How long can I expect to have "coffee ground" markings on my face after my 1st IPL?

Doctor Answers 7


Thank you for posting your question. The recovery time for IPL depends on the depth and aggressiveness of the treatment. For the "coffee ground" brown spots, it typically take one to two weeks for them to diminish. Every patient is different and has different recovery time, so keep an open mind and follow up closely with your physician to address any concern. Best of luck.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Coffe Grounds after IPL Treatment

Thank you for your question. Recovery from IPL depends on the depth and aggressiveness of the treatment. It can take up to 2 weeks for the “coffee ground” spots to resolve. Please remember to use extra moisturizer and sunblock during your IPL treatment. Best of Luck!

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews


It will usually take 7-10 days for most of the brown spots to lift off.  We usually reccomend a package of 3 treatments over 90 days to have the best results.

Patricia Yugueros, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

About a week

Usually the spots will last about a week, lessening a little bit each day. The time can vary slightly depending on the severity.

Janet Allenby, DO
Delray Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

What to Expect With IPL--add microneedling/prp and skin care

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

IPL and coffee grounds

The "coffee grounds" or texturization of the superficial pigmented spots targeted on the face with IPL can last 5-10 days and on the chest, closer to 2 weeks.  After 1 week, I tell patients that they can begin to exfoliate, either with an emulsion they make (baking soda and water) or with exfoliant gels.  You don't want to exfoliate prior to that as you want the face to have the time to heal.  It is good when you have the coffee grounds because that indicates that the pigment absorbed the IPL energy and you will have a good clinical response.  When pigment is too deep in the skin (dermal pigmentation), that is harder to target.  Happy healing!

Raminder Saluja, MD
Huntersville Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

IPL laser and coffee grounds

Your description is totally normal form the IPL laser.  It will take at least a week for these to gradually fall off and return to normal.  Please use extra moisturizer and sunblock during this process.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 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.