I Have Rectangular Markings 3 Days Post-IPL on Chest/Neck. How Can I Heal Quickly?

I am terrified that I will have permanent marks after reading many horror stories. I've had this done before (2 years ago)and didn't have the markings. I was tan and had been using self tanner prior and now I see that the treatment should never have been done over any type of tan. Am I supposed to keep it moist or let it dry and flake off? Is there anything I can do to speed up the healing. If I look blotchy in a couple weeks can I use obagi or glycolic acid to even out the missed spots? Help!

Doctor Answers 2

Stripes after IPL

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The stripes you have experienced after IPL are not uncommon, especially on a delicate area like the chest and especially if you had any type of tan or what we call actinic bronzing.  The light in the IPL is much more attracted to these cells.  Keep the treated area protected from the sun.  Keep it moisturized with aquaphor, vaseline or thick moisturizer with no perfumes or dyes (nothing that will irritate it)  The skin will dry and start to peel or flake.  DO NOT PICK or PEEL it!! Leave it alone. Let it come off on its own.  If it itches at that point, use Hydrocortisone 1% cream (available over the counter), wash gently with warm or cool water, not hot. Mild soap--no scrubs. Once the area has peeled you may have some stripes that are a slightly lighter color than the untreated areas.  With time they should blend on there own but some patients choose to have the untreated stripes treated to match.  Follow up with your provider. 


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

I Have Rectangular Markings 3 Days Post-IPL on Chest/Neck

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You have a superficial second degree burning of the IPLed skin of the chest/neck. I would immediately return to the treating doctor for medical/burn care - that is NOW!

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