North Texas MedSpa

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IPL Photofacial Pre- and Post-Procedure Instructions

IPL Photofacial Pre- and Post-Procedure Instructions

Intense Pulse Light, or IPL, therapy is one of the best solutions for minimizing or erasing the appearance of spots, scars, spider veins, and other causes of hyperpigmentation on your face or body. It is virtually painless and does not require any downtime or healing.

The downside is that because the light targets unwanted pigmentation, it doesn’t work as well on tanned or darker skin tones.

If you are a good candidate for an IPL Photofacial, follow these pre- and post-procedure instructions to maximize the effectiveness of your treatment.

Pre-Procedure Instructions for IPL Photofacial

  • Avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, and self-tanning lotions or creams on the treatment area(s) for 2-4 weeks before treatment. This is extremely important to avoid blistering and potential scarring.
  • Wear a broad spectrum SPF 30 or more on the treatment area every day for the duration of your treatment process.
  • Closely shave the treatment area as close to your appointment time as possible.
  • Arrive at your appointment with clean skin; do not apply creams, lotions, makeup, or other products.
  • If you are prone to cold sores in the treatment area, please begin taking an antiviral 2 days before your treatment.
  • Please disclose all medications to your technician before your treatment.
  • You may need to stop using oral or topical photosensitive medications or treatments (such as some antibiotics, Accutane, and St. John’s Wort) for 10 days to 6 months, depending on the medication. Medications that cause light sensitivity can lead to unwanted side effects from laser or light therapy.
  • Discontinue using Hydroquinone, Tretinoin, and Tretinoin-type products (Renova, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Tri-Luma, Solage, etc.) for at least 3 days before treatment.
  • Avoid aspirin and aspirin-containing products for 2 days before treatment.
  • If you need a topical anesthetic, apply it 30-60 minutes before treatment.

Post-Treatment Instructions for IPL

  • You should continue to wear broad-spectrum SPF 30 or more on the treatment area every day for the duration of your treatment process.
  • Avoid sun exposure to the treated area between treatments and during healing.
  • Avoid exfoliating scrubs or brushes for 24-48 hours post-treatment.
  • Avoid sweating, saunas, swimming pools, lakes, or oceans for 24 hours after treatment.
  • Do not take hot showers or become overheated for the first 48 hours.
  • If you are treating freckled or pigmented areas, you may notice these areas get darker the first couple of days. This is normal and expected. Do not scratch, scrub, or attempt to peel the area. It will flake off within 1-2 weeks.
  • If a blister or crusting appears or if you have an allergic reaction (e.g., hives, swelling, itching), please call your healthcare provider or our MedSpa. You may need an antibiotic ointment or a hydrocortisone cream. Although rare, this is a possibility with any laser treatment.

Aftercare for IPL Photofacial Treatment

  • You may reapply light makeup after your treatment if necessary.
  • If your skin feels uncomfortable, you may use a cool compress on the treatment area for the first several hours after your treatment.
  • You can also apply aloe vera gel to help soothe the treatment area.
  • When cleansing your skin after your treatment, use cool to lukewarm water, a gentle cleanser, and a soft cloth for 24-48 hours.
  • Apply gentle moisturizer without harsh ingredients twice a day to maintain your skin’s moisture throughout the healing process. Wait at least 48 hours before resuming retinoid-type products.

What to Expect After IPL Photofacial Treatment

Immediately after your appointment, your skin will likely be pink to light red with some minor swelling. This should resolve within 24 hours.

If you received IPL to treat sun spots, freckles, or other types of hyperpigmentation, you will notice these areas becoming darker within the first few days. This is completely normal and evidence that the treatment is working. These darker or brownish areas may rise on the skin as they prepare to naturally slough off to reveal more even skin tones within 7-14 days.

Please call our office at (817) 581-4354 during regular business hours if you have ANY questions or concerns.

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