Post-IPL Inflammatory Hyper Pigmentation

i am indian female 22yrs. i had some tanning on my forehead and my dr suggested ipl ,but after ipl my skin scabbed and now my whole face is pigmentated .its over 60days now and i am very tense since my skin looks very awfull and patchy . what is the best treatment for removing such marks.will chemical peel help in healing .please help getting married in 3 months .

Doctor Answers 3

Hyperpigmentation following IPL

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Hyperpigmentation after IPL is common especially in patients with tan coloration. Pleae rest assured that most hyperpigmentation areas will recede. In the meanwhile, you should use a high SPF suncscreen and consider spot treatment of hyperpigmented spots with a bleaching agent. Please contact your treating physician for further recommendation.

Darker skin after IPL

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Generally speaking , it is not a great idea to treat patients of your skin type with IPL, especially if there are some already tanned or darker pigmented areas.  It is not usual for patients with your skin type to experience hyperpigmentation following treatment that can take many months to clear. Diligent use of sunscreen is important.   Some type of hydroquinone, kojic acid, vitamin C or other lightening agents would be helpful to help speed the process of returning you to your normal skin color.  Be careful with chemical peels as they can exacerbate the hyperpigmentation.  Good luck.


Dr. Grant Stevens           Marina del Rey, CA              Marina Plastic Surgery              The Institute

Hyperpigmentation after IPL treatment of tanned skin

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Performing IPL on tanned skin leads to a much higher chance of complications such as burns.  Specifically, the patient should not be in the sun for one month before and one month after the IPL treatment.  A suntan is a contraindication for IPL treatment.  And removing a tan from the skin is never an indication for IPL.

The first thing to do is use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day like clockwork, as sun exposure will definitely worsen the hyperpigmentation.

Using a hydroquinone-tretinoin-floucinolone preparation, like TriLuma may help resolve the pigmentation faster.  It is not clear how long such pigmentation lasts.

You may want to use a cover-up makeup like Dermablend, which can be matched very closely to your normal skin tone if the pigmentation is not significantly improved by the time of your wedding.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills 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.