IPL burn recovery time?

I have recently had an IPL treatment gone wrong for freckles and I was burned. Once the scabs healed and fell off I've been left with lighter colored skin. How long will it take until the skin blends with my normal colored skin?

Doctor Answers 5

IPL burn

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Not all IPL's are the same and not all providers are the same.  Older IPL systems are more likely to create a burn due to 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.  Newer IPLs block the cutoff at both a lower frequency as well as at a higher frequency allowing enough fluence to treat the area of concern without causing a burn.  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 177 reviews

IPL burn recovery time?

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Thanks for your query. It takes 15-20 days for the recovery. But the PIH goes down and will blend with the skin texture. Hope it helps.

All The Best

Ajaya Kashyap, MD
India Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 217 reviews

IPL burn recovery time

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Hello, and thanks for your question. I'm sorry you did not get the result you had hoped for. Your skin color may slowly improve over the coming weeks and months, but there are reports of IPL causing permanent hypo pigmentation when overly aggressive settings are used. This is why I often do test spots prior to treatments. Best of luck, Dr. Frucht.  

Corey Frucht, MD, PhD
Santa Barbara Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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IPL is a photofacial Burn -- get Fraxel with Microneedling or combine with IPL and microneedling/PRP

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You may be left with some scarring or hyperpigmentation. I'd
suggest  seeing an expert for proper skin care at this time and consider fraxel, microneedling/PRP, sculptra combination treatment in the future.
Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

IPL Burn

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I'm sorry about your experience with the IPL.  It may take several months depending on your skin tone and the energy of the IPL used.  We avoid this problem by doing a test-patch first and starting at a low energy setting.  We then titrate the energy as tolerated to get the desired results.  The initial "peppering" is normal and may last about 2 weeks.  After that, the skin should gradually improve.  A good skin care regimen is also important to promote the healing process.There are other options besides IPL to even out the skin tone including peels, skin care regimens, and lasers.  Best of luck!

Ricardo Pocurull, MD
College Station Internist

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.