Can IPL Be Caused Due to Cooling Gas from Candela Laser?

3 weeks ago i had a laser removal treatment on my bikini area. This seem to burn my skin and has now caused IPL. I have been told by the company that this burn was not caused by the laser but by the cooling gas used in the Candela laser machine. Is this correct? Should I stop any further laser treatments until the pigmentation fades? Appreciate your advice, Jessica

Doctor Answers 2

Sounds like PIH, not IPL

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Sounds like post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).  There is a delicate balance between cryogen spray which cools the skin, and laser light which heats the skin. 

Typically the cryogen spray will overcool the skin with the assumption that the laser will heat it back to normal temperature.  If the two are not aligned correctly the result is either a freezing burn, or a hot laser burn.  This typically shows up as small arcs of hyperpigmentation that look like slivers of the moon. 

If the PIH shows up as full circles, the laser energy is either too high, or it may be too low for the amount of cooling. 

Any inflammation can cause PIH whether it is hot or cold, but both are treatable by using a 4% hydroquinone cream. 

In Good Health!

San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon

Do you mean PIH?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I think you mean you have PIH - post inflammatory hyperpigmentation - or a darkening of the treated area? IPL is intense pulsed light, it's a light source used to perform treatments; it's not an outcome from the treatments themselves.

I would suggest you return to the office that treated you for an evaluation. Usually PIH resolves over time, and since the bikini area shouldn't be affected by sunlight, it should fade faster. You can get a prescription for hydroquinone to help it fade quicker, as well.

I don't have a Candela laser so I can't speak to the "cooling gas" portion of your question. Some lasers like Cutera and Candela are self cooling, so they have a tip that cools the skin before the light of the machine flashes. I guess you could receive a burn from it if that piece was overly cold, but I have a hard time believing you just weren't burned a bit and got the PIH from the actual laser settings being a bit too high.

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.