July 2011
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Laser Burns: What to do when you have been burned by an aesthetic laser or IPL.


I have been getting a lot of messages from people all over the world, that have received burns from an aesthetic laser or IPL (photofacial) treatments. The question is almost always “What should I do to treat laser burns?” It’s important to understand that, nobody can diagnose or treat you over the internet. There is not anything on line that can replace direct medical attention. At best, this information may give you some talking points for you and your provider and help to explain possible reasons a burn may have occurred.

You should always follow up with your provider. All aesthetic treatments come with inherent risks, this includes burns. Your provider should be able to provide you with care, if you have followed with your provider and complied with treatment recommendations, and are not seeing correction in a realistic time frame, then see a qualified provider for a second opinion.
*The information here and any where on the internet does not replace replace personal treatment by a trained professional.

How to tell if you have been burned?

It’s Hot
It is normal for skin to feel hot during laser and IPL treatments, but you should expect the skin to cool down quickly. Your laser technician can give you an idea how long you should expect the skin to feel hot. For example if you are having a laser hair removal treatment or a photofacial, your skin should cool down almost immediately. It typically feels like a hot rubber-band snap, without any lingering pain or heat. If it feels extremely hot and is not cooling down you should alert your technician as they are doing the treatment. This will allow the technician to adjust the treatment settings. The technician can also take immediate action to cool the skin and possibly prevent a burn, or reduce the severity. Usually, you will know almost immediately if you have a burn. In some cases however, the skin may feel hotter shortly after treatment. As soon as you suspect a burn, you should call and speak to the laser technician.

If you suspect that you have been burned, be sure to discuss it with your Laser Technician before you leave the office. Make sure you understand what to expect and how to treat your skin at home. Schedule an appointment for a post treatment follow-up, and never hesitate to call the office if you have questions or concerns. It is important to comply with post treatment instructions. Remember…. your friends, the girl at the cosmetic counter and strangers from online forums are not a replacement for a professional trained in your specific treatment.

If you are not satisfied or confidant with the post -treatment care you are receiving from the laser technician, ask to speak to the medical directer. Hopefully, there is a doctor is the office. If you have gone to a med-spa chain, there may be a medical directer for several locations. You should first make every attempt to work with the staff at the clinic where the laser treatment was provided. If you have followed up with your provider and complied with treatment recommendations and are still not satisfied with the level of care, then seek a second opinion. You want to get professional treatment as soon as possible. Information provided here or anywhere on the internet can not replace personal treatment by a skin professional.

I have a burn, now what?

The recommended treatment for burns, will depend on the degree of the burn. If you suspect that you have been burned severely and find the pain intolerable or if the burn covers a large portion of the body, you may want to go to the emergency room. In most cases, it is not necessary to make a trip to the emergency room, however in rare cases you may need immediate medical attention. Be sure to let the laser technician know as soon as possible. They should be aware so they can review the treatment settings used and asses if there is an issue with the equipment. They should have you return to the clinic as soon as posable, to assess the burned area, and give you post treatment instructions. You may also be scheduled to see the medical director (a doctor) or a nurse if necessary. It is the patients responsibility to communicate with the provider, return to the clinic for post treatment visits, and follow post treatment instructions.

What Your Provider Might Suggest:
Actual treatment will depend on the type of burn.
– Cool the skin as quickly as possible (within the first few hours). This is critical!
– While driving home after the treatment, aim the air conditioner toward the treated area if possible.
– Soak a washcloth or gauze in a bowl of ice water, ring out the excess water and apply the to the treated area. Switch out the cold cloths every couple minuets. When you feel gauze or cloth become warm, it is the time to switch it out.
– Do not apply ice directly to the skin, and do not leave cold packs on the skin for an extended period of time. On for ten minuets, off for ten minuets.
– Apply occlusive ointments such as aquaphor or vasoline if instructed, as it can trap in the heat. After the skin has had time to cool, and the skin begins to heal you may then be instructed to use an ointment to protect the skin. If the skin has been ablated or is “raw” you may be instructed to use an occlusive ointment immediately and apply cold packs over occlusive sheet or ointment.
– Do not open or pop blisters. Opening the blisters will make the area more vulnerable to infection
– You may be instructed to apply a topical steroid such as hydrocortisone cream
– You may be instructed to apply antibiotic cream or ointment to the burn.
– Watch the skin for signs of infection

After the burns have healed:
Once the burns have healed, the concern becomes how to treat and prevent scars. The most important thing you can do is protect the area from further injury, this includes avoiding sun exposure. Be sure to use a Physical SPF 35 or higher with Zinc Oxide. You may be instructed to use a4% Hydroquinone cream and Tretinoin (Retin-A) to reduce risk of or even treat hyper pigmentation ( dark skin discoloration). Topical Serums that contain Vitamin – C , and products with growth factors can aid in collagen production, improve skin healing and reduce inflammation. If the burn marks are old and have not responded to topical skin care, you may need something like a medium depth chemical peel, to treat the scars.

Medical skin care systems such as Obagi Nu-derm or ZO Medical incorporate the use of prescription strength Hydroquinone and Tretinoin, which even skin discolorations. These are prescription strength skin care lines, available at many dermatology and plastic surgery offices. The treatment protocol is patient specific and a skin care professional will determine the best way for you to use these products. If you have had a recent burn it may be suggested that you avoid products that contain AHA’s or any other exfoliants, until the skins epidermis has been restored. The strength of Tretinoin and frequency is something that needs to be determined after a personal consultation. Non-facial areas such as the neck, chest, hands and arms are treated differently than facial areas, this is another reason you need to be seen for a follow-up. Skin type and ethnicity are also considerations.

Skin Medica’s TNS Recovery Complex has a potent growth factor blend that strengthens the skin’s natural ability to regenerate itself. This product is not a drug and thus there is no medical claim. Although this product is not specifically indicated in treating burns, in my personal experience it seems to aid in healing. I was in a car accident, where the air bag left me with several abrasions and burns. The areas that I treated with TNS seemed to heal much quicker. I use this product any time I am trying to improve skin healing, and it never disappoints.

The top ingredient in TNS Recovery Complex is Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media (TNS®) → A physiologically balanced, naturally secreted and stabilized combination of multiple human growth factors, cytokines and natural proteins responsible for the production of collagen and other extracellular matrix proteins.

Obagi-C Rx contains a patented combination of 4% hydroquinone and 10% Vitamin C. It address discolorations and has powerful antioxidant therapy. The vitamin-C will also help reduce inflammation.

Is Clinical Pro Heal is a vitamin serum with a 15% Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin A. It also has 0.5% kojic acid that evens skin pigmentation. It has soothing and healing properties and reduces inflammation. Pro Heal is recommended for treating sunburns, rosacea and insect bites.

Is Clinical Hydro-Cool Serum contains Hyaluronic Acid ,Vitamin B5, Kojic Acid and Menthol. It is a hydrating serum that calms cools and soothes irritated skin. You can use this product alone or add it to another product.

