IPL on Sun Exposed Skin

Can IPL be used on sun exposed skin? If not, how much time should a person be unexposed to the sun before and after treatment?

Doctor Answers 3

IPL not a good idea on tanned or sunburned skin.

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The targets for IPL are background redness and defined brown spots. Tanning distracts the IPL light, and will cause more heat to be absorbed into the area, risking a burn. Sunburned skin has the same issue, in addition to adding irritation and inflammation to an area that is already damaged.

Wait a month after getting a tan or sunburn before IPL for the best results. For even better results... don't tan or burn!

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

IPL after sunburn or tan

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IPL treatments should not be performed after a patient has had recent sunburn or sun tan. IPL treatments are meant to target the heat generated by the light source at areas of the skin tissue such as sun spots and small blood vessels. Treating a patient that has recently been tanned or burned can cause the light energy to focus instead on the surface of the skin where the pigment or redness from sun exposure is concentrated.

We recommend no less than 1 week and in most cases 2 weeks since last significant sun exposure.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Should not do IPL on those with recent sun exposure

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An IPL procedure should not be done on those with a recent tan or burn ! Doing so may lead to burns and other complications. We do not perform IPL procedures on any of our patients until there is no evidence of a recent tan. This usually requires at least two weeks of avoidance or use of sun blocks at all times!

S. Randolph Waldman, MD
Lexington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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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.