Before You Go
Questions to ask your doctor:
- What other skin resurfacing techniques can be combined with IPL treatments in order to deliver the best results?
- Is there anything I can do in between each appointment to enhance the outcome of IPL therapy?
Pre-procedure prep for IPL laser hair removal: For two to four weeks (your doctor will tell you exactly how long) you may need to use sunscreen and avoid sun exposure. Stop taking oral or topical medications that increase your sensitivity to light.
On the day of treatment: Avoid the use of topical and oral medications that could increase your sensitivity to light. If your appointment is scheduled for late in the day, make sure to wear sunscreen in the morning. Shave any visible hair on the area you plan to treat.
What To Expect
The IPL handpiece is guided over the skin, delivering flashes of light in pulses. Your skin may be red or flushed following treatment. It should return to its normal shade shortly thereafter.
Who should do it: Licensing requirements vary from state to state. In some states, aestheticians may legally perform IPL treatment. In others, only medical doctors (like plastic surgeons) can perform IPL procedures.
Duration: IPL sessions take an average of 15 to 20 minutes.
How Painful Is It?
IPL is not especially painful - it is non-ablative and does not affect the surface of the skin, where the nerve endings are.
But it's not especially comfortable either. Most patients will feel a slight pinching during the procedure.
Options for anesthesia: Topical anesthesia can be applied prior to IPL, though this preliminary step is not mandatory.