Bruised or burned after IPL session. Is it permanent? (Photo)

I had a session of ipl yesterday. I had ipl sessions before and they were always turned up fine. However with this last one, I notice that one darkened area (blueish color) that is in the shape of the ipl bar. The superficial skin is intact and it feel like normal skin. No pain or burning sensation. I have only one area and i treated my whole face. Is this area burned or bruised? I read that one can get bruised during ipl session. If this is burn, is it permanent?

Doctor Answers 3

Bruising and burns after IPL

Thank you for your question ezmk. I am sorry to hear about your situation. IPL is a great treatment for facial rejuvenation. Bruising is rare with IPL but burns can occur if the settings are too high. These typically recover and there are usually no permanent consequences.

Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!


Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Give it about 2 weeks

IPL treatments can help brown spots and discoloration. It is important to note the more brown you have the longer the recovery time. Initially after treatment the area is itchy, red and swollen for a couple of days. Then the brown pigment will rise to the surface of the skin, and feel dry and crusty, and then peel off. If this picture is from only one day post treatment, give it about 2 weeks to heal. Set up an appointment with your physician in 2 weeks to discuss your results. 

Hope this helps ! 

Dr. ACL 

Ana Cristina Laureano, MD
Englewood Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Knowing What's Normal with IPL--add microneedling/prp

Yes, it is normal to have some discoloration or "coffee-ground" like spots after IPL. It can take 1-2 weeks for this to resolve. I usually recommend a combination of treatments with IPL for best results. I suggest adding microneedling/prp and skin care to improve skin quality and tone. I recommend a formal evaluation with a cosmetic dermatologist. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

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.