How do I get rid of grid marks on face from laser treatment? (Photo)

I had a Palomar IPL 1 month ago and got burnt grid marks. Now I have dark skin and lighter grid marks. I got a chemical peel a couple of weeks ago. How can I get rid of this? I am using vitamin C in the am and retin-a at night. Will this go away? Should I have another laser treatment? Help!!!

Doctor Answers 5

Striping after IPL

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Thank you for your question Stacy WA. I understand your concern. IPL is a great treatment for facial rejuvenation. If settings and overlap are not appropriate striping can be seen. For example there care be areas that are missed between the areas that are treated. In our office we use the Sciton BBL IPL device which has a large spot size and fast repetition rate allowing for multiple passes in different directions using more conservative settings to avoid such complications. Striping can be treated with more IPL, fractional lasers, and topical products such as hydroquinone.

Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

Medical Microneedling Can Be Helpful For Blending Uneven Tone & Texture Problems

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I'm really sorry that you had this problem with the IPL treatment. Anyone familiar with my Realself answers over the years knows well that I am not much of a fan of current light and energy based treatments, having found these relatively expensive treatments at best to offer inconsistent, variable, and subtle results, and, on the other side, to give rise to problems, such as the one you are currently experiencing. 

I would strongly urge you to schedule an appointment with a board certified aesthetic dermatologist who would be able to recommend prescription strength medications for home use and appropriate in-office treatments to help blend the irregular, grid pattern blotches. Exercise caution in considering further light treatments at this point. In office treatments may include a series of superficial peels and/or the use of medical microneedling to help blend the overall tone and texture of the treated skin with the surrounding normal skin.. 

Post IPL grid or square marks

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I am sorry to see that this happened to you.  The most conservative approach would be hydroquinone 4% for up to six months and a medical grade sunblock containing the physical blockers, Zinc or Titanium.  The sunblock is essential and should be applied a minimum of 3 times per day, even in the car.   The difference between the hyper-pigmented area and your fair skin will gradually diminish.  I would not attempt any further IPL or treatment of any sort until you have been on hydroquinone for a minimum of 3-6 weeks as any further energy or trauma (such as dermabrasion) may make the pigmentation worse.  The best description of hydroquinone is that it acts like a tranquilizer for your melanocytes (the cells that want to pigment) and keeping them down-regulated along with serious sun block protection will be most productive.  You can see a laser specialist, dermatologist or plastic surgeon for the hydroquinone prescription.  I urge you to act sooner versus later, if only to get the sunblock on that area ASAP.

Light Laser Marks

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I'd suggest seeing an expert for proper skin care at this time and consider fraxel, microneedling/PRP, and Sculptra for collagen building in combination in order for this to improve. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 reviews

Grids marks after IPL

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I'm sorry to hear that you had a problem with your IPL treatment.  It should be possible to treat and reduce the appearance of the grid marks.  Treatments that could be considered include more IPL (using more conservative settings) or fractional laser resurfacing.  Make sure to see an experienced laser physician.  We are located in Lone Tree and would be happy to see you if you would like.

Best regards,

Richard J. Ort, M.D.

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.