Why you may have got burned

There are several variables that can lead to laser and IPL burns. One of the most common reasons, is that the skin is tan at the time of treatment. It’s important to understand that IPL and all lasers are absorbed by a specific chromophor. In many cases the targeted chromophor is color. We want the energy to be absorbed by the color in hemoglobin to target blood vessels and the color in melanin when targeting unwanted hair or skin discolorations such as freckles. When your skin is tan at the time of treatment, the energy is not just absorbed by the intended target, it is also absorbed by the surrounding tissue as well. Tan or dark skin will absorb more energy (heat), resulting in a burn. This is also a concern for skin of color. People with darker skin tones need to be careful to go to a skin professional that understands how to treat their skin type. This is not to say that if you have dark skin you are not a candidate for laser, however there are some lasers that are more appropriate for dark skin. It may also be recommended to precondition skin in advance.

Machine Malfunction
I don’t find machine malfunction to be the most common reason for laser burns, if the device is a real FDA approved device, however it does happen. Beware, there are many counterfeit and knock-off devices on the market and these have been linked to burns and complications.These counterfeit devices are not FDA approved and likely do not have the same safety mechanisms as the authentic devices. Often these fakes look similar to other popular device with similar logos and font that can be confusing. I recommend you look for the name of the laser on the device. Most lasers have the manufacture name in an area that is clearly visible. You should be able to look up a manufacture website and find the name of that device and often a list of approved providers. In my opinion some of the most severe burns are a result of a problem with the equipment. If the complication is unusual or thought to be an issue with the device, It should be reported to the device manufacture.

Technician Error
In some cases the problem is in the technique. Technician error is a growing cause of laser burns, simply because the industry is growing. There are a large volume of new laser technicians entering the industry. Some of these new technicians will be knowledgable and talented, unfortunately a some will not. A “good” laser technician needs to have a good understanding of laser technology and skin. This comes with experience and continued education. Not all lasers work exactly the same, so a laser technician needs training for each laser they work with. The more experience a technician has with lasers in general, as well as a specific laser will reduce the possibility that their clients will be burned. In addition to understanding the technology being used, the technician should understand how skin will react and determine if someone is a good candidate for treatment. They should also determine if someone needs to precondition their skin before treatment and what is a good post treatment protocol. Keep in mind that even the best laser technician can encounter an unexpected complication, and burns are an inherit risk of laser and IPL treatments.

I can not stress enough the importance of going to a qualified, experienced laser technician with a good reputation.

You Play A Role
I don’t think anyone deserves to have a burn or complication and I am sincerely sorry when it happens. However, everyone should except the role they play in their treatment. For example, you should not be tan when you have a laser treatment. It is the patients responsibility to inform the laser technician if they have had ANY sun exposure or even spray tan to the treated area. Patients are also expected to inform the laser technician of any medication or skin care products they are using. You also need to communicate with the laser technician during and after the treatment, and let them know what you are feeling. Be sure to follow all pre and post treatment instructions, such as avoiding heat and sun exposure. If you don’t follow the pre and post treatment instructions, you run the risk of a complication. You play an active part in your own treatment, and that begins with choosing a qualified and experienced laser technician. If you chose to go to a specific med-spa based on price or location, you should understand the risk involved. It is also your responsibility to follow-up with your provider if you have a complication, comply with treatment recommendation and return to the clinic for all recommended follow-up visits. Providers can not control your compliance.

Burns and other complications are an inherit risk of aesthetic and laser treatments, you should understand and except all risks before you consent to treatment. You should also understand that additional products or treatment may be needed at an additional cost to you. It is important that you communicate with your laser technician and return to the clinic for follow-up visits.

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4:18 pm - Posted by Kristy

111 Responses to “Laser Burns: What to do when you have been burned by an aesthetic laser or IPL.”

  1. Abrar says:

    good day>
    I was burned 3monthes ago. I treated the burn well but it left a mark.
    The burned area is darker than the surrounding. what can I do to make it disappear?

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry you were burned. The dark marks left after a burn are called Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). You should find a reputable skin clinic that offers the Obagi Nu-derm system. I can’t give more specific recommendations with out seeing you. There are also chemical peels that can speed up the correction process, but I usually suggest a peel in combination with something like Obagi Nu-derm. I like the perfect peel for (PIH)

    • Kristy says:

      How did you treat the area? What did your treating laser tech suggest?

  2. Tracy says:

    I had a photofacial ipl yesterday. My face and neck look exactly like the picture on top that is posted. What do you recommend. It’s not burning any more. I used the blender for a few hours today. And then I got scared and washed it off until I ask someone. But I need these places gone. I can’t keep hiding in the house. They are all over my neck and face just like the picture above buy many more In the shape of a rectangle. I look like a monster. This brown needs to be removed as soon as possible. What is the fastest products to use to fade or loose the brown rectangles all over face and neck?

    • Kristy says:

      Tracy, I hope you retuned to see your laser technician. Try to not panic, these types of marks are almost always corrected if treated. I usually like to use the TNS Recovery Complex, also a topical Vitamin-C serum. If the skin is not oozing or raw, then you may be able to start hydroquinone & tretinoin. It is important that you avoid sun exposure and heat. With that said I can not give you any real advice with out seeing you in person, so please follow up with your laser technician for proper care.

  3. Bec says:

    I have recently had a treatment on my Brazilian area and have realised (a day later) that I know have dark spotting around my inner thighs and above the pubic region.
    Can you recommended some where in Sydney as to get the proper treatment (products above)

    • Kristy says:

      I do not know anyplace in Sydney, sorry. You will most likely need to go to a dermatology office. Have you tried any of the thing recomended in this post?

  4. Bec says:

    I have recently had a treatment on my Brazilian area and have realised. (the day after) burn marks ony inner thigh and above the Pubic region.
    Can you recommend what product would best heal this. They have turned into darkish spots and I am hoping I can remove at least most of the markings.
    I have been doing this for almost a year now and this is the first time it has happened.
    Please help

  5. Heena says:

    Your website is very helpful.
    I have been burnt over 3 months ago and when I was burnt all I did was put an ice pack on myself for a few hours non stop, as advised from the technician. I was told in 3 months, I would be better but 3 months on I’m still not even half way recovered, my skin is still a different colour, some colour has come back but seems to have just stopped. I still have dis coloured marks and starting to have red small spots growing on the scars. Please can you give me any advice?
    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Kristy says:

      sorry that you were burned. Have you tried any of the topical treatments we recommend ?

    • Kristy says:

      I would consult with someone that does IPL or vascular laser treatment, they would need to asses you in person, but you may benefit from an IPL treatment. If your spots are dark, that is an easy fix, if they are white that is harder. You should ask your practitioner about blending with a topical tretinoin to even the distribution of melanocytes to the keratinocytes (they will know what that means). What have you done with topical creams so far?

  6. Crystal says:

    I would really appreciate advice. I received a second degree burn on my nose after being treated for nose veins. This has been a truly horrific and emotional time. I had a blister and then a big red oozing wound on my face. It was so red for about three months. My practicioner started giving me ipl treatments on the hyperpigmentation, but it is still dark and red. I have been using a retinol cream and vitamin c serum. Can you make any other suggestions for me. I have also been exfoliating with a facial brush when I cleanse.

