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#99859 - 07/01/12 06:03 AM Pepper Spots
Brenton Offline
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Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
These things are really embarrassing (especially as a guy), but you all know that.

The question is, I know people say that they will work their way out "eventually" or they will get "burned off" at the next treatment. The thing is, this is my 4th treatment, and I don't want all the hair gone on my legs, so I was most likely going to stop after this treatment. The question is then, what do I do with these pepper spots? I've been using a rosemary mint sea salt scrub (by Sunshine Spa) about 2-3 times per week.

My thighs look horrid. I've been treated with a Gentlelase 18mm/16J, so it's powerful enough to kill hair (I've seen a major reduction)... but even 13 weeks after the third treatment, there were a bunch of pepper spots. This is really depressing me frown. I keep wearing jeans, but it's summer and super hot. They're also on my arm and my friend pointed out how it looks like I burned all the hair on my arm.


Edited by Brenton (07/01/12 06:03 AM)

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#99860 - 07/01/12 06:46 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
ekade Offline
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 306
Can you please post a photo of them?

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#99863 - 07/01/12 07:47 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: ekade]
mumbaigirl Offline
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Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
Tretinoin 0.025% for a week or 2 should help. Or get an urea cream- 20%. Mild glycolic acid peels (30-40%) can also help with these.

If you can't get any of these without a prescription, try salicylic acid 1-2% CREAM. Not face wash. You can even do some salicylic peels at home using this...

http://www.kaviskin.com/products/salicylic-acid-8.html

Tretinoin and salicylic acid may cause your skin to become dry. So moisturize in the morning and use them at night.

Tretinoin, SA, GA may make your skin more prone to sun burn. So if you decide to go out in the sun in shorts, wear a sunscreen.

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#99865 - 07/01/12 09:46 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: mumbaigirl]
Brenton Offline
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Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
Here are pics of the leg:

http://tinypic.com/r/123mfj9/6
http://tinypic.com/r/15e8s3s/6
http://tinypic.com/r/2iv0m1c/6

And arm:

http://tinypic.com/r/2yux3lx/6

Sorry the quality isn't great. I generally stay inside most of the day anyways lol. I think I MIGHT be able to buy this online apparently:

http://www.amazon.com/Obagi-Tretinoin-Cream-0-025-20gr/dp/B004VUC9IG

How much do I rub onto me? Just a thin coating an leaving it there? I pray this works. I feel so embarrassed. I know it's only been almost-2 weeks since my treatment, but I can tell what are going to be pepper spots


Edited by Brenton (07/01/12 10:01 AM)

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#99866 - 07/01/12 01:03 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
mumbaigirl Offline
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Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
I couldn't see any pepper spots

Yeah a THIN coating. Start with 1/2 hour. If there's no irritation for 3 days, leave it on for 1 hour ..again for 3-4 days. If still there's no irritation, let it say overnight.

DO moisturize in the morning.

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#99867 - 07/01/12 01:55 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: mumbaigirl]
mumbaigirl Offline
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Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
Oh don't use it a week before and after laser. My dermatologist says one needs to discontinue it only 2 days before and after laser.

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#99877 - 07/01/12 06:39 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: mumbaigirl]
Brenton Offline
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Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
I'll look into getting some. Apparently it's supposed to be a prescription-only cream (I think it goes by Retin-A in the US), so I'm wondering about getting it off amazon.

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#99878 - 07/01/12 10:29 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
anotherdude Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 08/01/09
Posts: 104
It doesn't look like you have major pepper spots. Retinoid cream won't be a quick fix either, it's designed to work slow over course of weeks. Won't it be cheaper and faster solution to just go back for a touch up than ordering Retin A, which will make your legs peel like crazy? Eventually, all pepper spots go away on their own with time.

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#99882 - 07/02/12 01:20 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: anotherdude]
Brenton Offline
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Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
It might not look major because the camera (aka cell phone) quality wasn't great. Here's a little higher quality one of my arm:

http://tinypic.com/r/6t1zx5/6

The thing is, I don't really want a touchup on my legs. The third laser treatment ended up knocking out a lot more hair than I expected it to. The arms I plan on doing again (although I'll see how much regrows before I decide to). The thighs I definitely will. The lower legs I most likely won't. I just hate having this look that says "Yea, I shaved my arms and legs." I don't really remember having pepper spots on my face which was nice, but the arms are more embarrassing, as are the legs.

