Hyperpigmentation, sun damage, scars, rashes, birthmarks, infections, and inflammation can cause lasting changes to the skin’s pigmentation. In-office cosmetic treatments are often the most effective ways of making the skin look younger and more flawless by treating the discoloration if preventative measures and at-home products haven’t been helpful. Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a gentle, light-based treatment that works by reducing excess pigmentation to restore a clearer, more even complexion. One question that patients tend to ask us when they’re scheduling light-based treatments is, “How can I prepare for IPL at home?” Our Rockland, Maine-based patients can read on for some basic tips to get the best results from this energy-based technique.

Note that you may need to actively avoid certain activities, products, and medications for several weeks before your IPL session.

  • It’s important that you avoid applying tanning lotions and creams prior to IPL. You should also limit direct sun exposure as much as possible. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to keep your skin protected. There is an increased risk of burning if your skin has extra pigment due to a tan or fake tan.
  • We usually recommend that our patients avoid using certain types of skin care products such as Retin-A or other products that contain vitamin A—like glycolic acid—for some time before having treatments. Retinoids are natural derivatives of vitamin A that may increase the sensitivity of your skin during an IPL session.
  • Avoid applying any other acids or irritants to your skin.
  • Let us know if you have any skin conditions that may affect how you heal after IPL, such as inflammatory acne, eczema, or cold sores.
  • Refrain from getting certain types of cosmetic skin treatments, such as waxing or chemical peels.
  • Don’t take drugs that increase your risk of bleeding—including blood thinners like aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications—for one week before your appointment. This is something to be followed only if it is medically safe to do so, of course.

For more answers, contact our team at Skin Klinic & Day Spa for advice. Call us today at (207) 594-7003 or submit a contact form to schedule a consultation and find out more about the advantages of laser and light-based treatments for improving the skin.

Skin Klinic & Day Spa