Hyperpigmentation: Fraxel Vs IPL

I am of german and dane descent..but look Mexican, hyperpigmentation. Fraxel or IPL I have alot of melanin, as I used to be able to get as dark as an African American, but my buttocks are ghost white. I have hyperpigmentation on face and neck, 47 years old male. Should I use Fraxel or IPL....I am disappointed that IPL is not permanent. Jeff

Doctor Answers 4

Stubborn hyperpigmentation

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So many excellent procedures in skin care can be defeated by returning to the sun.  Even passive exposure to the sun can stimulate pigment in brunette patients.  The best treatment for persistent hyperpigmentation of the face might be combinations of hydroquinone or other bleaching agents, chemical peels or microdermabration.  Perhaps IPL and Fraxel may not be necessary or may become part of the treatment protocol.  Most importantly of all..."The sun is not your friend!".  The religious use of sunscreen, hats, sun-protective clothing, and sun avoidance will maintain your skin in its best possible condition.

Sugar Land Dermatologic Surgeon


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facial hyperpigmentation can be very stubborn, and can return readily, after any successful treatment, even with the use of good sunscreen. Fraxel dual may help more than IPL but a Wood's light is often used by a dermatologist to see if the pigment is superficial or deep and this can help the doctor recommend supplemental creams to lighten the pigment. The Fraxel, just as any treatment, can cause a reactive hyperpigmentation. Your doctor can't guarantee it won't happen.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Facial Hyperpigmentation While Buttocks are Ghost White...Fraxel Dual

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Hi Jeff,

It is either time to get your "ghost white buttocks" out in the sun to catch up with the rest of your body, or have Fraxel Dual treatment and religiously use sun block (my medical recommendation is the later).  Good lcuk and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Are you using Sunscreen?

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It is odd that you keep pigmenting after IPL. Are you careful about sun exposure? Do you use SPF everyday and wear sun protective hats? Have you tried Triluma? I would consult with a dermatologist for a skin care regime. In general, my favorite technology for sun induced pigmentation is the newer Fraxel Dual. Good luck.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 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.