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#99895 - 07/02/12 10:21 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
mumbaigirl Offline
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Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
Oh now I could see the pepper spots. I can understand why you are troubled. My sympathies!

If you're worried about dryness and peeling, you can try urea-20%. It won't dry out your skin. In fact, it will moisturize! And I think ..it is not a prescription cream in US. Please check.

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#99992 - 07/07/12 05:08 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: mumbaigirl]
Thehairyone001 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 3
Hi, I've suffered from those pesky pepperspots trying just about everything until I found what seems to be the cheapest quick fix-- now I'm not promising miracles but this is whats worked best for me: Palmers shea butter and a German "riffi" exfoliating glove.

Exfoliation is key but this glove is absolutely amazing getting the job done. HOWEVER I warn it's not like any loofah or sponge you've tried before... the first few times it will be painful, almost like sandpaper (yeahh trust the Germans for that) but it definitely helps free those trapped hairs and as an added bonus literally leaves your skin like silk. You can find them online (or this site: http://www.denmanbrush.com/acatalog/Riffi-700-Original-Massage-Mitt.html ) just make sure it's the *original* riffi.

Secondly, going over board on moisturization is crucial. Most people don't realize this, but simple lotions do.not.work. With the palmers it locks in moisture to plump the skin and lubricate the follicle which both help to push the hair out. Additionally, I massage it in for about 10 minutes which also helps to "loosen" the hairs. I suppose baby oil or vaseline can have the same effect but those are messier smile

Lastly I'd strongly advise against Tretinoin and salicylic acid... as someone whos suffered from acne I can definitely say they won't be quick fixes and if anything may impede future pepper spots as another user has mentioned it drys the skin which will ultimately clog pores!

Anyways best of luck.


Edited by Thehairyone001 (07/07/12 05:17 AM)

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#100005 - 07/08/12 02:31 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Thehairyone001]
Brenton Offline
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Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
Looks like I can only order the glove from Australia or UK. Might be interesting haha. I think with international shipping and currency conversion it comes to around $20.

I wonder if I can use aquaphor as a moisturizer. I also have this lotion:

http://www.amazon.com/AmLactin-Percent-Moisturizing-Lotion-oz/dp/B000NN3H5E

I'm coming up now on 3 weeks since my last laser treatment. Still looks like a lot of pepper spots (this is the first treatment on my arm with the Gentlelase, but I had a lot more before that with "ok" settings on the apogee elite... and this is my 4th on the legs). My friend told me I had smoother legs than his mom lol. I would just like it to look smooth rather than shaved.

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#100009 - 07/08/12 08:31 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
mumbaigirl Offline
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Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
Amlactin is nice. You can also try a moisturizer which contains glycolic acid.

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#100010 - 07/08/12 09:34 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: mumbaigirl]
Brenton Offline
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Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
I have so much of this lotion that I feel like I should use it just to start getting rid of some of it. I showed in the mornings so I'll probably apply it at night before bed. Then I guess I should use an exfoliating mitt in the morning in the shower?

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#100017 - 07/09/12 03:55 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
Brenton Offline
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Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
Odd, I can't edit the above post. I was just going to add that I'm not sure if I should be exfoliating everyday or not. I thought it should only be a couple times a week, but for pepper spots, maybe I need to do it more?

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#100018 - 07/09/12 05:39 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
ekade Offline
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 306
Did somebody try blackhead remover tool like this http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/revlon-...l_Google_Beauty
for these pepper spots?

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#100026 - 07/09/12 09:45 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: ekade]
Thehairyone001 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 3
Brenton what I do is exfoliate on alternating days. So day 1 I'll use my mitt and day 2 a simple bath puff then repeat. And yes, do exfoliate in the shower! If you're planning on getting the riffi I'd like to mention I've never used it dry as a "massage glove". In fact, just the though of that makes me cringe...

