Is It Safe to Get IPL Treatments when Pregnant?

I just found out that I'm about 5 to 6 weeks pregnant. I have an IPL session scheduled, for my face, in 2 weeks. I am mainly having it done for sun damage and I've never had this done before. Can/should I still have this procedure done?

Doctor Answers 23

I do not recommend IPL for pregnant women. The hormonal...

I do not recommend IPL for pregnant women.  The hormonal changes of pregnancy can alter the effect of the broad band light therapy and result in stimulation of pigmentation, and accelerate or precipitate melasma.
There is no danger to the baby.

New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

No Energy-Based Devices Recommended for Pregnant Women

IPLs, as well as other devices like lasers, should not be used on anyone that is pregnant. These devices have never been studied in pregnant women, and we recommend no energy-based devices in pregnant women – period.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

IPL during pregnancy

There are no studies indicating whether it is safe or not in pregnancy.  During pregnancy hormones flucuate and there is more risk of hyperpigmentation from the laser.  That being said, I recommend waiting to do IPL until after pregnancy.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

IPL is a safe procedure, but should be deferred until after pregnancy.

IPL is in theory and in practice completely safe during pregnancy. There is no harmful energy or ionizing radiation involved. My preference is not to treat patients during pregnancy, particularly for melasma, because the pregnancy hormones could exacerbate the pigmentation anyway. In addition, even if this is a perfectly safe and mostly comfortable, well-tolerated procedure, there could be a patient who reacts differently to the treatment, feels more discomfort than the the usual for example, and this may trigger an 'adrenaline' or hormonal response that is undesired for the expectant mother and may pose a stress to the unborn fetus. I would wait until after pregnancy to do all the aesthetic treatments that your doctor can offer you. Good luck and enjoy your beautiful state!

Leyda Elizabeth Bowes, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Laser treatments are not recommended during pregnancy

It is best to wait until several months after delivery to get laser or IPL treatments.  Hormonal changes during pregnancy change skin pigmentation and the way skin responds. 

Also, laser and IPL treatments have not been tested for safety in pregnant women, so such data is not available.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Pregnancy is a CONTRAINDICATION to having IPL

Pregnancy is a contraindication for IPL and BBL (Broad Band Light) treatments. The effect on the fetus is unknown and the hormonal shifts of pregnancy make the response of pigmented lesions very unpredictable. It is best to have the treatment after the pregnancy when you reach a normal pre-pregnancy hormonal state.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

IPL While Pregnant

Because very few treatments of any sort have been studied in pregnant or lactating women, most dermatologists would advise waiting till after the pregnancy.

Besides, a variety of brown blemishes or burst blood vessels may develop during pregnancy, which can then be cleaned up by the IPL afterwards safely.

While the risk of treatment would be remote, why have any risk?

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

IPL when pregnant

Even though the side effects of IPL are likely not harmful to either mother of fetus, pregnancy is a contraindication for any energy based device.  The hormones of pregnancy (and sometimes post pregnancy) can make treatments unpredictable.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Pregnancy and Safety of IPL

IPL is not advisable for when you are pregnant. There is no clinical study of ipl devices when women are pregnant for obvious reasons. The hormone fluctuations during pregnancy would lead to a greater probability of hyperpigmentation. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Pregancy: A Good Reason to Wait to Do Laser Treatments

Laser and Intense Pulse Light devices have not  been studied in pregnant women, and it is NOT recommended to have any  energy-based device treatments while  pregnant !

Ronald Moser, MD
San Juan Capistrano Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.