Why didn’t my brown spots light up after my IPL treatment the way they usually do?

Hi Dr. Irwin I just had an IPL treatment for my brown spots at a new clinic. This was my 4th treatment over the span of 2 years. I didn\'t feel the \"zapping\" that I did in my previous treatments and my brown spots have not gotten darker like past times- immediately after the treatments. I was expecting the pinkness on my cheeks,the slight scabbing for a few days and then the spots disappear or are much lighter. This experience was very different. Do you think it can have the same results if I didn\'t experience any of my expected/usual things? I know the settings must have been different and probably the machine. I hope I didn\'t waste money trying to find a new place closer to home. I know time will tell ...I was just wondering if there is somewhat of standard experience for the IPLs? Thank You

Excellent question!   There are many different companies making IPLs now and they are not all created equally.  The ones sold to salons and medispas tend to be less powerful and therefore less effective.  And, some doctors don’t know which laser companies are best or invest in inferior equipment in an effort to save on the price. 

If you are going to a clinic where you are getting excellent treatments,  you can’t assume treatments elsewhere will be the same. The effectiveness is related to the equipment and the person operating it.  Even if you try to find a clinic closer to home with the same laser equipment, you can’t be sure the person operating the laser is as experienced or capable.  My vote is to stay with the clinic with a proven track record of excellence.

 But, please call the clinic where you received the less effective treatment and let them know.  They may offer to redo it.     Hope this helps, Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself and my trained staff.
  • My medical office in Seattle has experience treating thousands of patients.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product line.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes!