Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Skin Darkening?

Brian Lett
By Brian Lett
7 Min Read

Can Laser Hair Removal Cause Skin Darkening

Laser hair removal is a quick and safe procedure when performed by an experienced, licensed medical aesthetician. Sessions typically last a few minutes to an hour.

Before entering a session, avoid sun exposure and refrain from waxing or plucking unwanted hairs. Furthermore, try to stay clear of using any skincare products containing retinoids, glycolic or salicylic acids.

Darker skin tones are more prone to discoloration and hyperpigmentation

Up until recently, laser hair removal could be risky for those with darker skin tones as many devices couldn’t differentiate between the pigment in dark skin and dark hair, and could create spots, blisters or scarring. But thanks to advances in technology it is now possible to rid oneself of unwanted fuzz without risking permanent scarring–provided they choose an experienced clinic and are careful when selecting treatment plans.

Before beginning laser treatments, it’s essential to prepare the area by minimizing sun exposure and exfoliating regularly. A few days prior to your session, be sure to discontinue use of blood-thinning products or medications, such as aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication, which will allow your skin to absorb energy more effectively from the laser and decrease side effects.

Redness and swelling are typically the main side effects of laser hair removal, typically subsiding within several days. If it persists or discoloration persists for longer than expected, contact your clinic immediately and schedule an assessment with one of their medical specialists; they may be able to adjust settings or use another laser type that better addresses your concerns.

Post-laser hyperpigmentation, also known as post-laser pigmentation, occurs when laser treatments cause your skin to produce more melanin than it normally would, according to Yolanda Lenzy of Lenzy Dermatology & Hair Loss Center in Massachusetts. Additionally, inflammation or irritation such as an acne outbreak, folliculitis or rash from other conditions like eczema or psoriasis may contribute to this side effect.

Heat from lasers can also elicit an inflammatory reaction, often resulting in redness and an accumulation of dead skin cells that is difficult to clear away. Sometimes this may even result in purpura, red and purple marks on your skin that resemble tiny blood vessels; typically these fade with time; otherwise you could try applying cooling creams directly to affected areas or applying triple antibiotic ointment prescribed by your dermatologist.

Some individuals with darker skin tones may experience hyperpigmentation after several laser sessions or repeated treatments over time, particularly if their hair follicles lie deeper within the skin (a condition known as melasma). If you choose a medically-run clinic with experienced technicians and cutting-edge laser technology, however, this should not occur.

Gmyrek advises patients looking to prevent hyperpigmentation after laser hair removal to develop a comprehensive skincare routine that includes both physical and chemical exfoliation, staying hydrated, applying high SPF sunscreen on any treated areas and avoiding items which could trigger allergic reactions like medication or food. If discoloration appears after laser hair removal treatment, contact the clinic–especially if they offer medical-led salon appointments–for advice.

Dark hair is more susceptible to discoloration and hyperpigmentation

Laser hair removal treatments use light waves that penetrate both your skin and hair pigment, burning away its follicle and eventually stopping growth. In the past, some laser devices were unable to differentiate between dark follicles and darker skin tones during treatments, leading to discoloration, blisters or scarring afterward; but thanks to advances in laser technology this has changed. Now removing unwanted fuzz is much simpler for people of all skin tones!

Before beginning any laser treatment, make sure your technician has experience treating people with your complexion before. If they have, ask for before and after pictures so you can judge the quality of their work and if it fits with your needs. It would also be beneficial if you could speak to previous clients regarding their experiences; also inquire as to the type of device being used – Nd:YAG laser devices provide safe treatments suitable for dark skin complexions as they use light that bypasses melanin in skin tone for effective hair removal treatments.

Laser hair removal often results in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). This condition occurs when your body’s natural healing processes release too much pigment into your skin and cause brown spots or patchiness to form after laser treatment, leaving brown spots or patches of discoloration visible on your complexion. Luckily, it can easily be treated using professional dermatology services or cosmetic specialists; depending on its severity they might prescribe skin lightening creams or facial peels to speed up recovery time.

Your risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) can be mitigated by avoiding sun exposure before and after laser hair removal sessions, using broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher, and forgoing tanning beds altogether. In between laser sessions, minimize PIH by gently exfoliating with physical exfoliants or chemical exfoliants containing AHAs such as glycolic acid.

Keep this in mind when seeking laser hair removal on dark complexions: results may take some time to appear due to targeting pigment in both your skin and hair follicles; therefore, results won’t show immediately. Furthermore, don’t shave or wax the treatment area until after results have appeared!

As soon as laser hair removal sessions end, it’s crucial not to apply makeup, deodorant or lotion immediately afterwards, as this could clog your pores and lead to acne breakouts. Furthermore, taking antibiotics or having genital herpes makes laser treatments even more likely to exacerbate their conditions – instead wait at least several weeks before booking another session and use topical anesthetics during this period for additional comfort if treating larger areas like legs or back.

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