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry for your experience, sometimes this can happen when treating veins. I would continue to follow -up with your practitioner. I would recommend you ask them to prescribe you Retin-A (tretinoin) and a 4% hydroquinone cream such as obagi clear. I think the vitamin C- serum is a good choice and an SPF 30 or higher with Zinc oxide 7% or higher. Be patient, it will improve with proper care and time. If you do not see correction after 6 weeks of treatment with creams, you may also want to consider a light-medium depth chemical peel ( Perfect Peel with booster or Standard Blue Peel) You may also need additional IPL treatments for redness, but I would start topical creams first. . Please follow up and let us know how things are progressing.

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry that happened to you. I know from a technician point of view it is easy to cause a burn treating veins, they can blister easy. Honestly, it sounds like your practitioner is doing the appropriate treatments, I would also do IPL and topical vitamin -C. I find that prescription strength Retin-A (tretinoin) is better than retinol. Try to get a lot of vitamin -C and other antioxidants via diet too.

      I would also tell you to use a Physical SPF with Zinc, chemical sunscreens can be irritating, plus the zinc oxide will help block out some of the heat which can cause vessels to dilate. A 4% hydroquinone cream will help correct and prevent hyper pigmentation. I am also a big fan of Skin Medica’s TNS Recovery complex for wound healing, especially burns, its expensive but you can use it to spot treat the area, it is worth it. It may sound counter productive, but the products can also cause redness (temporary), inflammation is an important part of the skins wound healing process.

      Please, let us know how things progress.

      • Tracy says:


        I was just wondering what the final outcome of this awful experience was, Crystal. I’m so sorry for what you had to go through. I think my husband is in the same condition, it just happened tonight after thread vein procedure on his nose. It looks as though he has 2nd degree burns and we are terrified as to what he will have to face tomorrow and coming weeks/months. Do you have any advice from your experience that may help us?

        Kristy thank you for this informative article. Can you advise us also? At what point should he commence using the products you suggest. When is it safe to do so? What can we expect in terms of his healing. The doctor who carried out the procedure advised us to use a hot compress which sounds outrageous considering it is burning and still causing him severe pain. I’ve never heard of using heat on burns.

        Any direction you can give us would be much appreciated, we are both devastated right now.

        Thank you,


        • Kristy says:

          first….I have to disclose that I can not give specific advise only information. I actually have not heard of hot compress after treatment, I would ask the doctor what the hot compress is intended to do. He may have a reason that I do not understand and I don’t understand why he recommended heat. We do not do thread vein procedures in our clinic. If he has discoloration after the area is healed then he may want to consult a skin care professional in the your area for that, typically 6 weeks out is sufficient, maybe sooner.

  7. bonny says:

    I had took laser treatment for reducing pigment in both my cheek but it become darker than before.Its been 4weeks since i’ve done it and once only

    • Kristy says:

      hyperpigmentation can be a risk of any skin treatment that causes inflammation, laser treatments are more likely to do this over chemical peels and topical applications, especially if you are prone to pigment (as it sounds like you are). It does not necessarily mean that your treatment was done poorly, however laser is not my first choice for treating hyper pigmentation. I generally recommend treating topicaly with retina-A, hydroquinone first, then if needed chemical peels. The exceptions would be freckls and sun spots respond well to IPL (photo facial) and more resistant “age spots” may need to be treated with Photodynamic therapy (PDT) or laser resurfacing. At any rate with all options come with risk and daily use of topical products or needed to reduce risk. The good news is that the pigment can be corrected and the laser treatment increased collagen, so something good did come from it. I would suggest you ask your provider to put you on something like Obagi Nu-durm or ZO with tretinoin to correct the pigment on your cheek. Good luck! let us know how it goes.

  8. moh says:

    I have been burnt over 3 weeks ago against genital warts (as the doctot said) he told it will never leave scars on penalbut now it left hell scars, there is any treatment. i have read in internet about some creams like contractubex or bebanthen, is that useful ?

  9. Jee says:

    In my case I have some freckle on my face which not a cute one so I decide to do laser treatment, but I can’t remember laser’s name. This laser goes deep into the skin( face ) and it will heal within 7 day.
    Because freckle on my face is quite deep I took it four time ( every two weeks) and after that, the area on my face that I have laser treatment become dark inside the skin, I ask the doctor and he said don’t worry it will be better and I continue to go to talk with him every two weeks and he always say the same thing
    I just only have to wait, time past about 6 months my face seen to be better but it’s still worse than before I have this treatment. It’s like bad dream to me, and now I still concern that my face will be good as it used to be or not
    I really want to know that the darkness which occure from laser will disappear itself or not, or what I can do to treat my face or any treatment can help me

    :( Since I take freckle laser treatment I don’t want to go any where or meet people because I’m too shy to face people

    Could you pleas suggest me????
    Thanks so much for your kindly

    • Jee says:

      During I have to wait I do take dual yellow laser treatment, five time already but it’s not help much

      • Kristy says:

        wow… I’m sorry you had that experience. I can not give exact advise without seeing you in person, but here are a few things you may want to discuss with your provider that treated you.

        – I think that IPL or BBL works best for freckles, this is usually called photo facial / fotofacial. There are lasers called “KTP lasers” that work well to spot treat. I also think 2 weeks between treatments may be is soon, I usually do 3-6 weeks, but I do not know exactly what laser treatment they did, your skin type or products that you use.

        – You may have “PIH” – ALL lasers and IPL can cause “PIH” Post Inflammatory Pigmentation, which means the skin darkens up as a reaction to inflammation. – Inflammation is an important and necessary part of wound healing, but it can contribute to this expected side effect.

        – The good news is that if it is “PIH” it can be treated with Hydroquinone and Tretinoin. An SPF 30 or above needs to be used EVERY DAY. Look for one with Zinc Oxide. You need consult and get these products from a Medical Provider, look for a clinic that offers Obagi Nu-DERM or ZO Medical by Zein Obagi.
        good luck, let us know how it goes

  10. lorena says:

    Hello my 16 month old got a first degree burn on his face he got a hold of a hot tea cup thankfully the injury was not bad.He’s face has peeled and is starting to look a lot better better he is left with three pink/white spots on his nose. What can I do to help his skin go back to his previous skin color he’s skin is brown. He’s pediatrician only says to apply aquafor but his skin is not dry anymore it’s ssmooth like a baby Skin

    • Kristy says:

      poor baby…. I am sorry, but I am not qualified to fully answer your question. I would consider consulting a pediatric dermatologist and until then continue to follow your pediatricians instructions. The aquaphor is not to moisturize, it is to occlude the skin, so if your doctor recommends it, your son probably still needs it. I would ask your doctor about spf, if it were one of my kids I would use a pure physical spf. Physical sun protection will have zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and no other active ingredients. I like SC physical fusion spf, that is what we have patients use after laser resurfacing. Another good one is Coppertone Water BABIES Pure & Simple SPF 50. I think the color will eventually return to normal. I am sorry I can not be more help, I hope everything recovers well.

  11. Chris says:


    I am dark skinned, and couple of months had some burns from a IPL/Laser.

