Intense Pulse Laser (IPL) for Hair Removal AND Skin Pigmentation?

I have been getting IPL treatment for hair removal each month on my whole face cheeks, with great results. the last time I went, a new lady performed the treatment and went over my cheeks 5 times in each cheek, which really annoyed me because I dont think it was necessary to go over that many times. I noticed blotchy skin for a few days and went away. It got me asking... can IPL for hair removal be improving my skin tone, discoloration, etc also??? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 3


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In our office we use our pulsed light system for hair removal, sunspots/skin damage, rosacea, and spider veins.  We call it a photofacial.  Several treatments are required but patient satisfation rate has been extremely high.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

IPL (photofacial) does treat skin pigmentation

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IPL actually does a better job of reducing reds and browns in the skin than it does removing hair.  Hair removal is generally more efficient with an alexandrite laser.  IPL is often used, though, because it's a less expensive technology for an office to purchase.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

IPL works well for hair reduction and skin pigmentation

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Intense pulsed light is actually the preferred treatment method for hyperpigmentation and redness of the skin.  Photofacials are exactly that, a treatment to decrease  the browns and reds in the skin in one treatment session. The number of sessions depends on such factors as the person's skin type and the amount of hyperpigmentation or redness present.

The difference in treating hyperpigmentation, redness or unwanted hair with IPL is in the choice of filters and settings on the machine itself and amount of superficial cooling of the skin during the procedure. 

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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