Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure. It is designed to effectively rejuvenate the skin by treating a range of concerns. If this procedure is on your radar, you probably have questions. Is it safe? What exactly can it treat? Also, how long do IPL results last? Keep reading to find those answers and more!

Is Intense Pulsed Light Safe?

Yes, it actually stands out as one of the safest light-based treatments available! There is minimal discomfort during and after the procedure, with any skin-related side effects typically fading within hours to a few days post-treatment. 

Do I Need to Prepare for Treatment?

Yes you do, and your provider will give you instructions on how to prepare for IPL. It’s likely you’ll be asked to regularly moisturize, diligently use sun protection, and avoid the sun when possible.

Also, refrain from smoking, and taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or herbal supplements that may heighten bleeding risk.

You should also skip antibiotics or topical creams that increase skin sensitivity. Adequate hydration before and after the procedure is also a good idea. 

What Can I Expect During My Appointment?

The process begins with a consultation. Your provider needs to assess your overall health and the condition of your skin so they can share with you expected IPL outcomes based on your skin type and complexion.

At this point, you can request the application of a numbing cream to minimize any potential discomfort during the procedure, although many patients report minimal discomfort even without it. 

After the numbing cream takes full effect, the provider will proceed with the treatment. Upon completion, they will cleanse your face, provide recovery instructions, and offer guidance on what to anticipate in the days following the procedure, including any potential warning signs.

What Are the Possible Side Effects?

Common side effects of IPL may include temporary redness, swelling, mild pain, and darkening of treated spots. Rare side effects include blistering, scarring, or changes in skin pigmentation. 

It should be noted that blemishes and dark spots may temporarily darken. However, after a few days to a week, they will gradually peel off and reveal a lighter appearance. You can apply makeup immediately and resume your regular activities. However, it is necessary to shield the treated area from sun exposure.

How Many Sessions Do I Need?

Many patients typically notice skin improvement after one to two treatments. However, it’s important to remember that individual outcomes can differ from person to person. During a consultation with your provider, they can assess your needs and recommend a personalized treatment plan.

How Long Will Results Last?

Typically, the effects last about a year. However, with maintenance sessions, you can significantly extend the longevity of your results.

Four Simple Steps to Enhance IPL Results

IPL should be considered a valuable enhancement to your skincare regime. After IPL therapy, follow these tips for optimal effects: 

  1. Carefully follow your treatment plan. Additionally, follow aftercare instructions provided by your dermatologist. 
  2. Take care of your skin. This treatment can make your skin more susceptible to UV damage. So, applying sunscreen daily is crucial.
  3. Consider complementary treatments. For example, chemical peels or microdermabrasion can maximize the benefits.
  4. A balanced diet, hydration, and good lifestyle habits contribute to improved skin health. Additionally, they support the effects of IPL therapy. So, be sure to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Experience Amazing IPL Results at the Office of Dr. Marjan Yousefi!

You deserve the best cosmetic dermatological services! Ready to promote your natural beauty? Dr. Yousefi and team are here to provide expert and successful treatments that can do just that. Now you have an answer to your question, “How long do IPL results last?” So, now it’s time to contact us at 703-255-5070 to book your consultation today!

Leave a comment

About Us

Marjan Yousefi, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Her practice focuses on adult and pediatric dermatology, dermatologic surgery, and cosmetic procedures to enhance the skin.

Contact Us

2300 North Pershing Dr., Suite 204, Arlington, VA 22201

8230 Boone Blvd., Suite 430, Vienna, VA 22182

Office: (703) 255-5070

Fax: 703-891-9884


Dr. Yousefi © 2024. All Rights Reserved