Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment Pre- and Post-Care Instructions


  • Avoid direct sun exposure for four to six weeks prior to treatment.
  • Do not apply self-tanners or spray tans for four weeks prior to treatment.
  • Please arrive with no makeup, including eyeliner, mascara, or lipstick.
  • If the skin is irritated from the use of exfoliants like Tretinoin, discontinue use one week prior to treatment.
  • Depending on your skin type, a bleaching regimen may be started two to six weeks before treatment.
  • If you have a history of fever blisters, please notify Dr. Hooper or Dr. Jackson.  We may write you a prescription for prophylactic antiviral therapy to start on the day of treatment to prevent a flare-up.
  • You must notify the technician if you have had any cosmetic tattooing on or near the area to be treated.
  • You must notify your doctor if you are on aspirin, ibuprofen, iron supplementation, anticoagulants, vitamin E, or herbal supplements such as gingko, garlic, or ginseng.  We recommend avoiding these products for two weeks prior to your procedure unless your primary care physician has placed you on them for a medical condition.
  • Photosensitizing medications including doxycycline and tetracycline should be discontinued three days prior to treatment.


  • Generally, a “sunburned” feeling on treatment area is experienced for up to 24-48 hours.
  • To minimize swelling, apply cold compresses to the treatment area for 10 minutes of every hour on the day of the treatment.
  • Sleep on your back with your head elevated on the first night post-treatment.
  • The gradual darkening of pigmentation will occur. Patients are advised not to rub the treatment area or try to scrub the area away. This is part of the healing process and should start to slough off in three to four days.
  • In extreme cases, blistering, burns, or bleeding may occur; Please call your physician if this occurs.
  • STRICT adherence to sun protection/sunscreen. Direct sunlight should be avoided for four weeks post-treatment.
  • Resume a regular skin regimen once the treatment area is back to “normal.”
  • IPL should be scheduled every four to six weeks (depending on treatment reaction) and can be done for a series of two to three treatment.
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