I have streak marks on forehead and cheeks after my first IPL Treatment. (photos)

2 weeks ago I had my first IPL treatment. Im left with streak marks on my forehead and cheeks. I was initially told by the RN that I would need multiple sessions to lift the dark spots from pregnancy hormones. I feel that it is quite obvious that they missed numerous places on my face and did not give me an even treatment. They said this is normal and that is why they suggest multiple treatments, that with my next treatment they will go the opposite direction to capture the remaining dark areas

Doctor Answers 5

Streaks after IPL

Not all IPL's are the same and not all providers are the same.  Older IPL systems create streaks which are sign of a low threshold of therapeutic to treatment ratio.  Older IPL's may use cryogen lamps instead of xenon lamps.  In addition, the threshold for therapeutic and burn is much lower in an older IPL system than newer IPL systems.  There are a select few 3rd generation IPL's which are much better at targeting browns and reds with higher absorption than older IPLs.  IPL's should be performed under a physician's umbrella as safety parameters and effectiveness parameters will be much more likely.    It is better to spend money on an effective treatment than less money on an ineffective one.  

Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Not enough overlap

These steaks are the result of not enough overlap on the IPL pulses.  I recommend returning for another treatment as these areas will respond well to blending.

In good health,

Dr. Keel

Douglas M. Keel, DO
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon


Hello and thank you for your question. What you are seeing can be corrected. Start with skin lightening/bleaching such as ZO Melamin and Melamix. You can continue your treatments to even out the streaking. Hope this helps! Dr Faraz

Patricia Faraz, MD
Ladera Ranch OB/GYN
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Streak after IPL

The streak after IPL is due to your dark skin color; what I am referring to is your background color; since it is olive color it also gets coloration changes which leaves you with a streak. The best thing to do is use bleaching cream and give it time; it will be gone no longer than one month following your procedure.

Arian Mowlavi, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

The Red Resolution

IPL causes swelling and redness and will resolve. It usually takes a series of treatments to have improvement.  I find that fraxel is better the types of spots you're describing. See an expert in lasers. Any "streaks" mean you do not have appropriate treatment and you need to be see by an expert.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 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.