Problems with hair removal and brown spots with light olive skin.

Dr Irwin, Thanks for sharing your expertise! My qs is about hair removal and lentigoes. Which specific laser do you recommend for facial hair removal for type 2/type 3 skin? (light olive with dark hair)? What is your opinion on LightSheer v/s Alexandrite v/s ELOS (by Syneron)? I have had 7 treatments of ELOS but the hair still comes back (though not any more within the 6 week interval, more like 12 weeks). Is it true a traditional laser will get faster results than ELOS? The clinic also used ELOS on another setting on my lentigoes but after 2 x crusting and improvement, it didnt reduce the pigment any further. Of course i use sunblock daily (la roche posay meroxyl sx 50+ and clinique spf 15 powder on top of that - based on your recommendation for layering- thank you!), but despite this, this summer the spots all came back, with vengeance- there is now more general melasma under the eye area on both cheeks which looks like it will become one giant patch. I\'m 42, and don\'t take any medication or hormones.

In my opinion, the Elos Syneron system is not the best for hair removal. Best choices for you with light olive skin would be the LightSheer or any of the Nd:Yag based systems.   If the hair keeps growing back, it could be the laser but it could also be that you have polycystic ovaries or other medical causes for increased hair growth.  You may want to have your doctor check you for that.  Also, some individuals are just resistent to laser hair removal  for reasons we don’t understand.

As for the pigment, if it’s coming back in the summer, the extra light/sun is really to blame.  Try wearing a full brimmed hat when outside.  It really helps.  Also try the Colorscience powder in the product section on this site as your second layer.   Without seeing you, I really can’t comment on which laser might be best for you for the pigment.  I really recommend getting a second opinion from another dermatologist if you aren’t making progress at your current office.  Hope this helps.  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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