What Are the Risks Involved in Photofacials?

Doctor Answers 3


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There are so many, but to name a few:  swelling, scarring, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, acne flare up, hair loss,

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews


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Too many to list.  Some are hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, scarring, hair loss, acne outbreak, swelling, and more.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Photofacials are great treatments

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Generally photofacials are safe and reliable treatments.

Contraindications include medications that increase photosensitivity including tetracycline.  There are others as well.

Darker skin is at greater risk for blistering with the treatment.  Therefore, it is best light lighter skin where the treatment target is darker than the background skin color.  Over aggressive treatment can cause tiger stripping in the shape of the crystal used to apply the treatment.  Generally these heal but not always.  Any treatment done so aggressively that the skin blisters can be a problem.  The idea of these services is no down time so treatment should not be done in a way that results in blistering.  

Another potential problem is the treatment settings are set so low that almost nothing is accomplished.  While this is very safe, you are unlikely to feel that you got your money's worth.

I recommend that you only have treatments where the doctor is doing the service and not a nurse or technician.  Also avoid arrangements where you have to pay in advance for a series of treatments.  Pay as you go means you can see how the treatment goes and decide for yourself to continue or not.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

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