Photofacial Burns 4 Days Post Op, Becoming Scabs. Is This Normal?

I have the exact size of the wand burn marks on my face. I had a photo facial done 4 days ago. There are the brown spots that I was warned about, but these seem like scabs now. Is this normal? I also had a few blisters pop up. I had no idea that it would take this long to heal. I called the medical spa and they said that this has happened before and if it gets worse call them back. Any suggestions? This does not seem normal!

Doctor Answers 5

Photofacial and burns

You should consult a dermatologist for treatment of your burns.  You must wash very gently and keep your skin moist with an ointment such as Aquaphor.  Sun avoidance is mandatory.  You will probably heal very well but may require additional treatments.  Please have treatment with a laser specialist who is a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Burns after photofacial

  I agree with the others.  This is not normal.  But to help relieve your anxiety, this does happen after this procedure, and usually heals without noticeable effect.  It is sort of an argument against the medispa phenomenon and for having it done in the office of a doctor in whom you trust.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 134 reviews


This does not sound normal and blisters are never normal.  It is unconscionable that they did not see you in person after you called to report a side effect.  You need to see a board certified dermatologist in your area to advise you on the proper wound care, sun protection and post healing care to limit any possible side effects.  I would also advise that you do not return to the med spa for any additional treatments.  More than likely you will heal without any concerns, but please seek the advice of a dermatologist with laser experience to be sure. You can find a reputable one in your area by going to the web site for the American Society for Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, the American Society for Dermatological Surgery and the American Academy of Dermatology.  A member of all three is your best bet, but a member of two is a good sign as well.  Best to you.



Jacqueline Calkin, MD
Sacramento Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Is blistering, scab formation normal following a photofacial?

Hyperpigmented areas will become dry and flakey but do not form scabs.  Blistering and scab formation is not anticipated following photofacials.  Gentle cleansing, hydration, and sun avoidance is essential.  The wounds need to be assessed. 

Robert Sleightholm, MD
Brampton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Don't get services in a medispa with no doctors.

No this is not normal.  You are talking about tiger stripping.  This is a burn produced by an IPL machine with the energy setting too intense for your skin.  These often do heal with no consequences.  However, I urge you to be seen by a dermatologist for care for this burn to reduce the risk of scaring and hyper or hypopigmentation.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.