Scabs after Laser. Is this Normal?


Last Friday (15th October) I had laser hair removal using the ND Yag Laser on my lower legs. I am a skin type IV and I had the treatment carried out at the Royal Free Hospital in North London. Unfortunately, I’m not sure of the exact settings used, but I remember the Nurse writing down 35J.

Anyway, it’s been 10 days since the treatment and I have pin prick scabs all over my legs. I have no idea if this is normal or an acceptable side effect? One of the scabs has rubbed off and the skin underneath is bright pink. I am treating the area with aloe vera and not picking them!

I rang the clinic today and spoke to the nurse, who advised me to keep the area moist and not to exfoliate the area. She suggested the scabs could be a result of the top of the hair becoming almost ‘glued’ to the surface of the skin, resulting in a scab. Also, on direction of the clinic, I came to my appointment with a few days hair growth. Not sure if this is an issue, as most clinics say you should shave the day before? I’m worried that the scabs may peel off to reveal pink marks over my entire legs, which would be worse than the hair!!

I’ve attached a picture of my leg.

I have experienced this on my arms when the treatment energy has been higher (which is a good thing!) but as the hairs were not as coarse, the scabs were smaller.

I don’t see any scabs in that photo. It looks like burned hair/pepperspots, which is normal.

Did you shave the hair before treatment?

Thanks! I guess I can handle scabs on my legs if it means it means it’s more likely to work…

There are definitely scabs on my leg, as well as pepperspots. I did shave my hair before treatment, but I’m wondering now if the growth was too long which could have contributed to the scabs. It was about 5 day growth

Yes, that’s the problem. Hair should be shaved 1-2 days prior. If the hair is too long, laser can burn the skin above the skin’s surface along with the hair.

Pepperspots are normal.

Thanks LAgirl. I’m keeping the area moist with aloe vera. I guess that’s the best plan of attack!


It’s been two weeks since my treatment and I’m experiencing shedding on my legs, bikini line and underarms, which is great! However, I’m a bit concerned that I might not experience 100% shedding on my bikini line, as I think some patches may have been missed. If I haven’t experienced complete shedding by the 3.5 week mark, should I book an appointment for a touch-up? I would have to pay for this session though, or should I just wait until my next session and bring it up with the tech then?

Wait another week or so and see what happens. If there is more than 10-15% growing as usual (not pepperspots, which are fine), then you can get a touchup. If it’s not free though, I probably wouldn’t bother and just get those hairs on your next treatment, while alerting them to the fact that spots were missed and asking to overlap.

Thanks for the advice :slight_smile: