Typically, IPL (intense pulsed light) is a safe and effective way to target discoloration in the skin with minimal risks and zero-downtime.

However, as with any light-based treatment, there is a slight chance of experiencing a burn to the skin–especially when you visit a medical practice or worse, spa, that doesn’t have the proper knowledge on how to administer an IPL treatment.

In most cases, IPL burns can be treated and will resolve without long-terms effects. That being said, it’s important to take the necessary precautions in order to protect yourself from getting a burn in the first place.

So, how can you maximize IPL results and limit your risks of a burn. Here’s everything you need to know should you decide to undergo IPL.

How Can IPL Burn Patients?

IPL emits bursts of broad-spectrum light that are absorbed by melanin (pigment) and hemoglobin in order to correct skin discoloration.

Therefore, the intended targets of IPL energy should be excess redness or hyperpigmentation and not healthy tissue. However, due to several factors, it’s possible for IPL to erroneously heat and burn surrounding skin.

How to Minimize Your Risk of an IPL Burn?

There are three main ways that patients can limit the likelihood of suffering an IPL burn.

To start, avoid tanning through sun exposure, UV beds, and sunless tanning products two weeks before and after treatment. Patients should take care to follow this recommendation, as recently tanned skin can disrupt the proper pathway between the IPL device and its intended target, leading to a burn.

Additionally, when IPL burns a patient, it may be related to technician error or machine malfunction. That’s why it’s extremely important to confirm the training and qualifications of your provider, and the safety-profile of the equipment that he or she is using.

Finally, patients should feel comfortable communicating during their IPL treatment, especially if the area feels especially hot and doesn’t quickly cool down. This feedback allows the provider to adjust the IPL energy or discontinue the procedure to limit damage.

What to Do If You Experience an IPL Burn?

If you experience an IPL burn, you should immediately contact the office where the treatment was performed and be evaluated by a physician.

He or she will be able to advise you on the proper care of your burn, which may include applying ice, burn pads, or Aquaphor, and not popping or picking blisters and scabs.

For a safe and effective IPL treatment by a qualified provider, please call our office today to schedule a consultation.