Is my photofacial treatment making my burn worse?

I was burned from an upper lip wax treatment. Next day went on vacation. Even with sunblock and hats I was left with a dark brown mustache scar. I recently tried a photo facial. After fist treatment it seems as if the area was worse. The next treatment slightly better. Do I continue? Even concealer does not work! Help what do I do. Continue or not?

Doctor Answers 4

Dark spot after burn from lip waxing

It is common for an area of the skin on which there is trauma to leave a dark spot. This is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH is when the skin gets darker after inflammation. And inflammation can occur from a variety of triggers such as cuts, burns, sun exposure, chemical peels, laser treatments, etc. People with darker skin are more susceptible to PIH. Sometimes PIH can trigger melasma, a condition when the skin gets darker very easily in response to sun exposure. It is best to talk to your doctor so he/she can give you specific recommendations. The use of topical products such as sunscreen, hydroquinone, vitamin C, and hydroxyl acids can help with both PIH and melasma. I recommend applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 with broad spectrum protection every day. Ingredients to look for include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Good luck!

Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Photo Facial

Thank you for your question in regards to photo facials. Depending on your skin type, IPL can make dark areas darker before resolving. Any sun exposure immanently after treatment puts anyone at a higher risk of pigmentation problems. To be sure what is best for you, see two or more board-certified providers in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have treatment. I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

IPL and Hyperpigmentation

IPL can make you skin predisposed to burn or sesitivity in the sun and get hyperpigmentation.  Please be careful with light exposure while getting IPL.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Give it time

  • IT is hard to say without pictures. Are you dark skinned? If you are, lasers, any trauma or heat can worsen pigmentation, in this case you should use sun screen, topical hydroquinone or gentle chemical peels to remove the darkness. If you are fair, IPL will erase the spots in a few sessions, but the dark spots always get darker first before flaking off. Lastly, make sure you don't have melasma, a common cause for lip hyper pigmentation, in which case you should NEVER have any lasers. Best of luck!

Neda Vanden Bosch, MD
West Palm Beach Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.