My forehead got burnt from IPL skin rejuvenation. What do I do? (Photo)

The picture is from day 7 after treatment.. what can i do to get the colour back?? Or is this permanent

Doctor Answers 1

PIH from IPL

The burns that you're describing are the result of too much light energy going into the skin. The way IPL works is light energy is absorbed by the pigment that we want to get rid of and that energy is converted to heat. Without enough energy (heat), nothing happens... with too much energy, you get burned.

It appears as though you have some post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. PIH can occur without a burn but with just too much heat. The operator of the device has many ways to prevent this, but it requires scrupulous attention to the skin and the device as well as knowledge of the skin, the physics of photobiology and the equipment used. 

Though I don't know your ethnicity, those with darker skin (especially those of Asian decent) are most susceptible to complications from IPL. It may be necessary to pretreat with a melanin inhibiting agent like hydroquinone. The IPL or laser settings must be appropriately conservative.

What you have, in addition to PIH, is most likely be a second degree burn - similar to that of a curling iron. It should be initially treated with a topical antibiotic ointment like Neosporin. It should heal without a scar, but there may be lingering evidence of PIH.

If there is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation it will most likely resolve on its own after a few weeks. If it does not improve or resolve it may be treated with a melanin inhibiting agent like hydroquinone or kojic acid. Additionally; facial peels can help even the skin tone for future use. Especially with your skin reacting so adversely to this treatment, I would strongly recommend you not repeat a laser treatment without careful consideration. 

Lasers are nothing to mess around with and can leave permanent damage if mishandled.

In good health,

Dr. Berger


Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.