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IPL Laser: Procedure, Recovery and Results

IPL Laser: Procedure, Recovery and Results

by Azka Munir · April 6, 2022

IPL Laser is a light therapy that removes your skin and hair troubles.

Known as Intense Pulsed Light, this treatment can get rid of your sunspots, unwanted hair as well as wrinkles.

Hence, it serves as an alternative to not only laser hair removal but also skin procedure.

Let’s dig deeper into this wondrous all-in-one treatment below!


How Does IPL Laser Work?

IPL delivers multiple wavelengths of light energy targeting a color in your skin.

Since it has multiple wavelengths it can work on a larger area in a shorter time period.

Hence, it is different than laser hair removal in Sharjah in that aspect.

IPL Laser procedure

IPL rightly targets the pigmented cells, hair follicles and damaged cells to remove them.

Your doctor will use a handheld device (IPL Laser machine) that sends multiple wavelengths of light on your skin thus treating more than one condition at a time.

As the skin heats up, the unwanted cells are removed.

These pulses heat the cells and break them, later the body removes the damaged tissue over the course naturally.

However, these light pulses do not hurt other tissues, so the recovery time is faster.

So now that you know how IPL works, the question arises, who can get this treatment?

Get The Treatment If You Have

Usually, the treatment works best on light brown or pale skin.

While there are also people for whom IPL does not look like a good option.

You should inform your doctor beforehand if you have a skin condition, are expecting, and take medications of any kind.

Moreover, it can create problems for you in case you have any of the following problems:

  • have tanned skin using any product or sun beds
  • have a dark skin
  • are sensitive to light
  • suffer from severe scarring
  • use a retinoid cream
  • suffer from a skin resurfacing disorder
  • suffer from keloid scar tissue
  • may have skin cancer

If none of this applies to you, begin treatment.

Let’s find out what the treatment entails below!



Once you set your mind to get the treatment, discuss the complications and side effects with your dermatologist at a beauty center beforehand.

Your dermatologist will give you a list of things to avoid before the procedure begins so that it does not interfere with the treatment.

preparation before procedure

Things to Avoid

Do not go sunbathing, using any tanning beds or tanning creams at least 4 weeks prior to the treatment.

Since, the treatment targets color and works better on pale or light browns skin, tanning may not work in your favor.

Right before the procedure, do not wear deodorant, perfume, or even makeup that could irritate the skin.

Moreover, do not take any blood-thinning medicine such as aspirin, herbal supplements or anti-inflammatory medicines before the procedure as it can result in bleeding.

Avoid getting any skin treatments such as chemical peels, collagen injection or waxing at least 2 weeks prior to your treatment.

Refrain from taking medicines that result in sun sensitivity.

Other than that, avoid going out in the sun often and do not use products with Vitamin A.

Once, you are fully prepared, go to your dermatologist at the appointed time for your treatment.

The procedure shall now begin!



As you lie down for the treatment, your dermatologist begins by cleaning the treatment area.

Next, you will glasses to protect your eyes.

Then, the expert technician will rub a cool gel onto your skin because the light pulses can be hot enough to bear.



They will use a handheld device to deliver the light pulses.This device will go directly on the body.

Pigment cells present in the skin absorb the light energy the device transmits, converts it into heat and destroys the pigment in spots and freckles.

For hair, the heat simply destroys the hair follicle, preventing its regrowth.

They may sting a little, giving a feeling similar to a rubber band snapping on the skin.

For that, your dermatologist may proceed to apply a numbing cream, half an hour prior to the treatment.

The treatment usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes in total.

However, it can take longer depending on the area covered.

Hair removal treatments require about 6 to 12 treatments, all one month apart to let the skin heal in between.

Skin treatments can take 3 to 6 treatments each spaced a month apart.


Recovery from IPL Laser

The treated area will look pink similar to how a sunburn is right after the procedure.

It can last for 4 to 6 hours.

Moreover, the treatment area can sting too.

Using a cold washcloth or ice pack can considerably make you feel better.

Other than that, there may be bruises on your skin for one or two days.

The brown spots already present darken however, they start to peel off soon.

Swelling may happen right after too.

It lasts for many days after the procedure.

While you are healing, refrain from wearing makeup or applying any lotion and cream in the treatment area.

