What to Expect After IPL Hair Removal on Legs?

Hi I had my first IPL session on full legs three days ago, prior to that I had a patch test. I was alright for the first day but now I have red patches all over the legs, the way you get with ingrown hair. When I used to waxw my legs, I did get quite a lot of ingrowns and had IPL as I thought it got rid of them. Is this red patchy skin normal after IPL and is there anything I can do to help reduce the pain and redness? How long before it clears up? Thanks for any help.

Doctor Answers 1

Sounds like a normal response

With laser and IPL hair removal, the hair absorbs the light of the laser or IPL, converts that light to heat and destroys the hair bulb.  Very often this will cause the pore surrounding the hair to swell (this is called perifollicular edema) and it will look like a red bump. As long as you are not seeing blisters or clearly defined squares or stripes from the head of the laser, your response is normal.  The bumps will clear up, usually within a week, and the hair will fall out in about 2 weeks.  Try using hydrocortisone cream on the areas that are painful and/or patchy, and you might even want to take a benedryl or claritin to lessen any histamine response.  Good luck!

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