5 After Care Treatments After Your First IPL

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Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a kind of light therapy that can be utilized in the treatment of wrinkles, age spots, birthmarks, rosacea, varicose veins, freckles, sun spots, and broken blood vessels in your face. IPL can also remove unwanted hair from your face, neck, underarms, legs, or bikini line. You should avoid certain activities and products before your IPL treatment, including tanning beds, direct sunlight, chemical peels, waxing, creams and other products containing vitamin A, collagen injections, and blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin. Likewise, there are several things you should do after your IPL hair removal, including IPL aftercare instructions, in order to help your skin heal effectively.

a woman after ipl aftercare instructions are followed

What is Intense Pulsed Light?

IPL treatments are similar to laser treatments. However, whereas a laser focuses one wavelength of light at your skin, IPL focuses many wavelengths of light at your skin, similar to that of a photo flash. Additionally, the light from IPL is less focused and more scattered. It penetrates into the second layer of your skin without causing damage to the top layer of your skin.

The pigment cells located in your skin absorb the light from IPL and turn it into heat, which eliminates unwanted pigment cells in your skin that make up freckles, age spots, and other blemishes. Intense pulsed light can also destroy hair follicles to prevent hair from growing in that area again.

IPL can be used anywhere on the body; however, it may not be as effective on uneven areas. Intense pulsed light therapy is not recommended for individuals with darker skin tones or who get thick, raised keloid scars. IPL is more effective on dark hair than it is on light-colored hair.

What Happens During an Intense Pulsed Light Treatment?

Your skincare specialist will clean the area of skin that’s being treated. Next, she’ll apply a cool gel to that area of your skin. Then, she will use the IPL device to treat your skin. During the procedure, you’ll be required to wear dark glasses in order to shield your eyes from the light.

The pulses may sting your skin a little. The treatment process takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes, depending on what area of your skin is being treated and how big the area is. Hair removal with IPL typically takes between six and 12 treatments, which should be spread at least one month apart in order to give your skin the time it needs to heal.

What Can You Expect After the Procedure?

The treated skin is typically a little swollen, red, and sensitive after an intense pulsed light treatment. The redness and swelling usually go away within one or two days. Your skin may remain sensitive for a few days after the procedure. Sometimes bruising, infection, changes in skin color, or blistering occur.

How Should I Take Care of My Skin After the Procedure?

IPL Aftercare Instructions

Use these aftercare tips to help your skin heal effectively after an intense pulsed light treatment.

Avoid Sun Exposure: Avoid sun exposure for four to six weeks following an intense pulsed light treatment in order to reduce the risk of developing light and dark spots. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 half an hour before you plan to go outdoors. Remember to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours.

Alternatively, you can protect your arms and legs by covering them up with clothes. An umbrella or hat can give your face protection from direct sunlight.

Don’t Use Other Hair Removal Methods: Don’t use other hair removal methods, such as tweezing or waxing between IPL treatments. Doing so will prevent you from getting the optimal results from IPL. If it’s necessary, you can shave the treated area between treatments.

Shedding of the hair may occur between five and 14 days after an intense pulsed light treatment. While this may look like new hair growth, it is actually dead hair pushing its way out of your follicles. You can help exfoliate the hairs by taking a hot shower and rubbing the area with a loofah or washcloth.

Avoid Irritants: Avoid anything that might irritate your skin for the first few days after your IPL treatment. Avoid wearing tight clothing on the area of treated skin. It’s also a good idea to avoid swimming pools containing chlorine or other chemicals, hot tubs, saunas, hot showers, and activities that make you sweat excessively for a few days. Don’t apply makeup on or near the treated skin until your skin has had time to heal. Use a gentle cleanser to wash the treated area, and avoid perfumed soaps, lotions, and creams for 48 hours. Refrain from using products containing vitamin A, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, hydroquinone, retinol, and glycolic acid for at least two days. You should also avoid using bleaching creams, chemical peels, and astringents during this time.

Moisturize: Keeping the treated skin moisturized is another important IPL aftercare tip. Use a gentle moisturizer on the treated area immediately after your treatment. Your skincare specialist may recommend or give you a moisturizer to use while your skin heals. Take lukewarm showers or baths in order to avoid stripping away your skin’s oils. Use a moisturizing soap whenever possible. Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing.

You can help hydrate your skin from the inside out by drinking water. Eating watery fruits and vegetables will also help hydrate your skin. Watermelon, apples, tomatoes, kiwis, cantaloupe, oranges, cucumbers, carrots, celery, and zucchini contain a lot of water.

Don’t Pick or Scratch: Scratching or picking at the treated area can lead to scarring. If you need to, use over-the-counter 1% hydro-cortisone cream to relieve itchiness while your skin heals. Aloe vera gel may also provide relief. Alternatively, put a cold compress onto the treated area to ease burning and itchiness.

Intense pulsed light treatments are an effective way to permanently remove unwanted hair from your body. Using these aftercare instructions, you can help your skin heal effectively between treatments, which will help you achieve optimal results.

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  1. […] Laser hair removal will neither bring friction to your skin nor open pores so you won’t be experiencing any side effects. Although possible, side effects can be very minimal. You can experience slight redness and itchiness a couple of days after the procedure, especially if you have sensitive skin. Your doctor or aesthetician can recommend an anti-inflammatory cream as part of your aftercare procedure. […]

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