Before You Go
Questions to ask your doctor
Pre-procedure prep for IPL vascular treatments: Tanning prior to IPL therapy can result in skin discoloration, so be sure to avoid excess sun exposure for at least two weeks before your IPL appointment.
On the day of treatment: Shave the skin around the area to be treated prior to your appointment.
What To Expect
Some (but not all) devices call for a cold gel to be applied to the treatment site first. The handheld device is then placed directly over the vascular lesion you intend on removing. Veins may temporarily darken before fading.
Who should do it: Although many states allow IPL treatments to be carried out by aestheticians, it is safest to entrust a board certified physician when dealing with vascular lesions.
Duration: IPL can typically be completed in 15 to 20 minutes. If your physician recommends the use of topical anesthesia, allowing about 20 to 30 minutes for the numbing agent to begin working.
How Painful Is It?
Most patients describe IPL as a tolerable procedure. When stronger pulses are used, such as for port wine stains, treatment may be more uncomfortable. The use of topical lidocaine before treatment can help to minimize any pain that does occur.
Options for anesthesia: Topical lidocaine can be applied before an IPL session to reduce discomfort during treatment. This is especially recommended when treating markedly bright vascular lesions, which are highly IPL-absorbent.