IPL 3 Days Ago - Now I Have Maybe 3-4 "Coffee Grind" Spots. Is This Normal?

Called Dr. She said come back in after one week and she would re-do procedure. Is this ok to do again after one week. Also I have friends that had this done and they said they got the most results after 1st treatment. Even it I dont have alot of "coffee grins" appearance will I still see improvement??

Doctor Answers 4

Dark Spots 3 days after IPL

To have dark spots, slightly red or blotchy skin, 'coffee grounds' or even slightly dirty looking skin 3 days after IPL is quite normal and generally a good sign.  The skin will generally become dry and the darkened spots will flake or peel off. We usually recommend patients not be treated for at least 3-4 weeks.  After only a week the skin may not have had a chance to peel/flake sufficiently or recover completely from the previous treatment so treating again so quickly may be a bit premature.


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

What to expect after IPL

After IPL treatment, the skin may look red and blotchy for 1-3 days.   The brown spots darken right away, and may look red around the edges, then start to look crusty or scabby.  Many people call this "coffee grounds."  On the face it may take 7-10 days for these spots to fall off, and 14 days for the chest or arms.  Some patients do not notice the crusting or coffee grounds, but may still have an eventual lightening of the brown spots.  It may take several more weeks before you can assess how much improvement you got.  I would definitely not do anouther treatment until 4 weeks after your last treatment.  If you have not had much improvement, your doctor may consider using slightly stronger energies.  Usually one session does not treat all of the brown spots, and there may be some that are particularly resistant even after several treatments, that need to be treated with a different removal method.  Give it some more time and try a second treatment.

Jordana S. Gilman, MD
Washington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Dark spots after IPL or Fotofacial is normal

Don't do another IPL or Fotofacial for 30 days.  I usually recommend 5 monthly treatments.

These dark spots are damaged pigmented areas you didn't want in the first place.  They'll just fall off.  This kind of thing happens all the time and is to be expected as a normal result of the procedure.

When they do fall off, your skin color will be more uniform, youthful and attractive.  IPL or Fotofacial is one of those procedures that typically has a high satisfaction rate.

Daniel J. Ladd Jr., DO
Austin Dermatologist

The appearance of "coffee ground", brown spots after an IPL PhotoFacial is usually a good sign.

IPL PhotoFacial treatments to reduce the appearance of brown discoloration may result in temporary darkening of these spots so they resemble coffee grounds. These will typically fall off in 2-3 weeks and reveal improved skin coloration.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 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.