Ask a doctor

Post IPL Hyperpigmentation Concerns

I just had ipl test patch done on my lower leg a week ago to remove brown spots caused by razor cuts. however, the area treated is red-brown (this area hardly had any pigmentation) but the two dark spots are crusted and dark brown.is there any risk of permanent scarring? also, i heard that dark spots treated with ipl can recur if exposed to sunlight? (does it mean you can never tan?)are there more effective permanent lightening solutions with less risk? thank you in advance for your help.

Doctor Answers (2)

Test spots are helpful to determine if you're a good candidate for IPL PhotoFacial treatments.

+1

Your dark spots that crusted will likely fall off and disappear. The red-brown area needs to be kept out of the sun, and that should improve. Brown discoloration after IPL treatments can happen, but most times it subsides. Based on your experience, I would wait till the crusted, brown area heals and see how that looks. If the brown spots look improved, you could continue with your IPL treatments, but ask your doctor to put white paper on un-affected skin so only the lesion will get treated.

You should show your result to your doctor for specific advice.

I hope you find this helpful.


West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 272 reviews

IPL treated spots can look dark while healing

+1

IPL treated spots can look dark while healing, usually a "dirty, coffee grind" look.  Faces usually heal in one week but legs can take two-three weeks to heal. The areas you described are therefore  probably still healing.   Crusting is less common but can sometimes occur.  Hopefully you weren't tan because tan skin can crust and possibly discolor if treated with IPL.  Make sure all treated areas are protected from the sun for at least several months after treatment to reduce the risk of darkening. 

Lorrie Klein, MD
Laguna Niguel Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 163 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.