Acne worse after IPL?!

Hello, I had my first IPL session 2 weeks ago and I'm going for my second tomorrow however my acne has gotten so much worse than before! Is this normal 2 weeks after treatment? I had vpl last year (the acne was very severe then) and it cleared it all up however this year I went back and had 6 sessions of vpl and it didn't seem to really make a difference but like I say my skin has gotten worse with IPL! Should I consider a different treatment?

Doctor Answers 2

Acne more severe after IPL

For some people prone to acne outbreaks, an increase in acne lesions is a possibility with any light based treatment.  However, a simple way to greatly decrease the chance of this happening is to not use any products on your face for 3 days after your procedure.  Your practitioner should discuss post-treatment skin care with you.


Charlotte Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

IPL for acne

Thank you for your question chantellelou26. IPL treatments with appropriate settings can be helpful in treating acne. I normally use lower wavelengths (blue light) to target the bacteria in the acne. Acne treatment can be frustrating and challenging because multiple treatments may be required and acne can be exacerbated by things we are unable to control such as stress. With my acne patients I combine IPL with Nd:YAG treatments and laser peels. I also recommend to my patients to use retinoids, salicylic acid, clindamycin, and niacinamide. Patience is important. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

Alex Eshaghian, MD, PhD
Encino Physician
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.