Hypopigmentation after laser treatment burns (photo)

Hello, at august 2018 I have had laser treatment on my legs . There were no scars and blisters, only burned brown stains, which came off in a month. Now I am with white stains, not exposed to the sun all period. I visited a specialist who says that if there is a pigment in the hair follicle, everything will be OK. He does not recommend being exposed to the sun at this stage. Now at some stains I can see that the skin is already little darkening. How can I help myself?

I am sorry to hear that you have complications from your treatment. Doctors call this postinflammatory hypopigmentation. It may slowly improve over time (usually over several months), but you should speak with specialists about other options.

One option is to lighten the rest of the skin using lightening creams like Tretinoin or Hydroquinone, but these have to be done with medical supervision to avoid problems. Using these on the skin requires strict rules on sun exposure. These can also cause the skin to be more delicate, so people on some of these kinds of drugs should never wax their skin.

There are some other topical options that can help, like psoralen plus very short doses of natural sunlight.

There is a treatment for psoriasis called excimer laser therapy that had helped some people with repigmentation. It uses ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Here is a case report from a more serious case:

UVB phototherapy twice a week starting on the same day, using TPT device (Lumera: Targeted Phototherapy, Daavlin Company), which delivered UVB radiations at a dosage of 100 mJ/s, at a full lamp output of 100 mW/cm2. The starting duration of therapy was 4 s and gradually increased by 1 s at every session, depending on the response to previous session. Patient started showing re-pigmentation after two sessions and a very good response was seen after six sessions at 9 s duration of phototherapy [Figure 3]. The energy delivered at 9 s with the Lumera system was 275 mJ/cm2.

There’s also a laser called a Fraxel laser that can help in some cases. It works much the same way, but has a different wavelength.

Please let us know how your healing progresses!

Thank you very much for your response.
Every doctor I spoke to said me I should wait at least 6 months. It is not clear how the change will happen after 6 months, but still hopes for a miracle.
I’ll go check the options you offered me. Thanks again

Hi Irenael

I had been burnt by IPL before half of my top front part of my body in early 2011. I felt the prolong pain, hot & burn sensation for few days. My skin burned & peeled off around 48 hrs after the session. Then I had hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin colour) for many yrs but it goes away within 5 yrs & will look at my normal without the need to do anything. But I avoid sun exposure, apply lot of sun screen, apply moisturizer & all the other usual.

However, I had found that my skin where I had got burn will be super sensitive (for example to the sun or light) now.

I agree with the advice above. You have options, so I hope you’re not feeling defeated.

Have you approached the laser clinic that treated you? They must be made aware of this and held responsible in some form. You may have signed a waiver acknowledging hypopigmentation as a potential rare side effect, but this is not indicative of a competent clinic or operator. They need to know.

Thanks for your reply, every piece of information now helps me overcome the issue. I’d like to ask you, did the signs suddenly disappear after 5 years, or did it happen gradually?

Thank you for your attention. I went to the clinic right after I was burned. They provided me the cream and financed a visit to a doctor and a professor laser-dermatologist. They take full responsibility and accompany me. But it does not make me happier. I’m very scared about the signs on my legs and do not take my eyes off when I’m in the shower.

It went away gradually. For a bit quicker, eat lots of fish skin/scale (for example, salmon) to increase collagen.


Thank you for your advice. I see, in your images, your burns look even more serious than mine. I hope that someday we will completely forget about these issues.

my skin looks normal as usual now, but sensitive for example to the sun.

I am 7 month after my laser treatment that burned my legs skin.
This is a difference that occurred in those months - you can see this on images i added today. I am still can not expose the legs to sun, and there are white marks. At the same time, the signs are less noticeable. My upper leg now have full pigment recovery, but my legs under the knee are still looks terrible, but less contrast noticed, so i have some hope that may be it’s not permanent.


Thank you very much for this update. I know this is not ideal yet, but it does look much better! Did you ask the practitioner to reimburse you for ongoing medical costs beyond the first doctor visit?

Also, some people have been able to use topical treatments like silicone sheeting and hydroquinone to even out the coloration. Before trying any of these, consult with your dermatologist.

Thank you. I live in Israel, the law allows me to file a claim for damages and to receive compensation through an insurance company of the Institute, in which I did the procedure. I think it is also possible in other developed countries. I did it and now it’s in court. I very much hope that I am on my way to recovery. I use red light waves, and feel it helps, as described in this article:


That looks so much better. Good for you, i am dealing with same situation, with the difference that the spa that burned me, refuses to take responsibility or give me any of my $1000 back. I will be seeing a dermatologist next week and also speak to a personal injury attorney, to potentially file a law suit. I am traumatized and embarrassed to show my legs in public. So I feel your pain and your progress is giving me hope❤️ Thank you for the update!

I’m sorry to hear this!

It can take time, but you can clear up the issue significantly with the proper treatments.

Please keep us posted!

Dear Martina, I know exactly what you feel now. Next week I will mark a year since this stupid event happened to me. I’ve been put here some pictures from last month. It gets better. It’s not quite over yet, but it’ll get better. Please moisture the skin, several times a day. The stains that remain now are the reporters who have the most dry parts of their legs. It takes a lot of time, but gets better.


Thank you as always for these updates! You are giving many people hope!

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Hi Irena

Have u got a good reduction (how much reduction do u think in percentage wise?) in those burn areas?

Thank u for keeping us update,

Hi. At my upper legs it’s complitly gone during 6 month. At my lower legs unfortunately still exist, but look less noticablet than they were a year ago. It clears every 3-4 months at about half a ton.

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Just to add more info to this topic, there will be no permanent scars if burn only epidermis layer. Permanent scar will form if injury includes epidermis & beyond (deeper layers)

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