Will White Marks from an IPL Burn Heal on Its Own?

Hi. Over a month ago, I got small burns from an IPL. They scabbed, which eventually came off, but left white marks. After that month passed and I went to get another IPL, both the nurse practitioner and the dermatologist told me that it was just a "discoloration" and that it would heal. It's pretty small. But, is that really true or are they just saying that to relieve me? I had a scab on my arm and when it came off it left a white mark too. It still hasn't completely faded after 2 years. Thanks

Doctor Answers 2

White marks after IPL

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Though it is still too soon to tell completely, generally speaking if the pigment has disappeared from an area due to damage or trauma it can be permanent. (Because the cells that produce the pigment have either been permanently damaged or just 'stunned' temporarily)  After only a month there is still a good chance that the skin will regain its color but we can't be certain.  Definitely protect the new skin from the sun with a good sunscreen or sunblock....do NOT try to tan the area to match the other skin.  This will not work and may only aggravate the problem.  Make sure to follow up with the Dermatologist and NP who did your treatment so they can advise you.


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Hypopigmentation after an IPL burn may or may not improve.

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Loss of skin pigment after a burn may be permanent. 1 month is too soon to tell. If it is a "discoloration" as your dermatologist described, it likely will improve over the ensuing months. You should have your doctor follow you closely, or consider getting a second opinion from a reputable cosmetic dermatologist familliar with IPL and laser treatments.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 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.