I got my first Photofacial today and it feels like a really bad sunburn, and also I noticed a lot of dark brown small to medium spots all over. Is that normal? I am worried!
Photofacial Side Effects
Doctor Answers (12)
Dark spots normal after Photofacial
What you are describing sounds like a normal result. High energy (fluence) laser or light based treatments can cause the redness you describe and the dark spots. The redness is related to the trauma from the heat of the laser. The dark spots are pigment in the skin that was there before the treatment but not visible until after.
When a laser or IPL is used for sun damage, the freckles and sun spots below the skin's surface absorb most of the the light energy. These spots heat up to the point where the cells containing the pigment die. The spots then rise to the surface of the skin (through normal cell reproduction) and then flake off, leaving the skin more clear.
Yes, it's normal. These often represent sunspots or pigment that will be flaking off soon.
Thank you for your question.
A photofacial is good for dark spots (lentigos) and facial vessels / rosacea / redness of photodamage. After a photofacial, it is normal to appear sunburned for 2-4 days. As the IPL targets pigment, previous light brown or dark brown lentigo and photodamage spots will appear darker brown and start to scab and flake. This is normal as well and is actually a very good sign that you received a very good photofacial that will help you look younger, brighter, cleaner, and more even after this flaking off is finished.
Don't be worried; in fact, be happy! Let us know how you like your results!
What to expect after a photofacial
It is common to have a sensation similar to a sunburn for 1-2 hours afterward. Aloe or icepacks can help soothe this sensation.
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Photofacial side effects
No worries - Normal Result
After photofacial, you can expect some initial skin redness and darkening of your brown spots
Normal recovery after photofacial
You are describing a pretty normal recovery after a photofacial treatment. The dark spots are a good sign because it means your treatment was effective. The dark pigment absorbs the light energy and is destroyed. As they come up to the surface you will notice them flake off - and you'll be left with a more even complexion. Don't use anything abrasive, limit your sun exposure, and wear SPF 30 or greater when you are in the sun.
This sounds like a normal result from a photofacial. Depending on how much sun damage that you have, you will experience your brown spots becoming darker, like coffee grounds. Over the next few to several days, these darker spots will flake off. It is important to not pick at these. It is also very important to wear a good sunscreen.
Brown Spots after IPL
After you have IPL, it is totally normal to have what appears to be additional, darker brown spots on the surface of your skin. These brown spots will look like "coffee grounds" and will typically shed/flake within 3-7 days of your treatment. Do not pick these spots! This is generally the sign of a good, results driven treatment. The sunburn feeling should go away within several hours- however you can use cold compresses or hydrocortisone cream to help alleviate the feeling of heat.
Dr. Grant Stevens
Redness, slight swelling, and brown spots after IPL
Redness, slight swelling, and darkening of brown spots can all occur after IPL. Cooling the skin with cooled gel or air can help with patient comfort during the procedure and also protect the skin following the procedure. Redness usually lasts 0-2 days, swelling 1-3 days, and dark spots flake off typically in 1 week.
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.