Does Hyperpigmentation From Laser Hair Removal Go Away?

Brian Lett
By Brian Lett
10 Min Read

does hyperpigmentation from laser hair removal go away

If you’re tired of shaving, waxing, and tweezing to remove unwanted hair, laser treatment may be the perfect solution. Unfortunately, laser hair removal may lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in Fitzpatrick skin types III or higher; but this won’t affect most users.

Hyperpigmentation from laser hair removal will naturally fade over time. In the meantime, try to minimize it with exfoliant products or skin lighteners such as skin lighteners.

Hyperpigmentation is temporary

Hyperpigmentation occurs when any part of your skin appears darker than it should. People with medium to dark skin often develop these spots or patches because their bodies produce too much melanin (the pigment responsible for creating your natural hue). Many factors can cause hyperpigmentation including pimples, scarring, cuts, abrasions, sunburn, laser treatment and certain medications causing overproduction of melanin pigment in their bodies.

Dark spots can sometimes resolve on their own or after just a few treatments; in other cases, however, you may require intensive or long-term dermatological intervention to address their cause and prevent future occurrence. Unlocking its source will allow you to treat all areas affected and hopefully keep further patches at bay from reappearing in future.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), is one of the more prevalent types of dark spots. This occurs when an injury to your skin heals leaving behind a flat area of discoloration; this could happen from acne, eczema and various forms of dermatoses; as well as cosmetic procedures like chemical peels or microdermabrasion or medication such as antimalarial drugs.

Melasma is another form of dark spots that affect women, typically as the result of fluctuating hormone levels during pregnancy, fluctuation or some prescription or non-prescription drugs like oral contraceptives or Accutane.

Avoiding sun exposure is key to combatting hyperpigmentation. Be sure to apply and reapply sunscreen regularly when venturing outdoors, or consider trying an antioxidant serum or skin brightener for dark spot reduction and more even skin tones.

If you have severe PIH or dark spots, more intensive treatments may be necessary, including skin lightening products and facial peels that target epidermis and dermal layers where melanin accumulates. A medical spa that specializes in skin care for dark complexions might suggest a series of peels tailored specifically for you.


If you are suffering from post-laser hyperpigmentation, there are various options available to reduce or erase it. Most treatments are safe and effective depending on the cause of your discoloration. Before beginning any treatment plan for post-laser hyperpigmentation, speak to your dermatologist who may suggest a topical cream designed specifically to lighten pigmentation; an exfoliant may also help slough away dead skin cells to prevent melanin buildup; physical or chemical options are both safe options that won’t cause an adverse reaction unless it contains active ingredients such as retinol or any active ingredients which could trigger adverse reactions in response to an adverse event such as laser surgery.

If the cause of your discoloration is specific to melasma or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), before seeking to lighten and brighten the skin you must address its source first. Inflammation prompts your body to produce more melanin to protect itself, leading to dark spots appearing on medium or darker skin tones due to pimples, patches of psoriasis, insect bites, cuts or even rubbing; medications, hormone changes and pregnancy can also trigger hyperpigmentation in certain people.

Laser hair removal works by targeting pigment, so it may not be suitable for every form of hyperpigmentation. Lasers which specifically target contrast between hair color and skin tone – such as Q-switched ND:YAG laser for dark hair on fair skin or an Erbium laser for dark hair on tanned skin – tend to provide optimal results while AFT or Fraxel lasers may cause irreparable harm.

Doctors can assess your skin condition by conducting an exam under a Wood lamp and looking at samples taken under it. Blood tests may also be ordered to check vitamin levels, iron levels and thyroid function – and then recommend treatment plans that suit you individually. A dermatologist can then offer their expertise when developing treatment programs tailored specifically for you.

As well as topical treatments and sun avoidance, doctors can provide additional solutions like hydroquinone or bleaching agents to lighten skin tone. They may also perform chemical peel or Cosmelan treatments in their boutique NYC offices to help fade tanning.


Before scheduling any laser treatment, it is vital that you first identify a reliable laser specialist. A reputable medical provider should be willing to share details of their experience and credentials while answering any queries that arise regarding what kind of laser system they utilize and anticipated results for the procedure.

Before and after laser hair removal sessions, it is also vitally important to protect your skin from sun exposure. Use a broad spectrum SPF sunscreen with high SPF levels to shield yourself from prolonged periods in direct sunlight; wear light-colored clothes and wide-brimmed hats when venturing outside if necessary to minimize face exposure to harmful rays. In addition, any products containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid or retinol should also be avoided as these substances increase sensitivity of your skin leading to hyperpigmentation issues and hyperpigmentation issues.

Reducing the risk of PIH involves not picking at scabs or marks on your skin, which can irritate and increase discoloration. Furthermore, exfoliation is beneficial; try physically scrubbing with physical scrubbers like glycolic acid, or chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid; some individuals have also found success using creams with lightening ingredients like azelaic acid and kojic acid for best results.

If you experience Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation after laser hair removal, it will eventually go away on its own. But to expedite the process faster, follow these tips and consult a board-certified dermatologist.

If you are suffering from post-laser hair removal hyperpigmentation (PIH), it’s advisable to visit a cosmetic surgeon experienced in treating discoloration and melasma. Dr. Green of NYC is an internationally acclaimed cosmetic dermatologist who can recommend treatments tailored specifically for you based on your skin concerns and individual needs. Reach out to her boutique office in Manhattan in order to explore how Dr. Green can assist with treating PIH.


After laser hair removal, sun exposure must be limited in order to avoid further hyperpigmentation. A broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher should also be worn when outdoors as this will help stop melanocytes (the cells responsible for producing melanin; dark color on skin cells) being stimulated into producing additional pigmentation. As an additional step toward pigment correction and anti-aging measures, anti-ageing and pigment correcting medications such as kojic acid, phytic acid arbutin or licorice could also be taken in addition.

Exfoliants can help reduce dark spots and discolorations caused by laser treatment, whether physically scrubbing the affected area with an exfoliator or chemically peeling it with glycolic peels. Physical exfoliators should only be used occasionally to avoid irritation or inflammation while razoring is essential in between laser sessions to remove any hair that might hinder results from laser treatments; waxing, plucking, or electrolyzing the area being treated would only make matters worse.

Use of topical retinoid may also contribute to post-incision hyperpigmentation, and should be used with caution as this can interfere with how laser heat energy penetrates skin. Therefore, it’s advisable to wait several days after any laser treatments have taken place before starting topical retinols on treated areas.

If you have experienced hyperpigmentation from laser hair removal, it is advisable to visit a board-certified dermatologist with experience with laser treatments in order to find an appropriate course of treatment and avoid potential side effects. They will be able to advise how best to approach their condition as well as offer any necessary advice about potential risk mitigation methods.

Laser treatment can be an excellent way to remove unwanted hair and improve the tone and texture of your skin, providing safe yet non-invasive results on all skin types and tones. Furthermore, there are other non-invasive cosmetic treatments which may be more suitable for hyperpigmentation reduction as well as any discolorations caused by laser treatment.

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