Also the blackhead remover sounds like a good idea. Not sure if it would work since these things are so deeply embedded and persistent on living but it's worth a shot!

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#100027 - 07/09/12 10:15 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Thehairyone001]
Brenton Offline
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Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
Hmmm interesting. Sadly the amlactin lotion has kind of a disgusting smell, but maybe I can do that each night before bed, and then exfoliate on alternating days? The place I go to for electrolysis gave me some exfoliating gloves as well. I might consider the riffi glove, though I wonder how much better it is. It seems to be getting good reviews though from what I can find.

I remember my dermatologist did that black head remover thing on me before (I assume what she used was higher quality)... I don't remember it making a huge difference, but maybe it could work?

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#100030 - 07/09/12 10:44 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
stoppit&tidyup Offline
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Registered: 05/04/08
Posts: 1818
Loc: London, UK
It might make you cringe but my electrologist who recommended me the riffi said you cause tiny scratches on your skin when you use it wet.

Previously, I had tried all kinds of abrasive exfoliation methods from other mitts to fine pumice stones. I had always used them wet, so using something dry was new to me too.

She suggested I use it on dry skin before shower, in gentle circular motions. She stressed that moisturising was just as, if not more important. So I'd use the mitt a few times a week but made sure I moisturised (I used bio oil) daily. My issue wasn't pepper spots, it was fine hairs on my legs growing in a coil and caught just under the skin. In the past I had tried products like tend skin without much success. For me, a week or two of the above routine sorted out my problem.

I do think glycolic acid products would help as well.
_________________________
34/F/UK
Laser for reduction on Underarms, Bikini, Full Legs & 3/4 Arms. Skin type IV
Electrolysis - Further details in: My sister's electrolysis diary
[27hrs of Blend, April 2008-Dec 2010 in UK, for coarse hair on lower sideburns, coarse chin hair, completed upper lip, shaped eyebrows]
[Sept 2011 to Nov 2013, once yearly sessions with Josefa. Completed reduction of facial/neck fuzz in approx 27 hrs TTT]

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#100032 - 07/10/12 06:04 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: stoppit&tidyup]
ekade Offline
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 306
So, all body scrubs in the shower cause tiny scratches on one skin as well?

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#100034 - 07/10/12 12:55 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: ekade]
stoppit&tidyup Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 05/04/08
Posts: 1818
Loc: London, UK
I'm not sure ekade. But I know the riffi mitt, other mitts/gloves designed especially for exfoliation of the skin and pumice stones are all pretty rough.

I know lots of people who don't advise using the St. Ives apricot scrub on one's face because the kernals do more harm than good in terms of scratching the skin.
_________________________
34/F/UK
Laser for reduction on Underarms, Bikini, Full Legs & 3/4 Arms. Skin type IV
Electrolysis - Further details in: My sister's electrolysis diary
[27hrs of Blend, April 2008-Dec 2010 in UK, for coarse hair on lower sideburns, coarse chin hair, completed upper lip, shaped eyebrows]
[Sept 2011 to Nov 2013, once yearly sessions with Josefa. Completed reduction of facial/neck fuzz in approx 27 hrs TTT]

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#100035 - 07/10/12 01:16 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: stoppit&tidyup]
ekade Offline
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Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 306
Originally Posted By: stoppit&tidyup
I know lots of people who don't advise using the St. Ives apricot scrub on one's face because the kernals do more harm than good in terms of scratching the skin.

Yes, I’ve heard it too!

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#100036 - 07/10/12 01:27 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: ekade]
stoppit&tidyup Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 05/04/08
Posts: 1818
Loc: London, UK
Yeh, so I'm guessing it's the same on the body if you're using scrubs with 'bits' in them.

I was just told it's less harsh and damaging to exfoliate on dry skin.

From personal experience, my skin is in much better condition using this routine of dry exfoliation with the riffi mitt and moisturising well after every shower. I used to really 'go at it' with a pumice stone many years ago.