    This resulted into blisters and affected skin area turned into darker/black color then rest of my dark brown skincolor. I guess thats called hyperpigmentation?

    The laser technician did not really help/give any advice accept say that it will heal.

    So now i have the question what products would aid in clearing the skin/ restoring hopefully the affected areas ?

    • Kristy says:

      Hi, Chris – Yes, you are correct, that is hyper pigmentation or more specifically post inflammatory hyper pigmentation (PIH). The good news is that it can be corrected. I would recommend that you look for a medical office such as a plastic surgeon, dermatologist or med spa that has Obagi Nu-derm or the ZO line. It needs to be a place that can prescribe medication because there are drugs in the creams you will likely need, such as tretinoin (retina-a) and Hydroquinone. You can not and should not buy these on line, because the internet is littered with counterfeit product. They are medications and need to come from a medical office. I am including links to the sites, go to physician finder, put in your zip code and you will find approved providers. Use the full system as directed for a min of 2 months. I would also recommend you ask if the are experienced with treating dark skin types. For now start with a broad spectrum spf 30 or stinger daily as sun exposure will stimulate your melanocytes and worsen the pigmentation. Please,let us knowhow it goes.

  12. Sandra says:

    I had photofacial done and at least a half inch of my hairline from ear to ear was removed. I guess everyone is different but the technician states that he has never seen it before. It is clear that the hair was burnt off during the treatment. It started to grow back 2 days later. What an awful looking mess. What do i do now?

    • Kristy says:

      Yes, IPL can remove hair, but you would have to actually treat that area directly. It would singe immediately and you would probably smell it and see singed hair . Even when you want to get rid of the hair on the face it takes about 12 treatments. The good news is that if the hair was treated, it will grow back and all you can do is wait. If the hair was not treated directley, then it probably is caused from something other than the IPL, maybe a styling tool or hair treatment. If the area was not treated, then you may want to see a dermatologist to see if there is another possible medical or environmental.

  13. Estelle says:

    I had ipl on wednesday. it burned for an hour after. I was told this is should feel like a sunburn. Now its brown and looks like tracks but does not feel burnt. Is this normal? How do I know if I was burnt?

    • Kristy says:

      yes, it is normal for mild burning even an hour post treatment. We like it to look like coffee grounds or peppering. If it looks more like a solid shape, then it may be a burn. If it’s superficial, it will likely look improved in about 14 days out. If you are older, have a lot of sundamage or treated non-facial skin it will likely take longer. Burns are not uncommon with IPL treatments, they are an inherrent risk of treatment. I recomend that you return to the clinic where you had treatment so that they can instruct you on post treatment care. As crazy as it may seem, sometimes when there is a mild, superficial burn you actually see a better result. (I hope that is the case with you)

  14. Susan says:

    I had trinity laser a year ago. IPL, Refirme and fraxil. My face was red and hot for a few months and my makeup would run off. Within the few months I lost my facial fat. As time wnt on I noticed red circles and square dent marks. Recently I have noticed more red honeycomb circles and they hurt to the touch. My skin still burns and is severely dry and stiff feeling.

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry you had this experiance. I can’t say I have ever heard of anything like this before and I’m not sure how any of these treatments could cause fat atrophy like that. Non of these treatments should reach the adipose (fat) layer. IPL only works in the epidermis and ReFirm is not very aggressive it could reach the upper dermis, Fraxel can go to differents depths, generally into the upper-mid dermis. There are different Fraxel platforms, with the Fraxel restore being the most common. They also make a Fraxel Dual and Fraxel Co2. This is a very unusual reaction. I strongly recomend that you return to the clinic that provided the treatment, they need to submit an incidence report to the manufacture of the machine. If this a result of treatment it needs to be reported and hopefully they can determine why it occurred, so that this doesn’t happen again. It provides a treatment precaution to other industry professionals. -I can not imagine why skin would burn a year post treatment. If you did lose fat, fat transfer may be used to correct it. This sounds extremly complicated, you probably need to find a very qualified cosmetic dermatologist that is experianced with laser treatments. Be sure that you go in with all treatment information. Include a record of skin care products and treatments you used prior to this. Dates of treatments, post treatment skin care, time line of recovery and and other treatments you had. It is also important to know any medications and supplements you were using and any medical conditions. I’m sorry I can’t be more help.
      If you find out which Fraxel you had, please let us know. I hope you follow up and let us know how things go. If you email us directly at with you contact information, I would like to call you directly. bestofbothworldsaz@yahoo

      • Susan says:

        The dermatologist will not admit damage because it is so bad. I believe the fraxil was matrix IR, one of the trinity lasers. I lost the fat within 3 months of laser.

        • Susan says:

          I did sent you email with contact info.

        • Kristy says:

          ahh… okay. So Matrix is a “fractionated” sublative laser that uses RF. Fraxel is a different fractional laser. None the less, I will see what I can find out. Thank you for follow up.

          • Susan says:

            Have you found any information on the RF?

          • Kristy says:

            I am sorry I haven’t got back to you sooner, but I have not forgotten about you. I have been asking around and talking to people in the industry and nobody has any answers. I would suggest you follow up with the provider that did your treatment and give them an opportunity to correct it and they may want to report the incidence to the company that made the laser used. It sounds like they may have used a Syneron device. If you are not confidant in the care offered then you may want to seek a cosmetic dermatologist, at any rate you need to be seen in person. It sounds like you may have a special case, but I have not seen you – so I can’t say for sure. I am sorry I wish I could be more help, I hate that you had this experience.

    • Paula says:

      Hi I had exactly the same experience, did you find a solution – something that helped restore your skin quality?

      Kind regards,


  15. Kristy says:

    It is not likely that IPL would cause white marks, unless you had a burn which it does not sound like you do. It is not unusual for IPL treatments to cause the skin to feel like it has a mild sunburn, but this should subside quickly. A burn generally feels like a burn from a stove / oven, it’s a lingering heat. I am not sure what you mean by “bare”, but the skin needs to have ultrasound gel on it, bare skin should not be treated with IPL. Ask you technician to apply enough gel, so that no spots are missed. You should also watch for signs of infection, sometimes staph can feel like a burn, it would look like pimples and be painful. (this happened to me, because I had a pedicure after my laser hair removal on my and the pores are open, which makes it easy for bacteria to get in) If you have staph infection you will know, it is obvious something is wrong.

  16. Susan says:

    They have ruined my skin on my face and neck to where I look 20 years older and to this day my skin is still stiff and burns. They deny that there is anything wrong. I look like my skin has shriveled up with squares, circles, broken capillaries, etc. They just want me to go away. I have written to the Va. Medical Board and I have an investigator looking into the matter. After 15 months of this I am still trying to find someone to help me. It looks like a mid face/neck lift is in order with fat grafting/fillers for the severe fat loss. I can’t even get a lawyer to help me. The worst time of my life.

    • Leigh says:

      I am sorry to hear u are going through this I am going through a similar nightmare with two lasers used on me. I am in Virginia as well. If u send me an email privately I will email you back.

