The IPL treatment is usually a 15 to 30 minute appointment. For increase comfort I always give our patients the option to numb at least 30 minutes prior to their treatment. In my office my Physician Assistants use a Zimmer (a machine that throws out cold air) during the treatment to help distract the patient and decrease pain intolerance. The procedure is very quick and effective.
Dr. Grant Stevens
IPL usually has a larger crystal than a laser beam, so fewer "zaps", faster treatment.
The number of "zaps", as you call it, with IPL can vary, depending on the size of the IPL crystal, and the size and shape of someone's face, not to mention, whether single or multiple passes are done over certain areas, and if multiple different settings are used. Somewhere between 30 (if only part of the face is treated) and 150 IPL flashes would be a normal range, but of course treatments may vary outside that range.