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"Is there a cure for hypopigmentation resulting from laser treatment?"
I had underarm hair removed with laser treatment last year, and it burned and peeled. Now I've got paches under my arms where it has been severly hypopigmented. Is there a way for me to treat this, other than with makeup? I'm very self conscious about it.
Laser hair removal is becoming more and more popular as a way to permanently remove hair. Unfortunately, hypopigmentation is a side effect of the hair removal treatment that can occur in up to 10% of people who have laser hair removal; this hypopigmentation tends to be more common and more severe in those with dark skin. This hypopigmentation is called postinflammatory hypopigmentation, and is a common reaction of the skin to any type of injury (such as the burn inflicted by the laser hair removal). Sometimes, waiting it out can help, as for many people the skin pigment slowly returns. However, for others the loss of pigment can be permanent. In cases of permanent loss of pigment, the are not too many choices for therapy. The best option is probably Excimer laser therapy, a type of laser therapy used to stimulate pigment production in those who have hypopigmented burns, scars, or other marks. It has been successfully used in people with laser induced hypopigmentation. The main drawbacks are that it is quite expensive. Also the effect does not last forever; most people require repeated treatments to maintain the pigmentation up to every few months. Your dermatologist is the best doctor to talk to to sort out what your options might be.
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