What Should You Do Before Having IPL Treatments?

Intense pulsed light (IPL), also known as a photofacial, is a popular treatment to rejuvenate your skin, reverse sun damage spots and enhance your skin’s overall quality with minimal recovery time. The good news is, you don’t need to do much preparation for light-based treatments such as IPL from our Toronto practice but there are still some things that patients should be aware of to ensure the best cosmetic results. When you consider having this procedure, here are some points to remember for the days and weeks leading up to your treatment and afterwards.

  • Avoid direct, unprotected sunlight
    You cannot be tanned before your IPL treatment to prevent burning and you must avoid the sun for 3 weeks after treatment to prevent pigmentation. In the weeks before your IPL session, limit your sun exposure as much as possible, so sunbathing and tanning beds are a no-go. Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen at all times, cover up your skin with protective clothing, don’t venture out when the sun’s rays are most intense, and wear sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats.
  • Don’t wax
    Refrain from waxing the treatment areas one week before or after IPL to avoid irritation.
  • Take antiviral medication if you are prone to cold sores
    If you have a history of cold sores, Dr. Gidon will prescribe antiviral pills to prevent a flare.
  • Be aware of increased photosensitivity
    After your treatment, your skin is more sensitive to ultraviolet and blue lights. Some medications make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and significantly increase the risk of pigmentation. Examples include certain antibiotics such as tetracycline and sulfa. Blue light emitted from devices such as computer screens and cell phones can cause pigmentation, so not only is mineral-based sunscreen important even when you are indoors, but products containing iron oxide, found in foundation makeup and mineral-based powders, should also be worn. It’s best to speak to Dr. Gidon beforehand for specific instructions.
  • Combination treatments may result in several days’ down time
    Dr. Gidon often likes to combine IPL treatments with other procedures, depending on a patient’s concerns. Light chemical peels, microdermabrasion or fractional laser treatments can be performed during the same session as IPL and may result in some downtime. These combination treatments are discussed beforehand so you can arrange your time accordingly.

Interested in learning more information about the benefits of IPL treatments? Reach out to our Gidon Aesthetics & MediSpa team by calling us at 416-483-4541 or fill out a contact form.

Written by Dr. Martie Gidon

Gidon Aesthetics and MediSpa - Center for Laser Skin Resurfacing, Laser Skin Tightening and Cellulite Treatment. Cosmetic Dermatology practice of Dr Martie Gidon in Toronto providing a wide range of laser and light based therapies.

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