What is hyper/hypo pigmentation? Both hyper and hypo pigmentation are changes to the skin’s natural color typically caused by trauma, especially burns, to the skin. Hyper pigmentation refers to the darkening of the skin. Hypo pigmentation is the opposite, the lightening of the skin. Laser tattoo removal can cause hyper and/or hypo pigmentation. This is especially noticeable in patients with darker skin tones. Hispanic and Asian skin tones tend to see hyper pigmentation, where African skin tones tend to see hypo pigmentation. Treating tattoos of certain colors can impact how much or little hyper/hypo pigmentation may be noticed in the patient’s skin.
Because the wavelengths we use to treat colorful tattoos are also attracted to colors that are naturally occurring in our bodies as well as to melanin, treating these colors can increase the incidence of hyper/hypo pigmentation. In most cases the hyper/hypo pigmentation is not permanent. It can take a good deal of time for the natural pigment to repopulate the area, though. It is important to allow enough time between treatments to see an improvement in hyper/hypo pigmented skin. This may mean waiting 2 months or more between treatments, but rest assured this is to ensure you have the best possible results from laser treatments.
As always, feel free to discuss your concerns with our laser specialists. At Vanish we want to make sure you are satisfied not only with the results you are seeing, but also with the care and treatment you receive.