Should I Stop Retin-A Treatment Before Having IPL?

Should I stop Retin-A before an IPL? When? Also, how long do I have to wait to resume using Retin-A after my IPL? Any other recommended preparation for my skin before and after the IPL? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 2

Stop 3 days before, recommence 10 days after.

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if we have to draw a land in the sand, this is what I say to give patients a CLEAR understanding of Retin A and IPL treatments. We do not want skin irritation prior to IPL, and certainly not after IPL, during the healing phase. Irritation can lead to delayed healing, itchyness, redness and flaking of the skin. 

Using Retin A 10 days after is a safe and conservative time frame 


Dr Davin Lim
Laser Dermatologist

You really don't have to stop using your Retin A before your IPL treatment

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Thanks for your question.

Retin A is an excellent anti aging treatment and is a key part of most anti-aging regimens. In regards to its usage before IPL, you should really have to problems, and in fact, I believe that its continual usage before and after the procedure will actually lead to better IPL results, especially with for the treatment of hyperpigmentation.

When doing lasers, it is not uncommon for physicians to put patients on Retin A or Hydroquinone, or a combination of both, 2 weeks prior to and for 2 weeks after the procedure. You can feel comfortable using the Retin-A knowing that your results will not be affected at all, and may actually be improved just continuing what you've been doing all along.

The only other preparation I would do prior to your IPL is to practice fairly strict sunavoidace 2 weeks prior and 1 week after your procedure, and to wear a fairly strong SPF 15 or 30 sunscreen throughout this entire time.

Good luck!

Don Mehrabi, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist

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