Intense pulse light (IPL) nicknamed the “lunchtime laser” is a beam of high energy light that once transmitted infiltrates down into the skin tissue where it is absorbed. Although, IPL is technically a light source, when used for pigmentary issues it is absorbed by melanin – the molecule that gives skin it’s color; if it’s treating broken capillaries and redness, the blood absorbs the light.
IPL is best used for improving skin texture, hyperpigmentation and discoloration, facial redness and broken capillaries. A series of treatments is recommended, depending on the severity of the condition being treated. Results may last for a few years, and are enhanced by proper skin care and sun avoidance.
Please read below for detailed instructions and recommendations for your IPL treatment.
What to do before your appointment:
Arrive a few minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
No tanning four weeks prior, no self tanner two weeks prior.
Remove all make-up and cosmetics.
If you are very pain sensitive, you may request a prescription pain medication prior to the date of your procedure.
What to expect during and immediately after:
The IPL feels like a hot bright rubber band snapping against the skin.
You may experience temporary swelling or burning sensation at the treatment site.
You may experience temporary darkening of the skin at the site of prior sun spots.
A scab or a crust may form in the area immediately after treatment.
Bruising may or may not occur and will usually clear in 3-10days. Make-up can be applied immediately after the procedure.
A temporary lightening or darkening of the treated skin may occur.
If you are on daily aspirin, iron supplementation, anticoagulants, or herbal supplements (ginkgo, garlic, ginseng) you may bruise more easily.
What you should do after treatment:
The treated skin should be handled gently for 7 days. Cleanse with a mild soap or water daily. Gently pat dry. We are happy to provide product recommendations.
Moisturize with a gentle moisturizer twice per day.
Do not use exfoliators, scrubs, retinols, Retin-A, acid-based products (alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acids, salicylic acids, and lactic acids) on treated areas for two weeks.
If you have significant discomfort and redness in the area you may use cool compresses intermittently. You may take Tylenol for pain.
If a scab or crust forms, do not pick at it; apply a topical over the counter antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin, Polysporin, Triple antibiotic ointment) or Aquaphor ointment twice per day.
Avoid direct sunlight to the treated area for four weeks.
Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 regularly if you will be out in sun.
Arrange a follow appointment to check healing at four weeks.
What you should avoid for four days after therapy:
High impact exercise, Yoga or weight lifting
Very hot showers
Steam rooms, Saunas, Baths