Is it important to go to a doctor for an IPL?

I have seen several posts mentioning damage from IPL, the injectionist I go to does IPL but she is pricey and I was considering going elsewhere for cost. Is an IPL an IPL? Should I spend the extra money?

Doctor Answers 3

Go With An Expert for Best Results--IPL Treatments

You're going to want to see an expert for your IPL treatments to get the best results. I recommend getting a formal evaluation with a cosmetic dermatologist. Best, Dr. Emer

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

IPL by a professional.

Thanks for your question.  In general, IPL is a safe procedure. There are some contraindications to IPL however and caution should be exercised.  Off-brand machines can cause burns or uneven results.  Individuals with darker skin should not receive IPL either.  At our clinic we do a test patch first.  We recently saw a patient that went to get IPL at an inexpensive spa.  She went for skin lightening and her skin kept getting darker and darker.  When we did a test patch, she was too sensitive to IPL and we saw that she was developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH.  We switched her regimen to skin lightening facials and peels instead.

Safety first; I hope this helps.


Thank you for your question.  IPL can cause a lot of damage when it is not done incorrectly.  I think it is worth the money to go to someone you trust that has experience with IPL and the settings based on your skin type.  Best of luck! 

Shahin Fazilat, MD, FACS
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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.