laser hair removal.
Can laser hair removal cause skin damage?
Laser hair removal can potentially cause skin damage, particularly in the form of hyperpigmentation or skin darkening, which can occur as a result of melanin production. This is most commonly seen in darker skin types, as they naturally produce more melanin. However, if proper precautions are taken, such as avoiding sun exposure and ensuring the laser settings are appropriate for the skin type, the risk of skin damage can be minimized. In addition, post-treatment care, such as the application of aloe vera or hydrocortisone cream, can help alleviate any potential side effects. It is important to consult with a trained and experienced technician before undergoing any laser hair removal treatment to minimize the risk of skin damage.
How to prevent post-laser hyperpigmentation?
Post-laser hyperpigmentation is a common side effect of laser hair removal treatments. To prevent it, first, avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks before and after the treatment. Also, use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 daily. Another tip is to avoid using any harsh scrubs, retinoids or glycolic acid for at least five days after the treatment. Additionally, keep the treatment area clean and avoid picking or scratching the skin. Apply a mild moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated, and if you notice any discoloration, consult your dermatologist for further treatment.
How long does skin discoloration after laser treatment last?
Skin discoloration after laser treatment is a common concern among patients. The duration of skin discoloration depends on multiple factors, including skin type, the type of laser used, and the intensity of the treatment. In most cases, skin discoloration will fade within a few days to a few weeks after laser treatment. However, some patients may experience post-laser hyperpigmentation, which can last for several months. It is essential to use sunscreen and avoid sun exposure after laser treatment to prevent skin discoloration. Consult your dermatologist for personalized recommendations based on your specific needs.
What are the best post-laser hyperpigmentation products?
Post-laser hyperpigmentation can be treated with several effective products. Vitamin C serum helps fade dark spots and even skin tone. Retinol aids in cell turnover and collagen production, promoting skin rejuvenation. Kojic acid, derived from mushrooms, lightens pigmented areas and fades scars. Hydroquinone is a potent skin lightener that targets hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen with at least SPF 30 prevents further darkening and protects the skin from sun damage. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) exfoliate the skin’s top layer and improve discoloration. Regular use of these products can help reduce post-laser hyperpigmentation effectively.