Advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hello all,
I was seeking on advice on what you would do in my situation. I have had three treatments of laser hair removal thus far on my bikini line. I have Fitzpatrick type II skin and the laser being used it the GentleLASE 755nm Alexandrite Laser. The first two treatments I had without any side effects at all. The third treatment, however, she went up to 16J and I had SEVERE hyperpigmentation in the entire area that took about 3-4 months to resolve (yes, I’ve waited that long). I don’t take any medications, nor did I have any sun exposure. I guess the advice I seek is, I am scheduled for another treatment (I have 3 left) and I am petrified that I will, again, have hyperpigmentation that this time may not resolve. I know I can use bleaching creams, but I do plan a trip in June to a tropical location (with my 100spf sunscreen, hat, and coverup of course) and do not want to have any trouble. The hyperpigmentation this last time was embarassing. What would you suggest I do? Since I’ve had hyperpigmentation once, does that mean I have an increased chance of getting it again? I love the results, but is it too selfish not to want the hyperpigmentation too?

PS- I accidently posted this in the wrong area earlier :blush:

Sorry you had this experience.

Can you post a picture of your skin? What is your ethnic background?

What were the settings for the first 2 treatments? What was the spot size used for all the treatments? Does the clinic have their machine checked/calibrated on a yearly basis?

Did you mention this reaction to your clinic? What did they say?

Yes, you are at an increased risk for getting hyperpigmentation again. If it develops, however, like the first time, it will resolve on its own accord.

The first two treatments were 12J followed by 14J. The same spot size was used for all treatments.

I am Hispanic female with very pale skin and dark brown, almost black hair. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture. I can only describe it as multiple dark brown-burnt red spots the size of the laser spot at every single place the laser was done.

I did mention this reaction and was told to “exfoliate” more often and make sure I stayed out of the sun (even after I stated I haven’t had ANY sun exposure at all). I don’t know if they have their machine calibrated on a yearly basis, but will ask this next time.

If we go down on the J, am I still at an increased risk?

Being Hispanic, you may have underlying pigment in your skin even though your complexion appears light. You are probably at least type III, maybe even a IV. A true type II shouldn’t get hyperpigmentation at these settings.

Do you know if it was the 15mm or 18mm spot size used? Makes a huge difference. We don’t recommend treating below 14J at the 18mm spot size.

Luckily, hyperpigmentation is the easiest of the ‘major’ side effects to deal with because it eventually resolves without intervention. Gently exfoliating with a salt or sugar scrub can help.

Does the clinic have an Nd:YAG laser like GentleYAG or GentleMAX? This may be a better option for you.

Dont get too aggressive when you exfoliate as you can make it worse and even remove too much surface skin. When that happens it can ooze and develop scabs (crusts) of the oozing lymph.

Women overtreat everything. How come men dont do any of the things you do and never have these problems? Leave it alone and it will USUALLY go away. The skin is very sensitive and it will change to protect you. A tan is a symptom that the skin was damaged. A blister on your hands is a symptom of a burn or too much stress like gardening with a rake or shovel.

Your skin type is simply too dark for 16J. You should be using a Yag laser.

I haven’t exfoliated at all, as a matter of fact. It went away on its own after several months.

Thank you both for your advice! Unfortunately, I picked a place because a family member recommended it and, since its a family run, they only have the Alexandrite Laser. My dermatologist friend says my skin is probably a III not a II. LAGirl and JMISR, I researched it, and I think you two are right, a Yag laser is what I need. I don’t want to lose all that money though, so I am debating on what to do.

Did you find out the spot size used? If it was 18mm, then 14J should still be effective on this machine. Bikini area responds well.

I’m confused though because in your first post you mentioned your third treatment was 16J, but then later on you say the 3rd treatment was at 14J?

I would ask for a refund based on your skin type and tell them you are going to seek more aggressive treatments with a Yag, which won’t burn your skin.