Is my face burnt from the photo facial I had yesterday or is this normal? (photos)

I had my second photofacial yesterday and the technician said she made it hotter. It was hot after. When I woke up this morning I had way more dark spots than the first time and some blistering around my upper lip and chin and what looks like burns on my forehead. I called the place I had it done and she told me to ice the blisters and put polysporin on and if it's not better in two days go back and they will give me an antibiotic cream. Does this look normal? p.s. - I wear spf 45 on my face every day.

Doctor Answers 4

Skin condition after photofacial/IPL

Blistering is never to be "expected" after photofacial. It is a definite sign that the settings were too high for you. Best case scenario is it will all go away and all of the brown you see will simply flake off. However, it is also possible that you will get uneven pigment as a result of the injury which may need to be addressed with topical creams like Rx hydroquinone.
Lisa Vuich, MD


Nashua Physician
4.7 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Darkeing after a photofacial treatment

This is a very common question. The answer is that it may or may not be normal. Your doctor would be the best person to answer this question in your situation and I recommend asking him/her.
An IPL photofacial treatment uses bright light to target things like pigment in the skin. The pigment absorbs the light, heats up, and gets destroyed. This is called selective photothermolysis. If the pigment is in the surface layers of the skin it can appear darker and sometimes flake off. When the pigment is deeper it gets absorbed by the skin.
It is important to monitor your progress with before and after pictures at each treatment. For my patients I recommend using topical products if the darkening does not go away within two weeks. These include hydroquinone, kojic acid, retinoids, vitamins C and E, and hydroxy acids. Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 with broad spectrum protection is also a must.
Blisters can be treated with ointments such as polysporin, Vaseline, or Aquaphor. Some people find these ointments to be greasy, so I recommend applying them on a wet skin surface.
I recommend following up with your doctor for specific recommendations for you. Good luck!

Alex Eshaghian, MD, PhD
Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Photofacial Recovery and After Care

Thank you for your question about recovery from Photofacial.

Based on the pictures, these changes are within the realm of "normal" after a "hot" photofacial.  Blistering, however, is not "normal"...but is seen sometimes and superficial blisters typically can be easily managed.

Healing from a more aggressive photofacial needs to be monitored and appropriately treated for any PIH that may develop.

For specific questions like this and about your recovery in general, it is best to speak directly with your doctor or doctor’s representative – such as his or her nurse, or the physician on call for the practice.

You will likely get many differing opinions from members of the RealSelf Community, but they have not physically seen or examined you. Nobody should know you or your unique set of circumstances better than your doctor.

If you feel you are not being listened to or you are doubting your doctor’s recommendations, then it is certainly within your rights to seek a second opinion and get the advice from another board certified physician. This should be done through an in-person consultation with a thorough evaluation, including a review of your history, review of all prior treatment and with a physical examination.

Obviously, if you think that you are having a medical emergency or other serious problem, you should call 911 and/or go to your nearest emergency room.

Best wishes for a full and complete recovery with excellent results.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

IPL Burn?

This looks like normal changes after IPL and you should be on the appropriate skin care at this time.  Please speak to your physician if you are concerned. Younger patients i like to do fraxel as you get wrinkle improvement as well which you don't get with IPL.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 165 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.