Will Photofacials Make Dark Spots Worse Before They Get Better?

I bought 6 photofacials @ American Laser Skincare. I did the VISIA complexion analysis before my photofacials & had a score of 45% on UV spots & a 67% on brown spots (less than 50% is bad, over 50% is good). After 3 photofacials, my scores went DOWN to 26% on UV & 36% on brown spots! They said the photofacials were bringing the sun damage up to the surface of my skin & would get rid of it. Should I complete my 3 remaining treatments?

Doctor Answers 2


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The photofacial may cause dark spots to become darker.  Over a period of 1-2 weeks, these darker spots should "flake" off.  It is important to wear a good sunscreen as well. 

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Trust what you see

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The Visia is a tool to show patients their skin damage. But what really matters is what you see.  If you feel that your skin is improving with the treatments then by all means continue them.  However if what the VISIA tells you is correlating with what you see- meaning if you feel you LOOK worse then do not continue.  There really is no such thing as "bringing your sun damage to the surface" that I have ever heard of.  Either you look better or you don't. After all- nobody is going to be looking at your skin through a VISIA.

Margo Weishar, MD
Philadelphia Dermatologic Surgeon

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.