    • Mary says:

      I have similar problems from one of the strongest red light devices made for home use. I lost most of my facial fat. My skin makes a crinkly noise when I put lotion on it. It has severe elastosis now and I looked much younger than my age before. Was just looking to maintain my youthfulness. I have aged 25+ years. My skin hurts over 2 years later. It is so dry and has a shiny rubbery texture. It has cracks, scratches and lines like a saffiano leather. I have found no one with any ideas to help either. If you have found a treatment that helps I would appreciate the information.

      • Pranita Bijlani says:

        Susan, Leigh, and Mary, Please email me because I am going through similar experiences and I feel so alone: Thanks so much for sharing your stories. Mine is similar. Pranita

      • Kristy says:

        I am not sure how a red light could have any affect on fat, it is hard for us to kill fat even when we want to and a red light should not go that deep or heat that much. Also it should not have an affect on oil glands or moisture content. When you say red light, I assume you are talking about LED. If people are having this kind of reaction to this devise, perhaps it is defective in some way. There is problems with counterfeit and non-approved beauty products and devices coming in to the US from over seas. They are often sold on line, but sometimes in stores. I would research the specific devise you used and where it was purchased. If it is a product that is approved in the US, then I would research if it was sold via an approved supplier and try to find out if its a fake. It is possible that the devise is counterfeit and could be harmful.

        If you were my best friend, this is what I would tell you….. All of the things that you mention happen with age anyway, but if you see these problems come on suddenly, as it sounds like it has, I recommend seeing a doctor to make sure you do not have any medical conditions that would cause these symptoms. Many things can cause these symptoms, (Diabetes, thyroid, menopause, skin disorders, auto-immune and diseases that cause wasting of tissue, the list goes on) I wouldn’t ignore these symptoms, skin is a reflection of our health. At least rule it out for peace of mind. I hope that is not the case and if the devise is to blame, then treatments can be done to help restore your skin.

        In the meantime, Skin Medica makes a product called HA5 that has 5 types of hyaluronic acid, which is what is in our skin that binds to water. If our skin doesn’t produce enough hyaluronic acid it will not retain moisture as well. The skin also make hyaluronidase which breaks down hyaluronic acid. HA5 appears to reduce hyaluronidase in addition to having the 5 types of hyaluronic acid. I would also use a rich ceramide cream during the day and maybe a semi-occlusive. Here are a couple things you might try ( TNS Ceramide Cream, iS Clinical Sheald Recovery Balm or Epionce Medical Barrier Cream). I would also use a mild facial cleanser, not scrubs, facial wipes or soap. Please, please please, do not buy any of these online, go to the Skin Medica website and find an approved Physician. These products are also knocked-off and sold on line.

  17. Lori says:

    I received IPL for spider veins in april of 2014. The treatment was performed by a doctor who had done several sclerotherapy treatments but was unable to get the smaller veins. She suggested IPL for these veins. At the consultation I was unsure if I wanted to try laser therapy. I said very clearly I don’t want to do anything that will cause harm. The doctors response was it may cause some minor bruising but will not cause harm or make the veins worse. When the treatment started the machine shut down when she went to use it. She commented oh shit and turned the machine back on. After treating several areas on my lower leg she stated she didn’t like the response of the tissue as it was turning brown during treatment. The treatment was stopped. That evening my skin started to blister in several areas. I went back to the office and was given a burn cream for radiation burns. After several weeks the burns healed however the skin under the burn is light. The doctor said the skin would repigment on its own it would just take a while. I went back in June of 2015 and asked about my skin still being white in these areas. She stated again the skin would get its color back it would just take time. She said she could write me a prescription for a cream that would cost around $700 and not covered by insurance. I don’t remember the name. If I caused that much damage to someone I would do everything I could to help them. Now it has been 2 summers where I have white marks all over my left lower leg. I know take an antidepressant to try to deal with this problem. If I get any tan on my legs the white areas stand out more. I don’t take my son to the pool and did not go on vacation due to having to stay out of the sun. I did consult with a dermatologist in February of 2015 who prescribed Retin A. And said if that didn’t work she would use a derma roller on the white areas. This is going to be a costly adventure that hopefully helps these areas get pigment back. My question is should the doctor who caused the problem pay for the treatments? And if the treatments don’t work I just have to live with the white spots. I tried to get help from her and she just offered a very expensive prescription. It is very frustrating when I was unsure if I even wanted to do laser therapy and was assured it would be safe. I don’t believe I signed a release and was never told of these possible complications otherwise I would not have done the treatment. Any advice would be appreciated on how to proceed.

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry this happened to you. Unfortunately, all treatments come with some inherent risk. With IPL the biggest risk is burns which can cause blisters, hyper pigmentation (dark pigment), hypopigmenration (white marks) and scars. Usually patients sign an informed consent agreeing to these risks. The risks are usually outlined in the consent form and it is the patients responsibility to read the form before signing it. I recommend you find out if you signed a consent form and request a copy if you did. Most of the time, the provider who did the treatment will offer some type of care without additional charge, but they do not have control over the cost of prescriptions. If the condition does not improve you may want to return to that provider and explain what you have done, they may offer you some compensation, but they most likely not obligated. On the positive side, I think the retina-A will probably do the trick, it will just take a while, because non-facial skin does not “turn-over” very quickly. I am not sure about the micro-needling ( aka derma roller) but, it may help. You may want to ask your derm about trying a chemical peel after being on retin-a for a few months. Until it improves you can use a sunless tanner and/ or body makeup like Salley Hansen leg makeup to blend it in. The Salley Hansen leg makeup is only about $12 and I have found it stays on when in the pool.

  18. Phyllis Strain says:

    I had Laser work done to remove some ugly brown spots on the back of my hands and thought that I could take the heat at a pretty high level. As it turned out, I have been burned. I have been in touch with my laser technician the whole time and she has seen pictures of my hands and was not happy with what she saw. I have an appointment in two weeks and she said she can make the back of hands “blend in”. They are tan now with healed burned marks that turned sort of a pinky white. I have been using Aquaphor religiously and a sunscreen by day. It will be a total month in between treatments.
    My question is, do you think I should see a dermatologist now before going back to this technician in two weeks? I’m afraid she might do more damage than good. She is a good person but I’m not sure she realized how tan I was and now I am streaked in white splotches.

    • Kristy says:

      I think that she {your technician} can most likely blend it in. If the hands had any tan at the time of treatment it will enhance the likelyhood of a burn, even without a burn it will remove the tan, as the wavelength is absorbed by melanin in the skin. I am guessing her plan is to treat in the spaces in between, this can sometimes help – it’s the kind of thing that is a judgement call that comes with experience. If I were doing the treatment I would most likely lower the joules (energy used) just enough that you will not get a burn but still enough that it will be effective. If your skin is too dark, it is better to not treat with the laser or IPL, instead you may respond best to a chemical peel and treatment with tretinoin. She may even choose to do an IPL between the spots, have you treat with tretinoin and follow up for a peal in 6 weeks. I do not know your technician and what her experience is, so I can not tell you if you should go back to her, but I think it’s worth following up with her to discuss how she plans to treat it. I would ask her about doing peels, tretinoin and if you are even a good candidate for further laser/IPL treatments. If you are not satisfied with her recommendations, then you may want to see a cosmetic dermatologist. I should also mention that hands will take longer to correct than facial skin, so be patient, it could take several months to fully correct.

      As technicians we really count on our clients communicating with us the level of sun exposure they get, it is not always possible to tell how tan someone is by visual alone. Sometimes we need to see an area of the body that does not get exposed to the sun, to know what your real skin color is. I am glad that you are using sunscreen, I hope that will become part of your forever skin care. I always tell my clients if you are not going to be diligent with sun protection, there is really no point in going forward with treatment. I know it’s hard to keep hands protected because we constantly wash our hand and they are always exposed to the environment, but just do the best you can. I hope this helps and that everything blend in well.

  19. Linda says:

    I had a full leg IPL laser hair removal and the same power setting was used for both my upper and lower leg but for some reason only my lower leg got burnt. My skin on my thigh is not tanned or damaged. Do you have any idea why this might occurred?

    • Kristy says:

      well….thats a loaded question. When we talk about IPL we don’t do settings by “power”, some IPL devices have more capabilities and variables in setting options. So we first consider which cut off filter, this is like the wavelength, this is very important. For hair removal on legs its probably 695 or something close. Then we look a joules, this is most likely what people call “power” or energy. But then we have the duration of the pulse and if multiple pulses are used, then how many pulses and they delay between pulses. So, you can see why its hard to say for sure, because settings are not simple.

      My best guess is that the lower legs were more tan than the upper leg and that is why they got a burn and not the upper. The wavelength / cut-off filter used for hair removal works because it is absorbed by melanin (color) this includes color in hair follicle and skin, so when skin is tan it will absorb more energy and has increased risk of burn. So the most ideal candidate for example would have pale white skin and black hair, while the worst candidate would be tan or dark skin with light hair. My recommendation at this point is to stay in contact with your provider, so they can treat the burns and any hyper pigmentation that may occur. Treatment should begin ASAP. Burns can happen, even when treatment is done by the most experienced provider. The good news is, it’s almost always something that can be corrected, but be patient because non-facial skin like the legs are slow to respond.

  20. Sgill says:

    Wow that is actually a lot of information. It is so disappointing that so many people have ended up with horrific experiences from this technique. But still good to know. The fact that these interventions are advertised so prolifically and never the side effects and what can go wrong is ethically wrong in my opinion. Any ways i was researching on this because i really wanted to go for ipl photofacial for freckles and dark spots and laser hair removal for my facial hair. Thanks to this post NOT ANYMORE. i am 35 years old brown skin which looks horrible post baby as it is full of pigmented spots and oh well was born with facial hair which i wanetd to get removed by laser so badly but for some reason was not convinced with my research.
    Well looks like i am not a good candidate for all this hair removal and hyperpigmentation removal techniques as i have no idea how to find out if my skin is sun damaged and on top of that i am born with brown skin full of facial hair. Thank you all for sharing your stories.

    • Sharon says:

      Hi. I had laser 4 months ago I got burned and now I have white spots all over . How long it taKes for the white spot to go away ? Would hydroquinon will help to faster the skin discoloration ? What can u reccomrnd for the white spot? Thank u

      • Kristy says:

        It depends on what kind of laser you had, your skin type, ethnicity and the severity of the burns. I recommend you talk to your provider about tretinoin (aka Retin-A or retinoid acid), not over the counter retinol . This is something that requires professional guidance with how to use it. Hydroquinone will not bring color back to white spots, but it may help if it is used with Retin-A to “blend” the pigment with how the melanin is distributed to keratinocytes. If your laser provider doesn’t offer this type of skin care then you can look for a cosmetic derm or plastic surgeon practice that does. Be sure to follow up with your provider, they should be able to help you with this.

      • Kristy says:

        Typically hydroquinone is for treating dark spots, I would ask your provider about tretinoin which may help blend it in.

    • Sunshine says:

      The abitily to think like that shows you’re an expert

  21. Sharon says:

    Hi. I had laser 4 months ago I got burned and now I have white spots all over . How long it taKes for the white spot to go away ? Would hydroquinon will help to faster the skin discoloration ? What can u reccomrnd for the white spot? Thank u

  22. KH says:

    Why do you make your text so light? It’s difficult to read. Not worth the hassle.

  23. Rachel says:

    My laser burns happened over three years ago and I’m still fighting a legal case against the clinic where it happened. They used a ND Yag pain free laser machine to do the ‘Hollywood’ on my bikini area and the person administering it was clearly unqualified and unaware of skin because I was being repeatedly burned close to the lips. The heat and pain was intolerable and I had to keep ice on the area in between each pulse. I finally stood up and ended the session. I was in agony and my whole lower vaginal area was burning up. I had no proper advice or aftercare from the clinic and ended up with severe burns and blistering all around the area. A lump of collagen had formed on one side of the vaginal lip and this area felt numb. My clitoris has lost its size sensation as well as the left area and I have suffered from nerve damage because of the loss of sensation and pins and needles feelings so I can’t even have sex anymore without intense pain. Why isn’t there any documentation anywhere that clearly states the risks associated with this type of invasive laser burn? The clinic are not admitting liability. If anyone has any articles or medical journals on this topic please let me know.

    • Phyllis Tousley says:

      Have felt any relief from the lazer yet. Because that happend to me in the clitois and labia also.still in much pain.

  24. Amy W. says:

    I had three IPL treatments on my face and neck back in 2012. The first two went fine with no complications. On the third visit, something went terribly wrong. By the time I drove home, my neck was on fire with pain! The next day I had blisters and very raw exposed burns. I contacted her and she advised me to put aquaphor on them which I did until it healed. Since then, I have white scars where the burns were on both sides of my neck. I contacted her again and she gave me hydroquinone cream. I tried that for a while with no results. I have since been to a cosmetic dermatologist, plastic surgeons, and have even tried Chinese herbal medicine to restore the pigment. I have also had a series of micro needling treatments. Nothing has helped. I haven’t been able to wear my hair up in over four years and I desperately would like to find a solution. Do you have any suggestions? I keep hoping as the years pass that someone will come up with a treatment that works. I would appreciate any suggestions!!

    • Kristy says:

      Obviously, I can not treat or give any advise that replaces a consultation in person with a provider. But… here are some talking points, that may help in your consultation. If you have hypo pigment (white) it is very hard to correct. You may want to consult with the derm again and ask about tretinoin, fractional laser or a medium depth peel. My thought is that these may possibly help to blend the pigment in.

  25. Zach says:

    In August of 2016 I got a v beam treatment for veins/Rosacea around my nose. The over did it and left deep scabs/burns that took a month to heal and now 4 months later scar tissue still evening out. Took a small chunk out of my lower nostril. Literally melted me flesh. She said she has never had scarring. Maybe… Maybe I’m the first. To make matters worse I had mild seb derm around my nose as well and the laser just caused a total inflammatory response. Quite depressing. I had self esteem issues before but now sometimes I don’t want anyone to even look at me because of my skin. I’m sure it will continue to improve but will never be quite the same. Sucks but glory be to God. Peace to you all in Jesus name

    • Amy says:

      Zach – Did it fully heal? I had YAG Cutera laser done 2 months ago and was left with 5 indented and red scars. I know the redness will get better, but the indentions are really causing me distress.