This new (for me) method didn't loosen up my trapped hairs overnight, it took a week or two but when it happened, my skin looked much better than the sore, bumpiness I used to have using the stone.
_________________________
34/F/UK
Laser for reduction on Underarms, Bikini, Full Legs & 3/4 Arms. Skin type IV
Electrolysis - Further details in: My sister's electrolysis diary
[27hrs of Blend, April 2008-Dec 2010 in UK, for coarse hair on lower sideburns, coarse chin hair, completed upper lip, shaped eyebrows]
[Sept 2011 to Nov 2013, once yearly sessions with Josefa. Completed reduction of facial/neck fuzz in approx 27 hrs TTT]

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#100037 - 07/10/12 01:55 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: stoppit&tidyup]
Brenton Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: stoppit&tidyup

I was just told it's less harsh and damaging to exfoliate on dry skin.


Interesting... I feel like I remember hearing that I should exfoliate on wet skin while I'm taking a shower. Though I wonder how much difference it really makes in the end?

The amlactin has lactic acid, so although it's not glycolic acid, they're both fairly similar. Both are alpha-amino hydroxy acids. Actually, according to this:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/203203-glycolic-acid-vs-lactic-acid/

It seems as if the lactic acid is a bit milder than the glycolic acid. I'm a little concerned about using harsher compounds on me since I don't know how I'll react, and we're talking about very large areas.

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#100038 - 07/10/12 02:07 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
stoppit&tidyup Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 05/04/08
Posts: 1818
Loc: London, UK
My previous electrologist was adamant that it should only be done on dry skin. As many electrologist's in the UK, she was also a highly qualified beautician, doing facials, waxing etc.

Anyway, yes lactic is similar but less harsh. You want to look out for the pH of the product if listed when comparing. Which you know much more about than me.

For the last two months, I've been using a simple cleanser that contains 10% GLA. It works better than anything else I've tried.

I'm linking the body products page of where I bought the cleanser (and a 15% night cream for my sister), so you can see what sort of products might be useful for you if you can find similar locally.

http://www.bravuralondon.com/body.html

If the results from the cleanser and night cream are anything to go by, I'm sure the body products are also very effective.
_________________________
34/F/UK
Laser for reduction on Underarms, Bikini, Full Legs & 3/4 Arms. Skin type IV
Electrolysis - Further details in: My sister's electrolysis diary
[27hrs of Blend, April 2008-Dec 2010 in UK, for coarse hair on lower sideburns, coarse chin hair, completed upper lip, shaped eyebrows]
[Sept 2011 to Nov 2013, once yearly sessions with Josefa. Completed reduction of facial/neck fuzz in approx 27 hrs TTT]

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#100047 - 07/10/12 07:46 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: stoppit&tidyup]
mumbaigirl Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 12/14/11
Posts: 281
10% GLA is better than riffi mitt? or are u using both of them?

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#100065 - 07/11/12 01:16 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: mumbaigirl]
Thehairyone001 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 3
Hmm that's an interesting point about dry exfoliation... I actually thought the opposite that dry would cause more irritation :s

Also I had removed this from my original post (cos I'm not sure if every location stocks them) but I get my riffis at Winners for 5 bucks! So check there first lol

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#108961 - 09/11/13 04:32 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
mj28 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/13
Posts: 5
Hi, I know this is veryyy late, but I just wanted to ask what the outcome of the pepper spots was....I'm having the same issue right now....would be grateful if you could tell me whether they eventually disappeared or not
Many thanks smile

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#109002 - 09/12/13 06:45 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: mj28]
Brenton Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
So for everyone curious:

Basically the ones on my lower legs are mostly all gone. The arms have been more stubborn, but when the hair grows back (although thinner), the pepper spots are substantially less noticeable. I've mostly been exfoliating everyday with that Dove gentle exfoliate lotion (it was like $5 at Walmart). Not sure how much that helped, but once in a while I also used exfoliating gloves in the shower. It's a very slow and gradual process, but now that the pepper spots on my legs have gone mostly away, I'm more confident in the remaining pepper spots going away.

