Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Pre and Post Op Instructions

Pre-Treatment Instuctions for IPL:

  • A consultation and evaluation will be completed by your healthcare provider prior to your IPL treatment.
  • Prior to the IPL evaluation and treatment, clean the area. It should be free of makeup, creams, perfumes, lotions, and/or deodorant.
  • Male patients should shave just prior to the IPL treatment as the pigment in your beard or from your hair may increase discomfort.
  • Discontinue sun tanning, use of tanning beds, and any application of sunless tanning products at least 2 weeks prior to your treatment.
  • Use a high-quality SPF of 30 or higher sunblock/sunscreen on all exposed treatment areas after the procedure. It should contain zinc and/or titanium dioxide). Wear sun-protective hats and clothing to add additional protection.
  • Discontinue the use of exfoliating creams 1 week prior to your treatment.
  • If you have a history of herpes (cold sore) outbreaks in the area being treated by IPL, let your healthcare provider know. A prescribed medication, like Valtrex, may be recommended prior to treatment to prevent an active outbreak.
  • Clients may benefit from a mild cleanser and a good moisturizer after the treatment.
  • For discomfort, a pain reliever such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen can be used.
  • If an area blisters or shows signs of infection, an over the counter antibiotic ointment, such as Bactroban can be applied.

Post Treatment Instructions for IPL:

  • A mild sunburn-like sensation is expected and can occur. This usually lasts 1 to 2 hours but can persist up to 24 hours, as client responses may vary.
  • Mild redness, swelling, and/or tenderness may occur.
  • Apply ice packs or gel packs (not direct ice) to the treated area for 10 to 15 minute intervals every hour as needed. A topical anti-inflammatory can be used for redness and tenderness. An oral, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID), like ibuprofen or Tylenol, can be taken per manufacturer’s instructions to reduce discomfort.
  • In rare cases, prolonged redness or blistering may occur. If this happens, please call the office to set up an in person post op visit. An antibiotic ointment may be recommended for healing.
  • In general, shower as usual. Treated areas may be temperature sensitive so cooler water may be more tolerable. Avoid soaking in a hot tub of water. Avoid scrubbing, use of exfoliants, scrub brushes, and loofah sponges until the IPL treatment area has returned to its pre-treatment condition.
  • Pigmented lesions may initially look raised and/or darker with a reddened perimeter. This is normal and expected. It will gradually turn darker over the next 24- 48 hours. It may turn dark brown or even black and will begin to flake off in 7 to 10 days.
  • Rarely, it may progress to a scab or crusting phase. If this occurs, please call the spa to be evaluated in person. Do NOT pick, scratch, or remove any scabs. Allow them to flake off on their own. Lesions usually heal within 10 days. The will continue to fade over the next 6 to 8 weeks after treatment. Please keep all follow-up appointments and do not hesitate to call the spa if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Until the redness has completely resolved, avoid the following:
    • Applying makeup and cosmetics to the area
    • Swimming in oceans, hot tubs, Jacuzzis and especially in pools with chemicals such as chlorine
    • Excessive perspiration or irritation to the treated area
    • Sun exposure to the treated area to prevent skin color changes
  • Call the healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have after treatment.

For more information on Intense Pulse Light (IPL) or to find out if this treatment is right for you, call The Aesthetic Boutique at 337.852.8995 or Request a Consultation!