Hypo/hyper pigmentation are possible side effects of laser hair removal, and they can occur due to a variety of factors.
In technical terms, hypo/hyperpigmentation can occur as a result of the interaction between the laser light and the melanin in the skin. Laser hair removal works by targeting the melanin in the hair follicle, but it can also affect the melanin in the surrounding skin. When the laser energy is absorbed by the melanin in the skin, it can cause a localized heating effect, which can damage the skin cells and result in pigment changes.
Hypopigmentation occurs when the skin loses its normal color and becomes lighter than the surrounding skin. This can happen when the laser energy damages the melanocytes (cells that produce melanin), which can lead to a loss of pigment in the treated area.
Hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, occurs when the skin produces too much melanin in response to the laser energy. This can cause the skin to become darker than the surrounding skin.
Several factors can influence the risk of hypo/hyperpigmentation, including the individual’s skin type, hair color, and the type of laser used for the treatment.
While hypo/hyperpigmentation can occur as a possible side effect of laser hair removal, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of these pigmentation changes.
- Choose an experienced practitioner: One of the most important factors in avoiding pigmentation changes is to choose an experienced and qualified practitioner. Make sure to do your research and choose a practitioner with a good reputation who has experience working with your skin type and hair color.
- Get a patch test: Before undergoing laser hair removal, ask for a patch test to determine how your skin will react to the treatment. This can help identify any potential side effects, including hypo/hyperpigmentation.
- Use appropriate laser settings: The settings of the laser used during the treatment should be tailored to your skin type and hair color. Higher settings may increase the risk of pigmentation changes, so it’s important to use appropriate settings to avoid these issues.
- Protect your skin from the sun: Exposure to the sun can increase the risk of pigmentation changes, so it’s important to protect your skin from the sun before and after treatment. Use sunscreen with a high SPF and avoid direct sunlight on the treated area.
- Follow aftercare instructions: Proper aftercare is crucial for minimizing the risk of pigmentation changes. Follow your practitioner’s aftercare instructions, which may include avoiding certain activities or products and using specific skincare products.