Does laser treatment cause more pigmentation after sun exposure?
Hi, I went through 2 laser treatments over the past 2 months for skin resurfacing, deep cleaning, and spot treatment. It's been 1 week after my 2nd session, and I've noticed a lot more sun spots than before, even though I religiously apply high SPF sunscreen whenever I am out in the morning. Is this caused by the laser treatment, and does it make my skin more prone to getting sun damage? The increased pigmentation/new sun spots on my skin is worrying me.
Thank you for your question. It is unfortunate that you have more pigmented spots after the laser treatment.
Based on your description, you might have had a Fractional Resurfacing laser like a Fractional CO2.
There is a small risk of Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) from these procedures. However, most PIH is temporary and would fade in 4-6 weeks.
I suggest that you schedule an early appointment for review by your doctor so that he can institute early treatments.
There are treatments such as pigmentation creams that should be started earlier rather than later to ensure good outcomes.
Hope that this helps!
Dr Justin Boey
It is best that you return to your doctor who has performed laser resurfacing for you to ascertain if there is PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) as he/she will be most familiar with settings etc used.
Most PIH as Dr Justin Boey has pointed out is temporary but may take up to months to resolve, depending on individual's skin type.
If it is indeed PIH, initial treatment resulting in it should be stopped and the following may help to speed up its recovery:
1. Pigmentation reduction creams- e.g triluma, hydroquinone
2. Gentle chemical peels- e.g Jessner's or Glycolic acid
3. Lasers at low energy settings
4. Oral Tranexamic Acid
Hope this helps!
Dr David Deng
I can fully understand your worrying concerns on the increased pigmentations after your laser treatments.
From your brief description, one possible reason for your case could be post-inflammatory hyperpigmentations (PIH for short) after the laser treatment. PIH usually will fade but it may sometimes take several months or longer to do so, especially for the darker skin types.
Treatment modalities for PIH include topical lightening creams, chemical peels and pigmentation lasers, while sun protection measures are also equally as important.
So I would recommend you to first verify with your doctor what exactly are the increased pigmentations you are having, and the treatment options available for you.
For more information on PIH and its treatment, you can read more about them in my "Ultimate Guide to Pigmentation Treatment in Singapore".
Hope this helps!
Dr David Ng C H