Will IPL help lighten a scar caused from past IPL treatment? (photo)

In mid-August of 2016 I had IPL treatment done where she left a scar. I will not be seeing her again for any additional full face IPL treatments, this was her fault. I was very careful not to move during the treatment. I'm currently using Mederma PM at night with a band-aid. She has offered to go over the area with IPL to help lighten the scar. Should I take her up on her offer? Will it do any good?

Doctor Answers 3


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Thank you for your question Venus29. I understand your concern. IPL is a great treatment for facial rejuvenation. It is difficult to see the scar from this photograph. If it is just a discoloration IPL and topical products such as hydroquinone can be used. If there is an indentation or textural irregularity fractional lasers can be used. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

Adverse Reaction from IPL

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Hi Venus29, you have raised a terrific point and dilemma. As a general rule, anytime you experience an adverse reaction from a treatment, I would recommend going back immediately to the treating clinician in order to start proper wound care so that the area heals perfectly. At that point, one should also investigate why this reaction occurred (new medications or inadvertent sun exposure vs aggressive settings etc).

The photo you submitted is not allowing me to see the true extent of the scar due to low lighting. Is the area depressed or is there only a darkening of the area (hyperpigmentation)? Did you blister after the treatment? What topical regimen did you use (besides Mederma currently)?

Knowing what kind of scar will help determine what kind of modality to use to improve the appearance. Your physician may be correct if she is trying to use the IPL to simply color correct the brown color. 

If the area is also depressed or if there are texture changes, then I agree that a laser may need to be used. Fractionated Lasers may be very helpful for scars that are both pigmented and depressed.

It can't hurt to get the opinion of your original treating physician, along with an additional opinion of a Board Certified Core Physician so that you are fully informed of all your options.

I hope this was of help to you, and best of luck healing!


Dr K

Shalini Kapoor, MD
Los Angeles Ophthalmologist

Scar from IPL

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If you have a burn scar from IPL then I would definitely not treat this scar with the same type of system. Please consult a physician who is trained in lasers to help you.  There are other lasers such as the V-Beam which would be better for you.  Best, Dr. Green

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