Face Looks Worse After Photofacial, Will the Brown Spots it Caused Eventually Go Away?

I had my first photofacial on Sunday. It is tues and my face looks terrible with dark brown spots all over it. The facial was a bad experience with terrible pain afterwards. I will not go back for another, but am concerned I have ruined my skin. Will the existing dark spots that came follwing the treatment go away?

Doctor Answers 7

Darkening spots is usually indication that your treatment worked

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It is common for facial veins to be red and hyperpigmentation to look darker after your photo facial. This tends to disappear about 3-5 days after your treatment. You can use makeup to cover up any redness and brown spots. Make sure you use a sterile product and applicator to reduce the risk of infection.

Photofacials and dark spots

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It may take up to 1-2 weeks for the dark spots to flake off.  During this time frame, use a moisturizer and good sunscreen. 

Photofacials and brown spots

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If you had some brown spots before your photofacial, they can turn darker and crispy.  Treat your skin very gently and do not scrub.  These brown spots will flake off in about a week.  More than one treatment may be necessary.  Make sure to protect your skin from the sun.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

Dark spots after photofacial

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Brown spots and red spots will often darken right after an intense pulsed light (photofacial) treatment.  They should lighten up.  Sun avoidance and sunscreen are key after treatment. 

Donna Bilu Martin, MD
Aventura Dermatologist


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Brown spots go away in 1-2 weeks.  Avoid the sun and use lots of sunscreen.  These are typically not painful.

IPL Will Make Darken Spots Before They Fall Off

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IPL (Photofacial) is used to treat brown spots and redness of the skin. A few days after your IPL treatment you may notice that your dark spots are becoming darker; do not panic. IPL forces the dark spots to the surface and as the skin cells turnover, so will the dark spots. Allow a few weeks for this process to occur.  Many patients are pleased with just one IPL treatment but often times a series of 2-3 is necessary in order to rid your skin of the unwanted spots. In our office we advise patients to wait a minimum of 3 weeks before undergoing another IPL treatment. Good luck to you!


If you would like more information on IPL (Photofacial), please visit the link below. 

IPL turns brown spots darker before flaking off

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IPL or photofacial treatment treats brown spots and red pigmentation such as from rosacea or broken blood vessels.  Although this is typically considered a "no downtime" procedure, occasional patients may experience a more exaggerated response.  Brown spots typically turn darker, appearing like "coffee grounds", that then flake off in about a week's time.

Melanie D. Palm, MD - Account Suspended
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon

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.