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Is It Safe to Get IPL Treatments when Pregnant?

I just found out that I'm about 5 to 6 weeks pregnant. I have an IPL session scheduled, for my face, in 2 weeks. I am mainly having it done for sun damage and I've never had this done before. Can/should I still have this procedure done?

Doctor Answers (15)

I do not recommend IPL for pregnant women. The hormonal...


I do not recommend IPL for pregnant women.  The hormonal changes of pregnancy can alter the effect of the broad band light therapy and result in stimulation of pigmentation, and accelerate or precipitate melasma.
There is no danger to the baby.

New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Wait Until After Pregnancy



I would recommend that you wait until after your pregnancy. Hormone changes during pregnancy can cause changes in skin pigmentation and may cause darkening, so it would be advisable to hold off. While the effects of IPL during pregnancy have not been established, it is usually preferable to avoid IPL treatments just to be safe.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

IPL during pregnancy


There are no studies indicating whether it is safe or not in pregnancy.  During pregnancy hormones flucuate and there is more risk of hyperpigmentation from the laser.  That being said, I recommend waiting to do IPL until after pregnancy.

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

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It Is Not Safe To Get IPL Treatment During Pregnancy


I do not recommend an IPL treatment during pregnancy.  Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can induce dilation of blood vessels, resulting in more redness, as well as a darkening of pigmentation. Therefore results from an IPL treatment at this point may not be as long-lived.  In addition, it is generally not advised to perform such treatments during pregnancy, as there are no studies to corroborate whether it is safe or not.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

IPL is a safe procedure, but should be deferred until after pregnancy.


IPL is in theory and in practice completely safe during pregnancy. There is no harmful energy or ionizing radiation involved. My preference is not to treat patients during pregnancy, particularly for melasma, because the pregnancy hormones could exacerbate the pigmentation anyway. In addition, even if this is a perfectly safe and mostly comfortable, well-tolerated procedure, there could be a patient who reacts differently to the treatment, feels more discomfort than the the usual for example, and this may trigger an 'adrenaline' or hormonal response that is undesired for the expectant mother and may pose a stress to the unborn fetus. I would wait until after pregnancy to do all the aesthetic treatments that your doctor can offer you. Good luck and enjoy your beautiful state!

Leyda Elizabeth Bowes, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

It is recommended to wait...


There are no studies proving it is safe or harmful. It is recommended to wait until after you have delivered.

Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD
Bay Area Dermatologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

IPL during pregnancy


Pregnancy causes skin alteration in unpredicted ways. IPL has not been tested in pregnant women and as such we cannot say with certainty that it would affect you adversely. However, I urge you to wait after pregnancy as your skin is likely to react to the laser in a way it may not normally do if you were at your baseline hormone levels. If it is performed on your face there is unlikely to be harm to the fetus though OBs advise against it.

Kavita Mariwalla, MD
New Haven Dermatologic Surgeon

IPL while pregnant


IPL is not recommended once you find out you're pregnant.  The worse case scenario is you run into complications post IPL and you're unable to take the proper antibiotics because of the pregnancy.

Amir Moradi, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Laser treatments are not recommended during pregnancy


It is best to wait until several months after delivery to get laser or IPL treatments.  Hormonal changes during pregnancy change skin pigmentation and the way skin responds. 

Also, laser and IPL treatments have not been tested for safety in pregnant women, so such data is not available.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Pregnancy and IPL


It would be difficult to imagine why an intense light on your face would put your baby at risk.  That being said, the laser companies will let you know that using any laser during pregnancy is contraindicated.  So the message may be mixed and without any studies to back one of the positions it is still an unknown. As for the results and timing of the treatment you should know 2 things.. 1. You may get changes in your skin throughout pregnancy that will need an IPL after you deliver and so saving your money until then may make most sense 2. As preganancy proceeds , hormonal changes occur which may predispose you to increased pigmentation.  The intensity of the treatment may then also stimulate a response that could increase discoloration.  So although it may be fine to do and you may have none of the mentioned problems, in many cases waiting seems to be the most sensible approach.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.