Intense Pulse Light

Intense Pulse Light


IPL (aka Photofacial) is a technology similar to the laser used to diminish pigmentation and treat diffuse redness. Instead of a single wavelength of light as with a laser, IPL uses a bright light, and the light energy penetrates just below the skin’s surface, damaging either the melanin (skin pigment) or blood vessels. The body’s natural repair mechanisms then remove the damaged tissue and produce a smoother skin appearance. IPL is great for age spots caused by sun damage, but not wrinkles. It will usually take multiple treatments (3-6 treatments) to see a significant result and treatments can be spaced out every 3-4 weeks. *IPL is NOT recommended for darker skin type V-VI


IPL can be uncomfortable at the time of treatment. Some say it feels like a rubber band snaps on your skin. Post treatment, IPL has been described to feel like a sunburn. If you have a low pain tolerance and feel you may not be able to tolerate the IPL, be sure to voice your concerns to you provider during your consultation. The number of treatments needed varies from patient to patient. A consultation is needed to determine if you are a candidate for IPL.


The most common side effects are mild, temporary swelling, redness, temporary darkening of pigmentation, scabbing/crusting, and an occasional bruise or small superficial blister (like a sunburn blister). Not everyone will experience all common side effects. There is a possibility of wounds (burning/blistering/bleeding of treated areas), wound/infection, and scarring. All are a possibility anytime a treatment causes disruption of the skin surface. If you notice burns, blisters, bleeding, or signs of infection, call you provider immediately.


  • Avoid sun exposure (apply sunscreen daily and do not tan at all) for 4-6 weeks before and after treatment.
  • Do not apply self-tanners or spray tans for four weeks before treatment.
  • Do not use any retinol or retinoid products before treatment.
  • Tell your provider if you have a history of post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. Depending on your skin type, a pre-lightening treatment may be prescribed 2-6 weeks before treatment.
  • If you have a history of cold sores in the area being treated, notify your provider.
  • You must notify the provider if you have any cosmetic tattooing on or near the area to be treated.
  • You must notify the provider if you are taking Aspirin, Ibuprofen, iron supplements anticoagulants, or vitamin E. Let us know if you take herbal supplements such as ginkgo, garlic, ginseng, or fish oil. Try to AVOID these products for two weeks before your procedure unless your primary care provider has placed you on them for a medical condition.
  • Avoid alcohol for one week.
  • Not for pregnant/breastfeeding women
  • If possible, come to your appointment with the treatment area clean


  • A mild sunburn-like sensation is expected. This usually lasts 2-24 hours but can persist up to 72 hours or more. Mild swelling and/or redness may accompany this, but it usually resolves in 2-3 days. Over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream or 100% aloe vera gel may ease redness or inflammation.
  • Minor crusting or peeling of the skin is a common side effect. In rare cases, blistering may occur. A double or single antibiotic ointment may be applied to the affected areas twice a day until healed.
  • Keep the area clean. Wash gently and avoid aggressive scrubbing or use of exfoliants, scrub brushes, and loofa sponges until the sensitivity and color of the treated area has returned to normal.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure, including sun lamps and tanning beds, for 2-3 weeks after treatment. If exposed to the sun, protect the treated areas with a full spectrum sun block of 30 SPF or higher, should be regularly between treatments and after the treatment course is completed.
  • Wait until the next morning to apply makeup or till most, if not all redness has subsided.
  • Avoid hot showers/baths for 24 hrs. Quick warm showers instead.



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Riverside, Ca 92503

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