I had an IPL photofacial for dark spots and freckles sun damage. It has been 3 weeks since my first treatment. Advice?

The dark spots flaked of and my skin is looking great. I am noticing a dark spot is coming back. Will it continue to come back after more treatments? I am wearing 30spf and 50 spf when I am in the sun. And reapplying after 90 mins.

Doctor Answers 6


To maintain long term results from photofacials a series of 3 should be performed every 6 weeks. You must wait the full 6 weeks to receive your next one. You should first check with a physician and make sure the spot is benign, once that is ruled out it is safe to proceed with your BBL treatment regimen.  Pre and post laser a compound cream may lighten the pigment and maximize results of the laser. Pre-treating a few weeks before and after gives optimal results.

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Post IPL Pigment Recurrence

Typically a series of 3-4 IPL treatments is recommended with a yearly to every other year maintenance treatment. Medical grade sunscreen with SPF 30 containing zinc daily is important. As well as using a prescription containing topical Hydroquinone 4% such as Obagi Nu-Derm system or Tri-luma cream to suppress recurrence of pigmentation. A wide brimmed hat is recommended upon more than 30 minutes of sun exposure. Also, an over the counter supplement called Heliocare can be taken by mouth for additional antioxidants which aid in protecting from sun exposure. Make sure to bring to the providers attention the specific spot concerning you while you are still getting your initial treatment for evaluation.

Anita Saluja, MD
Melbourne Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Questions after an IPL photofacial

There is no way to tell if the dark spot will continue to get worse after your IPL photofacial.  Sun exposure will certainly increase the chance of the sunspot coming back. For this reason it's important to you sunscreen and continue to use medical grade skincare. There's a small chance that the spot could be cancerous in nature it would need to be evaluated by dermatologists. You could also consider having the area retreated. I hope this helps

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Recurring pigment after IPL

It sounds like you have had great results.  The recurrent dark spot may be:

1) persistent/recurrent lentigo (the sun spot needs to be re-treated)
2)postinflammatory change (the inflammation associated with the healing process has left a dark spot - this is more common in darker skin types)
3) a type of skin cancer called lentigo maligna (this is more unlikely, but you should have the lesion evaluated to make sure it is a regular sun spot)

Melissa Chiang, MD, FAAD
Houston Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

I had an IPL photofacial for dark spots and freckles sun damage.

IPL is great tool to improve on sun damage in the form of sun spots. It is necessary to help and maintain the result with a good medical grade skin care line and sun block.

Hope this helps,
Dr. Gus Diaz
Lumenis National Center of Excellence.

Gustavo A. Diaz, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

IPL versus other treatments like fraxel

i find that ipl is good for short term improvement in spots but long term its best to get something that keeps spots away longer and provides long term collagen / wrinkle improvement like fraxel, viva etc.  Best, Dr. emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 196 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.