I did not try the riffi mitt (mostly because I forgot to order it lol), but it's definitely something I'd give a try

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#109006 - 09/12/13 09:21 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
mj28 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/13
Posts: 5
Thanks for the reply. I was beginning to think they'd be there forever lol. You've given me hope. May order the mitt now wink

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#109007 - 09/12/13 09:48 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: mj28]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3450
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
I’ve just glanced over these posts regarding “pepper spots.” I have a couple questions.

First, what do you think these “pepper spots” are?

Second, why are you scrubbing the hell out of your skin and what, exactly, are you exfoliating or trying to achieve?

I suppose I’m asking: what are these spots and what do you think you are doing to them?

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#109009 - 09/12/13 10:29 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Michael Bono]
Brenton Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal
1) "These are called "Bundelhaar," (German: bundle of hairs.) These arise from active sebaceous glands." "There is so much "sticky" sebum that the shedding hair is held in place; eventually you get a build-up of these shedding hairs that look like a large "blackhead." "

2) "There are peel off products that grab the tops of the Bundelhaar and pull them out." "If you can get "micro-dermabrasion" crystals, these work really well." "They work great to clean and "exfoliate" your face."

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#109012 - 09/13/13 12:47 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3450
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Oh I see! I was thinking RED pepper (and thought you were treating angiogenesis).

Actually Bundelhaar is typically found on "oily" areas, e.g., the nose. I wonder if laser-caused "black pepper" would actually qualify as "Bundelhaar" ... maybe a new definition? I'm assuming your "black spots" are desiccated remnants of a lasered hair (not the classic definition)?

Bundelhaaren are nicely treated with the methods you describe.

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#109014 - 09/13/13 12:53 AM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Michael Bono]
Brenton Offline
Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 06/09/11
Posts: 721
Loc: SoCal

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#109019 - 09/13/13 02:05 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3450
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
That's funny! (I checked thru this thread and did not see my reference. But then, I hate digging thru "threads.")

Still, most folks in this thread are talking about laser-induced post-treatment remnant "pepper spots." I would assume these are basically carbon "plugs" of some sort; so not "Bundelhaar" (essentially a bundle of hairs.)

What about a new name for those "pepper spots?" Any suggestions? A name that also explains the thing would be excellent. Something like: laser-remnant, or carbon plug?

I have some thoughts on this, but since I have never had these myself, my thinking would only be speculation.

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#109029 - 09/13/13 04:17 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Thehairyone001]
mj28 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/13
Posts: 5
Is the riffi mitt used wet or dry. Just ordered one. Can't wait. Lol

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#109041 - 09/13/13 09:28 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: mj28]
Michael Bono Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 01/11/11
Posts: 3450
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Very random & unsubstantiated thoughts on “pepper spots” ...

We all remember the kid in Grade School that got a permanent mark from some kid poking him with a pencil? The pencil “lead” of course is graphite in some form of clay binder/matrix.

At any rate, once the graphite is deposited at a low enough layer of the skin (junction of the sub-dermis and dermis), this becomes a well-known mark called a tattoo!

The remnant of the lasered hair is probably carbon of some sort? If a large enough hair were lasered and left a carbon deposit at just the right skin layer … and the skin healed-over perfectly … would this also leave a virtual tattoo?

I do not know at all; as I said this is supposition. However, if you actually do have a tattoo-like deposit that deep in the skin, no amount of scrubbing is going to remove it. There could be, however, other options. Presumably your own body will “gobble up” the (organic) carbon and there could be ways to encourage this process. I can think of a few ways.

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#126111 - 03/26/18 10:24 PM Re: Pepper Spots [Re: Brenton]
Janna Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/18
Posts: 7
Pepper spots are hairs that have been fried/vaporized by heat from a laser. They're not like a tattoo because they exist in a hair follicle that should not heal over. I assume that in some cases, the follicle may tighten towards the outside and prevent the thicker hair remnant from slipping out. Most people report them falling out on their own eventually.

I've heard of people squeezing them out but that isn't good for the skin. I wouldn't expect exfoliation to help other than maybe you occasionally catch a hair and pull it out. It might help open the follicles? I haven't really researched removal methods so I'm just guessing. Applying heat or 'drawing salve' for pimples might help?

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