I just had my first IPL for brown spots. I am half Italian-half Irish. Dark hair, light complexion. I had two test patches done within the two weeks prior. I asked for this, as I was nervous about having anything done to my face.
I can tell you without hesitation: DO NOT do this procedure without a test patch. Both times the IPL settings, though typical/normal for most people, were too strong for me and burned my skin. I was very sensitive to the IPL--very atypical, but thank goodness we knew that before the procedure. I went to a doctor who was cautious and did not want to proceed until we had the right settings. I can definitely see how people would get burned and get awful results! Had the full treatment today, and it looks nothing like the patches did.
I would NEVER do this anyplace but a physicians office. With that said, I am not sure how much of a result I will see, since it was such a low setting, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. Right now, I have the "coffee grounds" marks on my face, and no red or pink. But some of my brown spots don't look like they are darkening, so I am not sure whether they picked up the light or not. Will update my post as I heal.