Could IPL Have Triggered Hyperthyroidism?

Five years ago, an ultrasound of my throat revealed 2 lesions in the left lobe of my thyroid. My doctor seemed unconcerned and no follow-up was done. Recently I had IPL on my neck for sun damage, and a couple of weeks after my second treatment, I noticed an external sore spot on the left side of my throat. It had swelled and spread to the right side. Blood tests showed that I have an over-active thyroid. Could the IPL treatments have triggered this? Has this ever happened to anyone else? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 5

It is unlikely that the IPL treatments triggered an...

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It is unlikely that the IPL treatments triggered an abnormality in your thyroid. If you already had an underlying thyroid disease, there is a very small possibility that the treatment could have exacerbated your thyroid problem, but again this is unlikely.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

No, IPL does not penetrate that deeply

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The light energy of intense pulsed light devices does not penetrate beyond the dermis of the skin. The IPL light energy is then absorbed by the pigment and blood vessels that the IPL targets. Over the five years that the nodules were present, were regular tests done to check for progression? I am sure a board certified endocrinologist will help you with this problem. Good luck and stay well.

Zero likelihood of IPL triggering Hyperthyroidism

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Zero. IPL does not penetrate through the skin, subcutaneous fat and fascia to reach as far the thyroid. There is NO physical connection between IPL and your thyroid condition.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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IPL cannot affect thyroid metabolism

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Intense Pulse Light treatments use pulses of scattered light at a range of frequencies to affect pigment containing areas in your skin and brojen blood vessels. Thyroid metabolism is a feed back loop primarily between parts of your nervous system (hypothalamus and pituitary and your thyroid gland.

I feel this is most likely to be incidental as other posters have noted.

IPL and Thyroid Condition

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It is extremely unlikely that the IPL treatment had anything to do with your recent change in your thyroid condition. The IPL does not penetrate the skin very deeply and this should have no effect on your thyroid.

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.