  26. Kim says:

    I am a 40 yr old woman with olive skin tone and I had a ematrix laser to my face to help with fine lines and some sun spots.
    After the procedure and the numbing ointment wore off my face was on fire for 5 days. Finally the scabs fell off and the skin was smooth but I could see little dots-indentions-like huge pores all over my face.
    I contacted the clinic and was told it still healing. The skin still maintained heat and there is hyperpigmintation.
    I am now 6 weeks out and my face in some areas has not recovered.
    The provider keeps telling me to be patient that it will heal with time.
    I saw my general dermatologist who does not perform lasers and she acting clueless. I am going to get another opinion from a cosmetic dermatologist next week.
    I have even had a phone consult with a top dermatologist in NYC and they did know what to do. When I visit realself I am terrified of all of these women who are years removed from their botched laser procedure and things get worse not better.
    I am using very gentle cocoa butter on my skin to help it heal but I am nin great fear that the damage is permanent.
    I have looked at the TNS and obagi products and maybe that needs to be my next step but it is one of the most depressing things to look like a monster every day and feel like this is my punishment for my vanity.

    • Kristy says:

      I am sorry for your experience, I hope it has resolved. All laser come with risk and anything that causes inflammation can cause PIH (post inflammatory hyper pigmentation), this includes lasers, chemical peels, a scrape, pimple even heat. These treatments work by creating an inflammatory wound healing response in the skin, so while inflammation is an important and necessary part of the process, it unfortunately comes with risk of hyper pigmentation. The good news is that it can be corrected, but it is very important that you comply with your providers recommendations. I am not sure about the indentions, or how that would even be possible, which may be why these dermatologists haven’t been able to give you an answer. Did these doctors agree that they also saw indentations? E-matrix is not an extremely aggressive treatment, so any complications should be able to be addressed and corrected, but probably not with cocoa butter, is that what your dermatologist recommended? I would recommend you talk to the medical director at the clinic where you were treated. If you do use Obagi, be sure you see an approved provider and do not try to buy them online. They are prescription strength and need to be dispensed by a physician with proper medical guidance. Please let us know how it goes.
      also….. I am sure you are beautiful and do not look like a monster
      (This is only meant to be informative and does not replace in office care and is not intended to be diagnosis or medical advise.)

  27. Anthony says:

    I had a laser session for shoulder hair removal 4 weeks ago and
    it burned my skin
    I have applied creams as per my laser technician recommendation.
    Burns are gone but there is a discoloration of my skin (white spots – these spots have a lighter color than my actual skin color)
    Will the color get back to how it was? and I was planning to have a tattoo done on the same area – will it be ok even though there is this skin discoloration?

    thank you

    • Kristy says:

      Usually the color does return, but it can take a while, longer for those with darker skin. It is possible to have a burn that causes permanent hypo-pigmentation (white spot) but this is not common with laser hair removal. Ask your provider about a light peel or retin-a to blend pigment a little faster. I would recommend waiting until you have completed hair removal treatments before you get a tattoo, because we don’t laser over a tattoo, so you will be left with a hairy tattoo. Usually it takes 8 treatments within a year for a back and shoulders, with occasional touch-up treatments. I would also wait until you even the pigment before getting a tattoo, because the products or treatments used to even pigment might fade tattoo.

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  34. Sara says:

    Hi Kristy,


    I am Caribbean, brown skin (skin type V on Fitzpatrick scale) and I started laser hair removal about a month ago (underarms and full brazilian). Now this is a reputable medical spa with an actual board-certified doctor administering laser treatments, not just a licensed/unlicensed aesthetician in a salon or spa. He has been using the diode laser. First treatment, the laser was between 5-7.

    My second treatment was 4 days ago and I received burns in my bikini area. The session went normal to me; the laser was between 7-9. I had applied lidocaine an hour before my treatment so I felt little to no discomfort. The only places that I had discomfort seemed to be where I had not liberally applied the lidocaine. And he repeatedly made sure I was able to tolerate the laser throughout the treatment. I had nicked myself shaving in two small spaces and even those weren’t a problem. When he was treating my back area he told me he saw a “sore” or something like that. He took a picture to show me and it was a small circle where my skin was peeled off, leaving a red, raw area. I thought it might have been another nick from shaving, and possibly going over the area to get as close a shave as possible, but I later realized, “of course not, I would definitely feel that big of a nick!” So upon leaving the office, he instructed me to apply bacitracin on the area. At that time, that was the only discomfort I felt after the treatment.

    After getting home, using the bathroom and showering, I started to feel more discomfort as the “sore” was stinging–especially after urinating. In the shower I noticed peels of my skin coming off. When I finished and looked in the mirror, I realized I had more spots of raw skin from my inner labia to the back area by my anus. I also had a couple raised blisters below my vaginal opening. Other parts of the bikini area had also started to crust–mainly the outer labia (and the skin from this would fall off as I showered or used the bathroom).

    The next day I was in so much pain that I emailed the doctor and he responded right away, telling me to come into the office to evaluate and tell me what to do. The next morning I went in and he told me that as uncomfortable as all of this has been, the burns were only superficial and should start healing within 4-5 days. He also told me the burns were indeed from the higher setting and also because my bikini area is darker than the other areas. He would keep future treatments between 5-7 (like the first successful treatment) and my next session and any extra sessions would be complimentary.

    My inner labia has been swollen and painful along with the open skin stinging, regardless of the lidocaine and bacitracin applications. I have been stuck in my apartment for the last 4 days unable to move and do the most basic of things comfortably. I have also been following up with said doctor regarding any changes.

    Now my questions are these:

    1. Should I continue treatment with the same doctor? I have been getting mixed answers from different sources. Most say NO and that I should even file a lawsuit. A few say if my doctor has been good with the follow up concerning this complication that is a good indicator to continue treatment with him, as burns can actually happen. And then you have others who say I should discontinue laser hair removal completely. Thoughts?

    2. If I do decide to continue this process, how will this burn affect treatments? Will my skin be now even more sensitive and need way more treatments at even lower settings than my first?

