I Have Some Light Olive Skin Tone with Freckles, is IPL a Good Thing for Me

I  Have Some Light Olive Skin Tone with Freckles, is IPL a Good Thing for Me

Doctor Answers 6

Intense Pulsed Light Treatments for Olive Skin: IPL Advice for Darker Tones

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If you have a tendency to easily tan when you are in the sun, IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light Treatment, may cause you to get dark discolorations after treatment. Check with an experienced specialist before getting IPL Treatments. In my practice, I will do a test spot (or spots) before doing a complete treatment. It may also be worth considering light peels such as alpha hydroxy acid (such as glycolic acid) peels for pigmentation, such as freckles.

New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

IPL Best Results

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As discussed, the darker your skin tone the more difficult IPL treatment becomes.  I would consider topical treatments for brown spots first.  This may improve your skin pigmentation alone.  Also, the creams tend to quiet everything down so that if you do opt for a laser treatment it will be somewhat safer for you.  Don't be set on an IPL though-- discuss options with your provider. Good luck!

Hannah Vargas, MD
Kansas City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

IPL will work in darker skin types

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Yes. IPL when used appropriately can be safe in darker skin types. More importantly is what issues need to be addressed. IPL is ideal for softening “reds and browns” including broken capillaries, sun damage, solar lentigines and other evidence of sun damage. When used at appropriate settings, IPL can be both safe and effective in darker skin types. 

Mark Hamilton, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

IPL for Olive Skin Types...

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Yes, IPL is fine to do.  Please make sure you go to an experienced provider.  Multiple treatments may be needed.  I would encourage you to use hydroquinone or kojic acid inbetween your treatments for best results....

Hope this helps.

Dr. Grant Stevens   

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Ipl safe for olive skin?

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I personally would not treat a skin type IV.  I would also reccomend seeing a board certified dermatologist who has a great deal of experience with lasers and IPL.  I have seen too many burns and resultant scars referred to me over the years to take the risk of making the treatment worse than the problem in darker skin types.



Dr. Malouf

Peter J. Malouf, DO
Fort Worth Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

What skin types can be treated with IPL?

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IPL works well for skin types I - IV, however skin type IV requires caution and solid knowledge of the IPL machine parameters. Treating freckles or any surface hyper pigmentation with IPL requires that there is a difference in pigment between normal skin and freckles. The closer that difference the higher the risk of side effects, like pigmentary changes and burns. This also goes for sun exposure before the procedure. Tanning makes the difference in pigmentation smaller also increasing the risk of a burn. So there should be no sun exposure for a month before and a month after the procedure. Skin type cannot be estimated. It must be calculated from a chart. The statistics say that skin type IV is the most under diagnosed skin type. If the IPL machine parameters are set for skin type III and the patient is type IV, there may be a burn. I recommend a consultation with a board certified dermatologist with training and experience in IPL treatments.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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.