Avoid that for at least a whole day till some of the swelling goes away.

Overall, your skin will be sensitive for a few days.

Hence, avoid using hot water till it heals properly.

Also, wear sunscreen whenever you are outdoors.

It should at least be SPF 30 with a physical blocker.

Moreover, wash your face with a cleanser for sensitive skin.

After the swelling calms down, you can moisturize the area with a preferably prescribed lotion, two times a day for the next 3 months.

Your doctor will guide you when you can continue your normal routine, as usual, however, it may take up to a week or so to get back to your skincare routine.

Other than that, results can take a while.

You may require many treatments to finally see some improvements.

These will be as follows.

results of IPL Laser

Results from IPL Laser

For each treatment, there are different results using IPL treatment.

For Sun Damage

If you are getting the treatment to get rid of sun damage from Ultraviolet rays, then you can see a good 70 percent improvement.

There will be 70 percent less redness and brown spots.

For Acne

Acne and acne scars both can be reduced using IPL.

However, it will take longer, up to six treatments to see any noticeable difference.

For Treating Redness Caused by Broken Blood Vessels and Rosacea

Regarding skin condition treatments of IPL Laser, rosacea is one of them.

Rosacea can cause redness and IPL will work best on people suffering from it if they are under 40 and their condition lies between moderate to severe.

It can also get rid of 50 to 70 percent of broken blood vessels in only one or up to three treatments.

These treated varicose veins may not show up again, however, new ones can form.

For Hair Removal

Like laser hair removal, IPL works best if you have light skin and dark hair.

On the other hand, it will not work on dark skin and light blond hair.

With that said, there are certain risks and side effects to getting the treatment that you should know beforehand.

Let’s read more about them below.


IPL Laser Side Effects

Every procedure has certain risks and side effects.

While it is a safe procedure, IPL is still not suited to everyone.

Pregnant women and people who take blood thinners should avoid the treatment.

procedure side effects

You should also not undergo the procedure if you have active acne, suffer from several scarring, recently had a bad sunburn or are suffering from a skin resurfacing disorder.It is not suitable for people who may get keloid scarring after the procedure.

Neither is it good for people taking an acne medicine, Accutane.

Hence, people going through these circumstances should avoid getting the treatment.

Even if you are fit to undergo the procedure, there are always chances of complications and risks.

There can be swelling, bruising, blisters, scarring, crusting and change in skin color at the treatment site.

Moreover, there is a risk of infection, bleeding and pain.

The hormonal brown spots that you previously had could flare up after the procedure.

Other than that, also remember that while the treatment can even out your skin and give you a youthful appearance, it does not stop aging.

That is to say, your look approves but skin aging may continue.

Plus, it is an expensive treatment.

SO you may have to get a follow-up treatment every year in order to maintain your look.

Hence, keep these things in mind whenever you decide to proceed with this treatment.

If you hesitate to opt for this treatment, you can always refer to alternatives.



If you want to remove spots, unwanted hair and signs of aging, IPL is not your only option.

Hair removal treatments such as laser and skin treatments like microdermabrasion can give similar results.

More on that below.

IPL Laser alternatives



Unlike IPL, laser treatments use one focused light wavelength to target not only hair but also skin conditions such as sun damage and wrinkles.

Plus, they require lesser sessions than IPL.

You can also work with them on dark skin.

IPL however, penetrates the second layer of the skin, the dermis without harming the outer layer, the epidermis.

Though lasers too are of two kinds, ablative and nonablative.

Nonablative lasers heat the tissue underneath without harming the top layer of the skin.

So laser can be an alternative for both hair and skin treatments.


For skin, microdermabrasion buffs the top layer of the skin.

Hence, it treats pigmentation and can fade age spots.

Plus, it considerably reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

Fraxel Laser

Fraxel laser is a nonablative laser that treats fine lines, acne scars wrinkles and sun damage.

While it will take longer to see results, after the treatment the skin regenerates itself.

Chemical Peels

Chemical Peel helps to exfoliate your skin and it is similar to microdermabrasion.

However, unlike using a device such as a Dermapen, chemical peels use chemical solutions to get rid of skin problems.


It is better to go for professional treatments than to get an IPL laser at-home.

You will be in the good care of a dermatologist so choose wisely for your skin and hair.

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