Do IPL Treatments Cause Broken Capillaries on Face?

I did my first IPL treatment (full face) and noticed after a week, many broken capillaries around my cheek and chin area I didn't have before the treatment! They are dark purplish in colour and much more visible than the brown spots that were treated! Will these go away or are these permanent?!! My skin looks far worse than before. My treatment was administered by a licensed esthetician in a plastic surgery clinic.

Doctor Answers 5

IPL and broken capillaries

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IPL can treat a variety of skin conditions like hyperpigmentation, the appearance of redness and rosacea. An experienced medical esthetician or nurse will often times treat all existing conditions in a same visit. It is possible that the esthetician treated small telangiectasia that were already present in your skin but not very noticeable. These little veins can turn purple after treatment and then slowly disappear or shrink and turn pink again. Sometimes bruising can happen following a treatment, but this usually disappears within 7 to 14 days. This being said, downtime is usually predictable and should be discussed with patients before performing the treatment. I would recommend contacting your medical esthetician, and voicing your concerns. I am sure you will be satisfied with the results after downtime and completion of your 3 to 5 treatments. Hope this helps.

Montreal Plastic Surgeon

Usually quite reverse: IPL improves appearance of broken capillaries

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IPL helps to diminish or improve the appearance of broken blood vessels on the face. It normally takes 3-5 treatments for the best results. Immediately after the treatment, the capillaries may appear darker or purple in color for 7-10 days but that is just temporarily and should get better after each treatment. After the healing period is over your skin should look better, not worse.

IPL for broken capillaries

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IPL is a safe and effective treatment for broken capillaries. Most people require multiple treatments, e.g. 4-6. Its not likely that the IPL caused more broken capillaries, although it may temporarily appear that way. It may be that the IPL caused a bit of bruising that has persisted or that you have become more aware of blemishes that may have always been there. In any case, be patient, but let your dermatologist or plastic surgeon review your skin before your next treatment. ~ Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

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Do IPL treatments cause broken capillaries?

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The short answer is no. In fact, IPL is a wonderful treatment option for small visible vessels and capillaries. What you may be noticing after an IPL is that there has been some leakage of blood from a vessel that was treated. This leakage, or bruise, will resolve. IPL treatments are meant to be done as a series, so be sure to return for follow-up visits to determine your progress and endpoint for your treatments.  

Physicians and estheticians want happy patients. Be sure to call your provider or return to be seen so you may understand better what your skin is going through!

Kimberly Finder, MD
San Antonio Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 64 reviews


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It is possible that you may need additional IPL treatments.  It is common to have 3-5 treatments to see a good improvement.  

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 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.