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Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Instructions Prior to IPL 

1. ABSOLUTELY avoid any type of sunburn or suntan for 2-4 weeks prior to laser treatments. Treatment of tanned skin can increase the risk of blistering and/or permanent skin discoloration. PROLONGED SUN EXPOSURE IS TO BE AVOIDED FOR A MINIMUM OF 2 WEEKS BEFORE AND AFTER TREATMENTS. 


2. Do not use any self-tanning lotions or tanning beds in the month prior to treatment. 


3. Stop using Retin-A, Renova or Differin for one to two weeks prior to treatment. 


Instructions Following IPL

1. Intense burning, redness, warmth, and a sunburned sensation are normal responses following IPL treatments. The discomfort and redness generally lasts 2-4 hours after the procedure, but could last longer in some instances. Cool compresses with a damp, soft cloth for 10-20 minutes at a time may help relieve the temporary discomfort. Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, Motrin or Tylenol can be taken as directed for pain. 


2. Brown patches or spots will look darker and more pronounced immediately following IPL treatments. In 2-3 days, these brown areas become even darker and frequently feel scaly like coffee grounds on your skin. Within 1-2 weeks, these dark, scaly areas fall off and leave new, healthy skin behind. NO MATTER HOW TEMPTING, DO NOT PICK OR SCRUB THESE BROWN SPOTS—LET THEM COME OFF ON THEIR OWN, AS PICKING THEM CAN CAUSE HYPOPIGMENTATION! 


3. Avoid use of topical skin care products containing retin-A, retinol, glycolic acid or salicylic acid for 1 week. 


4. Makeup can be used immediately after treatment. Caution should be used when applying and removing makeup. The treated area may be delicate and should be treated with care. 


5. If the skin is broken or blisters appear, apply Aquaphor or Vaseline and notify our office. The area should be kept lubricated with an Aquaphor or Vaseline to prevent crusting or scabbing of tissue. 


6. Some patients will wake up with facial swelling, particularly around the eyes for several days following the treatment. This is normal and usually resolves within 3-5 days. An over-the-counter medication, such as Benadryl may be taken to help alleviate the symptoms. 


7. PROLONGED SUN EXPOSURE IS TO BE AVOIDED FOR 2 WEEKS BEFORE AND AFTER TREATMENT. A broad-spectrum sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide should be applied daily. If further treatments are needed, a commitment to stay out of the sun is necessary. Sun exposure may cause certain complications such as severe blistering and permanent skin discoloration. 

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