Freckles Got Darker After Second IPL Treatment

I had my 1st IPL a while back for my freckles & 2 hrs later my freckles immediately looked like "pepper" & they peeled off 7 days later. Yesterday I had 2nd treatment w/ increased settings but spots did not "pepper" like last time. They just got darker but not flaky. Does that mean it didnt work?

Doctor Answers 2

IPL therapy diminishes freckles

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Intense Pulse Light therapy directs it effect on darker pigment tissue.  Essentially the melanin is treated and the overall aspiration is to diminish the hyper-pigmented areas such as freckles.  Almost immediately after the IPL therapy the freckles will become darker and this essentially indicates effective treatment.  As the days and weeks go by, the freckles should soften more and more and ultimately hopefully achieve the desired result.  Mild darkening is satisfactory, severe darkening may indicate too heavy of an IPL therapeutic dose but generally pigmentation issues can be resolved with a tincture of time and sometimes topical medication such as hydroquinone can benefit to softening the darker pigmented problems.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Freckles got darker

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Assuming the settings were same, this does not mean it did not work.  I would bet that since you had more pigment (hence more target) the first time, you probably had more heat absorption and thus more peeling the first time than in the subsequent treatment.

Peter J. Malouf, DO
Fort Worth Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

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