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Why Are Your Spots Dark After Pico Laser Treatment?

In Acne Mark, Acne Scar Treatment, Pico Laser, Pigmentation, Skin Rejuvenation, Tattoo Removal

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Pico laser technology has become a popular choice for addressing various skin concerns, from pigmentation issues to skin rejuvenation. However, it’s not uncommon for individuals to notice that their spots appear darker after Pico laser treatment. In this blog post, we explore the phenomenon of post-Pico laser darkening and shed light on the reasons behind this temporary occurrence.

Understanding Pico Laser Treatment

Pico laser deliver ultra-short pulses of energy to target pigmented areas in the skin. This energy breaks down pigmented particles, such as excess melanin, without causing significant damage to surrounding tissues. The body’s natural processes then clear away these fragmented particles, leading to a reduction in pigmentation and improved skin tone.

The Darkening Effect: Why Does It Happen?

The darkening of spots after Pico laser treatment might seem counterintuitive, but it’s a normal part of the healing process. Here’s why it occurs:

1. Melanin Disruption: Pico lasers target and shatter pigmented particles, causing them to break down into smaller fragments. As a result, these fragmented pigmented particles are initially brought closer to the skin’s surface. This can lead to a temporary darkening or appearance of the spots, which might be more noticeable after the treatment.

2. Post-Inflammatory Response: The body perceives the energy delivered by the Pico laser as a form of controlled injury. In response, the skin initiates an inflammatory process as it gears up for healing. This temporary inflammation can contribute to the appearance of darkening in the treated areas. It usually manifest in redness that goes after a few hours post treatment.

3. Exfoliation and Clearing: Over the days following Pico laser treatment, the body’s natural exfoliation processes kick in. As the skin sheds dead and damaged cells, the fragmented pigmented particles gradually rise to the surface and flake away. This process ultimately reveals a lighter and more even complexion.

How Effective Is Pico Laser Treatment For Pigmentations?

Pico Laser treatment is effective in addressing pigmentations, making it a sought-after solution for those seeking skin rejuvenation.

Pico Lasers utilize ultra-short pulses of laser energy, measured in picoseconds, to target and break down pigment particles within the skin.

This advanced technology is particularly effective in treating various pigmentation concerns, including sunspots, age spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

The ultra-short pulses shatters pigment particles into smaller fragments, allowing the body’s natural processes to eliminate them more efficiently.

Pico Laser treatment is known for its precision, minimal discomfort, and shorter recovery times compared to traditional laser methods.

The versatility of Pico Laser treatment has made it a trusted choice for individuals seeking a highly effective and efficient solution for pigmentation-related skin issues.

Will The Darkening Of Spots Slowly Fade Away?

The darkening of spots, such as hyperpigmentation or sunspots, may fade away gradually over time, but this process can vary among individuals. Several factors influence the natural fading of dark spots:

Skin Regeneration

The skin undergoes a continuous process of regeneration, and over time, new skin cells replace old ones. This natural turnover can contribute to the fading of dark spots.

Sun Exposure

Sun exposure can exacerbate hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Protecting your skin from the sun by using sunscreen can prevent further darkening and support the natural fading process.

Skincare Products

Certain skincare products containing ingredients like retinoids, vitamin C, and alpha hydroxy acids can promote skin renewal and help fade dark spots over time.

Avoidance of Irritants

Harsh skincare products or irritants can worsen pigmentation issues. Using gentle skincare products can prevent further darkening and support the skin’s healing process.

Lifestyle Factors

Healthy lifestyle habits, such as maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting adequate sleep, contribute to overall skin health and may influence the fading of dark spots.

Managing Post-Pico Darkening

While it might be concerning to witness your spots darkening after Pico laser treatment, it’s important to understand that this is a temporary phase. Here’s how you can manage it:

  1. Be Patient: Darkening is a natural part of the healing process. Allow your skin the time it needs to undergo the exfoliation and healing process.
  2. Follow Aftercare Instructions: Adhere to the aftercare instructions provided by your aesthetic doctor. This might include using gentle skincare products and avoiding harsh treatments.
  3. Avoid Sun Exposure: Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, as sun exposure can exacerbate the darkening effect and hinder the healing process.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Keeping your skin well-hydrated can aid in the skin’s healing process and minimize the appearance of darkening.

Should I Apply Sunscreen To Prevent The Spots From Darkening?

That’s for sure!

Applying sunscreen is incredibly important to prevent spots from darkening and to maintain overall skin health.

Sunscreen serves as a protective shield against the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, which can exacerbate hyperpigmentation and contribute to the darkening of spots.

UV rays stimulate the production of melanin, leading to increased pigmentation and the visibility of existing dark spots.

By consistently applying sunscreen with at least SPF 50, you create a barrier that helps prevent further damage, allowing your skin to heal and fade existing spots.

This preventive measure is not only crucial for addressing hyperpigmentation but also plays a key role in preventing premature aging, reducing the risk of skin cancer, and ensuring the long-term health and resilience of your skin.

Incorporating sunscreen into your daily skincare routine is a simple yet powerful step toward maintaining radiant and healthy-looking skin.

Does Spots Darkening Happen To Everyone After Treatment?

Not everyone experiences spots darkening after Pico Laser treatment, but it is a relatively common temporary side effect.

Known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), occurs as the skin heals and regenerates following the laser procedure.

The possibility of experiencing PIH can depend on several factors, including skin type, the extent of the initial pigmentation issue, and individual skin sensitivity. 

Usually any darkening of spots should gradually fade as the skin continues to recover, usually within a few weeks to months.

Proper post-treatment care, such as using sunscreen and following the recommended skincare routines, can help minimize the risk and duration of darkened spots.


Experiencing temporary darkening of spots after Pico laser treatment (1) can look worrying but is actually normal . Understanding the science behind this phenomenon can help alleviate any concerns and allow you to focus on the eventual positive outcomes. By following proper aftercare instructions, staying patient, and protecting your skin from external factors, you’ll soon witness the gradual reveal of a brighter and more even complexion as your skin undergoes the natural healing and exfoliation process.

Medically reviewed by: Dr Chin Kok Ping

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