I Want to Get IPL to Help Lessen Redness, Will It Stop Me From Growing a Beard?

I want to improve the pigmenation of my skin and have a more even tone, however, I am aware IPL is also used for hair removal. Will it make my stubble patchy or prevent me from growing a beard in the future?

Doctor Answers 4

IPL and Hair reduction

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This is a very good point which I always tell my patients. IPL treatment may reduce the amout of hair density on your face. Dr Behnam

Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon

IPL does have the potential to diminish beard growth temporarily

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The settings used for the  treatment of pigmentation and redness with IPL
should not cause permanent hair reduction in the beard, however there very
well may be a temporary decrease in the density of your beard and you may
temporarily  have a patchy appearance to the stubble.  The hair follicle is
deeper in the dermis and requires a different IPL filter and setting than
the ones used for Photofacial or skin rejuvenation results.  There are some
IPL machines that have hand pieces for hair removal but if you are being
treated with the skin rejuvenation parameters, these energy parameters will
generally not cause long term damage to the hair follicles.

By seeing a physician who is a members of the  American Society for Plastic Surgery you can not only get advised on skin issues but surgical issues too.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

IPL and Hair Growth

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You are correct. IPL treatments are effective to even out skin tone and lessen pigmentation. However, IPL is also used for hair reduction procedures (though more effective and less painful for hair reduction are actually diode lasers). So treating your full face with IPL can reduce your ability to grow a beard and create a patchy look. At my office for patients wanting to keep some facial hair, we do not treat areas where patients would like to keep hair growth (upper lip, beard, etc.) but then do treat the rest of the face. So this might be an option for you too - just don't treat the full face.

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IPL and Beard Growth

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IPL treatments can be very effective for evening out your skin tone. However, the treatments can inhibit hair growth so a patchy beard can definitely be a side effect. There are other treatments for redness such as the V Beam or Xeo laser that will not affect hair growth. For pigmentation you may want to consider peels or bleaching creams.

Sheri G. Feldman, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist

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.