I Had my Photofacial 4 Weeks Ago and I Ended Up with Really Dark Spots on my Forehead. Is This Normal and Will They Go Away?

Doctor Answers 3

Dark spots after photofacial on forehead

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It is uncommon to get dark spots after a properly performed photofacial, although it can happen, especially if you had a tan at the time of treatment, or if you didn't receive your treatment at a medical clinic such as at a dermatologist's office where the equipment and trained staff are top notch. Fortunately, with time, sun protection, and some creams or peels from your dermatologist, this should fade out fairly quickly. ~ Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon


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You may be experiencing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).  This can occur with darker skin types.  A bleaching cream, hydroquinone, may be used to possibly help improve these areas.

Melasma or PIH after IPL?

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Hi Simba.  There are two likely scenarios.  PIH or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is one possibility. This is a darkening of the skin that occurs with olive or darker skin types when an aggressive treatment is performed with an IPL.  This can usually be resolved quickly with hydroquinone.

The other possibility is Melasma.  Many patients that have IPL treatments realize only after the fact that they have Melasma.  The Melasma is activated by the IPL treatment causing large brown spots or patches.  This is also treated with hydroquinone, but is more chronic in nature.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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