    Any insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Kristy says:

      I don’t think that I can advise you on what to do, but here are some of my thoughts. First, I’m not sure what is meant by the laser was between 5-7 , then was between 7-9. Most lasers I have worked with, use “joules” (j/cm) to measure energy, then a “pulse duration”, maybe something for cooling. It may be that the diode he used had settings, such as a level 7 might be 30 j/cm, I honestly don’t know. At any rate… It is common to slightly increase the energy, if the client did okay with the prior treatments.Taking into consideration any possible sun exposure the person may have had. He was checking in to see how you tolerated it, if you were not feeling any burning as the treatment was being performed, it might be hard to tell that you were going to burn. It doesn’t sound like the provider was being negligent and I’m not sure anything would come of a lawsuit if you signed a consent, as burns are a risk with laser. You can always consult with another doctor in your area who is experienced with lasers. With all things considered, it may be fine to continue treatment with the original settings or you may be better to find a laser better suited for treating darker skin. Cynosure makes a laser called Elite+ that is a duel wavelength laser, it has an Alexandrite and a Nd:YAG that may be used either independently or consecutively. The Nd:YAG is safer for dark skin, however there is still a risk of a burn. Most importantly never tan the area being treated and always tell your provider if you have had ANY sun exposure. Sometimes everybody can do everything right and still have a problem. If you do decide to continue treatments, you should definitely let the area heal completely first. I don’t imagine that you would be more sensitive, however, if there is dark pigment as a result of burns, that is something your provider would want to consider.
      The thing that baffles me is that you had skin that peeled off the same day while in shower. I’m not sure I have heard of that happening so soon, usually the skin darkens almost like a burn from a curling iron or blisters then peels. Do you think the spot that he pointed out on your back was the same size/ shape as the laser spot size? I am wondering if it could have been a reaction from the topical anesthetic. I know of an instance where someone had been treating skin topically on back for acne and the skin started to sting and peel off after the numbing cream had been on for a while, without even being treated with laser. The skin did weep/ ooze and it was raw/painful. It may be worth discussing with your provider any changes in topical numbing or if you had any new skin products, oral medications, herbal supplements or sun exposure. Just my thoughts.

  35. anna says:

    i have wite high pegment in my legs aftet liser hair removal. any recommend. thanks

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  37. yas says:

    Hello, it’s been a few years that I am struggling to remove the spots ( line spots ) on my hand from last time I did a hair removal IPL , The doctor burned my hand and I paid her a huge amount of money !!!! I’ve never asked for the money back and after that I paid a lot of money to buy different products and creams to remove it. The lines got lighter but still it has not gone and you can see them largely places on my hand ..
    I am so disappointed and need a serious help with a recommendation of a product that it do really work ..
    Can someone please help me. As a girl this is really bothering me :'(

    • Kristy says:

      The hands do take a long time to improve. It can be tricky, because we wash our hands several times a day the products get washed off. The other challenge is that the hands are always exposed, making it hard to protect from sun. What products exactly have you tried so far (what dosage amount/ frequency)? Are the lines white or dark? What is your skin color.

  38. […] Laser Burns: What to do when you. – 82 Responses to “Laser Burns: What to do when you have been burned by an aesthetic laser or IPL.” […]

  39. Lor says:

    Hi Kristy

    I’m not sure if you are still active in this threat but I’m desperate. I suffer from melasma. I did a 3rd treatment using pico laser 3 weeks ago and my ”top” dermatologist burned me. I wanted to get rid of some spots since i didn’t see any improvement i told her to go stronger. I looked like a monster after the procedure. I have dark spots big ones from the laser and I’m worse than when i walked in her office. I’m just so afraid that i will be like this the rest of my life. I don’t want to see people and hate looking in the mirror. She told me i was going to have purple marks but didn’t know it was going to be this bad and for how long. I’m so upset at her and I’m aldo mad at myself.

    • Kristy says:

      I have not been as active on here, sorry I missed your comment. How is your progress? Also do you know which pico laser was used, what is your skin type, color and what have you done to treat pigment and burns so far?

  40. […] Laser Burns: What to do when you have. – 86 Responses to “Laser Burns: What to do when you have been burned by an aesthetic laser or IPL.” […]

  41. Manny says:

    Hi. I’ve received YAG laser to 2 traumatic scars with 2 months old. The doctor told me it would be innofensive and it would treat only the cappilaries to reduce redness of scars. It hurt a lot and hours later i had blistering. I’m one month later, and the skin is dark, uneven and it seems to have tissue loss, on the blisters site the skin is down compared to the periphereal area. I’m very scarred. Will the tissue get even and the marks disappear? What can i do? Please help me

    • Kristy says:

      Did you follow up with your provider? What things have they suggested, what have you done for your post treatment care after the Yag treatment.

      • Manny says:

        Hi Kristy i’m 3 months and a week post burn of laser. The Dermatologist wanted to me to apply fucicort in the first days and then fucidine one more week. After that silicone sheet and hydroquinone. She told me in the last visit (2 months ago) that the damage should reverse totally in 2 years! i was shocked. But another dermatologist said it would never reverse. So… i don’t know. The indentations are still here, making a huge mark on my face. Can you advise me on something to try to fill these craters left?

  42. Mary namin says:

    Thanks for good information. Yesterday I did the treatment and I have a severe skin burn that seems to be an injury everywhere even though I have asked many time to the dr. Who did the laser that I have a sensitive skin please be attention. I did laser somewhere else for a year and this never happened to me. Some how I’m very disappointed and I don’t want the trace to remain because is not only a small spot but is everywhere. What should I do ? And do you suggest me to complain against this person to any organization ( I’m living in Netherlands)?
    In advance I want to thank you for the time and availability.
    Best Regards,

    • Kristy says:

      What things have you tried so far? You should start by follow up ( in person) with the doctor who provided the treatment, that should always be your first step.

  43. MishL says:

    A week ago I had laser hair removal (2nd session) and was left with very dark rectangle marks all over my legs. I informed the spa and the nurse recommended aquaphor and neosporin in the areas where she said it looks like first degree burns with blister. She said in two weeks she would like for me to start using PCA Body Therapy or Obagi KeraPhine Body Smoothing lotion.. But I am wondering am I most likely going to be left with discoloration after the marks heal? She said no. Or is it likely they will fade away with proper care? I am tan and have seen pictures online of people with similar burn marks and then after they heal are left with lighter skin color in those areas. So Stressing out. Should I see a dermatologist now or wait to see how the burns heal?

  44. Francesca says:

    I am very scared at the moment, I had a BBL treatment 5 days ago and my skin still feel a kind of itchy ad red on my cheeks, I got the laser for age spot and veins on my nose. I wounder if this is normal since I got told the redness would go away in 4 hours. The physician assistant told me to put cream with hydrocortisone 2 times a day.
    I am scared, is this normal?
    I am 30 and I live alone here in the US my family is abroad and I don t know who to contact.

    Thanks you

  45. […] most effective treatment possible. Untrained estheticians can misuse the tattoo removal lasers and burn your skin. Severe laser burns can even cause permanent scarring. But when you choose a licensed dermatologist […]

  46. Natalie says:

    Hi, I had an IPL skin rejuvenation treatment today on my face and almost half my eyebrow got burnt, some of the hair have been removed (fell of) some are curly as they have been burnt. will it ever grow back? What can I do to help it get back to normal?

  47. […] Laser Burns: What to do when you have been burned by an […]

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  50. Ankit says:

    I took my 7th laser hair remove treatment over face and after 2 weeks of treatment now my skin is burning and apart from the left cheek where i had little bit discomfort after treatment now it is burning super hot and the burning is also happening in left ear it is burning like hell. Is it permanent .?
    What should i do please help me. Before 2 weeks everything was okay but now i am not having problem over my face but my left ear is burning like hell. It was the nearest area where i had treatment

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