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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 17

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 12 reviews

No Energy-Based Devices Recommended for Pregnant Women

IPLs, as well as other devices like lasers, should not be used on anyone that is pregnant. These devices have never been studied in pregnant women, and we recommend no energy-based devices in pregnant women – period.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 16 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 177 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!

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 is a CONTRAINDICATION to having IPL

Pregnancy is a contraindication for IPL and BBL (Broad Band Light) treatments. The effect on the fetus is unknown and the hormonal shifts of pregnancy make the response of pigmented lesions very unpredictable. It is best to have the treatment after the pregnancy when you reach a normal pre-pregnancy hormonal state.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

IPL While Pregnant

Because very few treatments of any sort have been studied in pregnant or lactating women, most dermatologists would advise waiting till after the pregnancy.

Besides, a variety of brown blemishes or burst blood vessels may develop during pregnancy, which can then be cleaned up by the IPL afterwards safely.

While the risk of treatment would be remote, why have any risk?

Benjamin Barankin, MD
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

IPL and pregancy

No, safety on pregnant women and babies have not been studied that well yet, but also hormonal changes may have the risk of more pigmentation or side effects. Avoid unnecessary cosmetic treatments during pregnancy, maybe you may need them later, together with bleaching creams, because of melasma.

Alberto de la Fuente Garcia, MD
Mexico Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.

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 49 reviews

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.