Can IPL Treat Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation's from Acne?

Doctor Answers 4

IPL may not help post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

The inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne will almost always fade on its own in usually 1-3 months (longer if darker or with asian skin). In my honest opinion, it would be a waste to try to remove this hyperpigmentation with IPL or any other laser as they don't practically work for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, but rather better used for lentigos.

The best treatment for the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation of acne is time, the treatment of the originating acne, and perhaps the use of a bleaching cream.


Beverly Hills Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

IPL beneficial for post-inflammatory acne hyperpigmentation.

Yes, IPL can treat hyperpigmentation left on the skin as a result of inflammation from acne. However, I would wait several months after it first presented before treating it in this way. This is because IPL treatments add heat to the skin and cause acute inflammation which can sometimes worsen post inflammatory hyperpigmentation if it is treated too soon. In the meantime, chemical peels are another option. In either case, it is important to begin treating with skin care products that will reduce both hyperpigmentation, and inflammation. Hydroquinone products, such as SkinMedica’s Epiquin, and anti-inflammatory products, such as SkinMedica’s TNS and Vitamin C & E will also help the condition, whether used alone, or in combination with procedures. Finacea is a topical medication that helps with both hyperpigmentation and inflammation, and is will also help to control acne as well. This can be used in combination with all of the other products mentioned above.

Treating Discolorations after Acne

The Sciton Broad Band Light (BBL™) provides patients with a state-of-the-art laser system, which is able to treat multiple aesthetic concerns, while being safe, non-invasive with no downtime.
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation ( PIH) from acne or other skin damage can be cleared with specific wavelength targets.  We advise adjunct skin therapy of Retin A, Hydroquinone and Vitamin C for optimal outcomes.

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Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

Sciton BBL : A Solution for PIH from Acne

Sciton® BBL technology treats sun-damaged and aging skin effectively. The light energy delivered by the BBL will gently be absorbed by the unwanted melanin responsible for pigmented lesions in the upper layers of the skin. Over the next few days the pigmented lesions will darken and fall off. Pigmented lesions can be removed by full-face or spot-treat superficial resurfacing. This technology allows patients to experience quick recovery with smoother, healthier, more vibrant skin, and an immediate change in skin texture and tightness.

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Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 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.