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IPL is indicated to treated browns and reds on lighter skin tones. Our handpiece is approved to safely treat Fitzpatrick 1-3 skin tones. Please review the following skin type descriptions to predict whether you are likely a candidate: 

  • Type 1: White – always burns, never tan (Celtic)
  • Type 2: White – usually burns, difficult tan
  • Type 3: White – sometimes burns, good tan (Mediterranean)
  • Type 4: Olive – rarely burns, easy tan (Asian, Latin)
  • Type 5: Brown – very rarely burns, easy tan (East Indian)
  • Type 6: Black – never burns, very easy tan

The effectiveness of IPL is highly dependent on patient cooperation. In order to maximize safety and efficacy of treatment, please adhere to the following:

Before treatment: 

  • It is critical to avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, and sunless tanning for at least 6 weeks prior to treatment and for one week after. Please plan your treatments accordingly.
  • Medicated Creams (such as glycolic, tretinoin, and retinols) that increase photosensitivity should be stopped one week prior to treatment. Accutane is contraindicated for 6 months prior to laser treatment.
  • If you are taking antibiotics, you must postpone your laser treatment until they have been completed for 10 days.
  • No chemical peels or other resurfacing skin care treatments for 2 weeks before and after laser treatments. 
  • Lotions, creams, makeup and deodorant need to be removed prior to treatment as they can obstruct or refract laser light.

During treatment: 

  • Topical numbing cream will be offered to maximize comfort. 
  • A cool gel will be applied prior to treatment to assist with glide of the applicator tip. 

After treatment:

  • Immediately after treatment there may be mild redness and itching at the treatment site, which may feel like a sunburn and persist for 24-72 hours. 
  • Apply ice in 15-20 minute intervals for the first few hours after treatment to reduce any discomfort. PrivaRx Aloe Cort may also be applied for comfort as needed. 
  • Makeup may be used immediately after treatment unless there is blistering.
  • Brown spots will darken over the period of a few days and eventually shed within 2 weeks.
  • Avoid sun exposure for a minimum of one week and wear SPF daily.
  • Gently cleanse the treated area and pat dry for 3 days. Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin. Do not use any chemical or mechanical exfoliants until 7 days after treatment.
  • Remember that a series of 2-4 sessions are typically recommended for optimal results. 

Please don’t hesitate to call our office at (203) 303-7170 if you have any questions or concerns.

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