Sensitive and Freckle prone skin after laser?

I've been wanting to do a freckle/sun spot removal treatment on my arms, chest and upper back. I was thinking IPL as it covers a larger area and I have A LOT of freckles on my body that I would like gone. My question is whether or not my skin will be more sensitive to the sun after the treatment? Obviously I would always wear sun block (I already do) but I am an active person and sometimes getting some sun exposure is inevitable! I'm Caucasian but I don't burn easily.

Doctor Answers 3

Sensitivity after IPL

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question emmylouu. IPL is a great treatment to address freckles and sun damage. It can be used on the face and the body. For my patients I recommend avoiding sun exposure and tanning for two weeks prior to the treatment. Same for a week or two after a treatment as the skin will be sensitive. If the treatment is done on the body, usually clothing can protect the skin. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. We are happy to offer free consultations in our office. Good luck!

IPL won't cause long-lasting sun sensitivity, but you may need other skin-saving options

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Immediately after your treatment (for about 5-days post treatment) you should be extra-careful with your skin to make sure it is not exposed to any additional heat damage from the sun.

However, while these treatments can be highly effective, they only treat freckles and spots that are currently present. These treatments can NOT prevent new freckles and brown-spots from occurring.

Once you get to a point where you are happy with your results and want to maintain how things look, realistically UV-protective clothing (rash-guards for the beach, shawls, ponchos, etc for everyday life) may make your life easier. Instead of having to apply sunscreen head-to-toe every time you will be outdoors (sunscreen is a necessity and you need to use it, but it is impossible to be 100% diligent 100% of the time.), it will simplify your sun-protection and safe-guard your skin (and results) if you can just throw a UV-protective wrap over your shoulders. Due to the increased interest in products like this, they are making more and more stylish options -- just search on Amazon and you'll be amazed at the wide variety of trust-worthy, fashionable choices you have.

* You mentioned that you don't burn easily, but the fact that you currently have "A LOT of freckles" suggests that your skin does not fare well in the sun. Your future-self will be extremely appreciative of the proactive precautions you're taking now.

Good luck with everything!

Stephen D. Hess, MD, PhD
Philadelphia Dermatologic Surgeon

Facial Aging and Lasers like Fraxel/Clear + Brilliant, RF like VIVA, Peels, Fillers, Skin Care, Face Lift, Fat Injections

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
freckles always come back even with large spread IPL treatments. I find that fraxel does more for antiaging.  Yes any laser or IPL treatments make the skin more sensitive in the sun.  I suggest a formal consultation with a cosmetic dermatologist.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 203 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.