IPL for Severe Hyperpigmentation on Brown Skin?

My grandparents are white, but I'm brown with severe freckling of white, tan and dark brown spots, plus larger brown spots all over, more than any of my doctors have ever seen. Some think it might be neurofibromatosis but they're trying to verify that. Meanwhile my dermatologist has scheduled me for IPL. But he said to stop the hydroquinone/retinol and it's been two months since I've used it. I'd like some advice before my IPL appointment.

Would it be more effective to reapply the creams before my appointment? Is it even worth it at all as I am brown?

Doctor Answers 1

IPL on "brown" skin can be disappointing.

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I have been using the Palomar StarLux IPL for years, and I stopped doing PhotoFacial treatments for melasma (blotchy brown patches), or for people with darker skin types and unwanted freckles.

If your dermatologist is confident you'll get a favorable result, and if you did well with spot testing, you may see results after several treatments. These procedures are most rewarding for light skin-types.

Best regards.


West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
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