Is Bruising Normal After IPL?

I have fair skin and use IPL to treat rosacea. It's been three years since last IPL and just had it done on Friday (they have a new technician at my Derm's office). This time I have brusing spots on both cheeks (dark red / purple) Never had this before and it worries me.... Will this go away? How long? How to help it heal faster? Thanks for any help!

Doctor Answers 3

IPL bruising possible but uncommon

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As IPL results in a superficial depth injury there is usually no bruising. High energy levels can go deeper and break a superficial blood vessel. It is a bruise and should resolve on its own. Sunscreen wear is important for the IPL skin healing, it does nothing for the bruise itself. Are you on anything that could thin your blood, such as ASA, etc. This could make you more likely to bruise. Also, check back with your doctor for advice and to report these results. He/she may need to review the laser protocol that is being used.

Victoria Plastic Surgeon

Bruising is not expected with IPL

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Bruising may potentially happen if a small blood vessel bursts from the light pulse. 

If the surface of the skin is intact (which is somewhat difficult to tell from the photo) and not broken, then the bruises should resolve within a week or so.

If the skin surface is broken, it may have been a burn, and you should return back to your dermatologist's office for an evaluation as soon as possible.

Also, you must use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF both to protect the treated skin from more sun damage, and to prevent any post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after the procedure.

Normally we see bruising more with lasers like the pulse dye laser.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Bruising can occur with IPL at higher energy settings

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Bruising can occur with IPL at higher energy settings. This represents rupture of superficial blood vessels and should resolve with time.

Edward Lack, MD
Chicago Dermatologist

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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.