Published: Oct 14, 2021
IPL Ruined My Skin: Everything about IPL Side Effects
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is one of the top light-based therapy treatments that currently exist, and every day more people around the world find out about its benefits as they use it to remove their acne, broken capillaries, stretch marks, and much more. Yet, the procedure has not been fully rosy for everybody and it is not difficult to find reports of various people being unhappy about their treatment.
While IPL remains highly recommended, there are some side effects most people are unaware of before they begin the treatment. This leads to people coming out of the procedure with much worse skin than they had before they started, which nobody wants. To make sure that you don’t fall into the same traps as countless others, we will be discussing the potential impact of IPL on your skin, including whether it can give you burns, affect your skin texture, and much more.
Can IPL Ruin Your Skin?
While you may have read about countless dangers of IPL, the chances of your skin being damaged by IPL are very few. This mostly lies in the technology behind the procedure. IPL is non-invasive and non-ablative, which means that the light beams can target the lower layers of your skin without affecting the top layers. This makes the procedure highly safe, while also resulting in little downtime.
Essentially, if you take the right steps before getting your IPL, then you should only expect to come out on the other side of the treatment looking fresh and revitalized. Unfortunately, many people read about the potential benefits of IPL and jump into the procedure without doing much research, which is where things can start to go wrong.
While IPL is a fantastic procedure with marvellous benefits, it is not for everybody. There are certain skin tones that we suggest do not use an IPL treatment at any time, because it can easily lead to hyperpigmentation or discoloration. Additionally, IPL may not be the best solution for all issues, and you should speak to a skin therapist or licensed provider before you undergo the treatment.
Does IPL Change Skin Texture?
If you have any texture-related skin issues, then IPL is one of the top options to help solve this. During your treatments, the heat from the technology will help to destroy older or dead cells in the target area, which will then help to stimulate the growth of newer and healthier cells.
Naturally, these newer cells will be much firmer and richer in proteins such as elastin or collagen. So, after your IPL treatment, your skin will feel much firmer and supple. Additionally, any imperfections or issues in that problem area will be reduced or turn completely invisible. This will help to improve the level of your appearance, giving you a more youthful and vibrant look.
Will IPL Burn Marks Go Away?
While burns are extremely rare when you undergo an IPL treatment, they may still happen, and you should remain wary of this. In any case, if you do receive a burn from an IPL, don’t fret, it will generally go away over time and you should not expect any lasting effects.
However, you should still speak to your provider if you do notice any burn. This can be extremely helpful, especially if you still have more sessions in your treatment plan. Once your skin therapist is aware of the burn, they will give you the best tips on how to manage it, while also ensuring that the settings on the device are more suitable for your skin during the next session.
Can IPL Cause Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is one of the possible side effects of IPL and other light-based therapy treatments. However, this may depend on the type of procedure that you desire to use the IPL for. To ensure that this does not affect you, we suggest that you speak to your skin therapist about the dangers of hyperpigmentation on your skin before you begin your treatment.
Another factor that can lead to hyperpigmentation is your skin tone. As hyperpigmentation is caused by an excess production of melanin, those with dark tones are naturally at a higher risk. This is why we always recommend that you stay away from IPL if you have darker skin, as the chances of hyperpigmentation are extremely high.
If you have a medium skin tone and are unsure about the potential effects that the therapy may have, then you should speak to your provider about this. They will examine your skin and decide if the treatment is going to be safe for you.
What are The Dangers of IPL?
We have already discussed many of the risks associated with IPL, such as burning, hyperpigmentation, scarring, etc. Unfortunately, while many of these side effects can be avoided, many clients and providers do not take the necessary precautions before an IPL treatment, leading to several health risks and damage to the skin.
To ensure that you are not affected, you should make sure that you do the following before an IPL treatment:
1. Follow the Instructions of Your Provider :
Before you begin your IPL procedure, your skin therapist will likely give you a set of instructions to follow. This can range from not shaving your hair immediately before a hair removal treatment to staying away from the sun for a given period. If you receive any of these instructions, you must follow them.
You should remember, any guidance that your skin therapist provides is for your care and will aid in stopping any side effects. So, if you are unable to follow them, we suggest that you speak to your provider about the possibility of rescheduling. Following these guidelines will also ensure that you see the maximum benefits of any treatment.
2. Enquire About The Training of Your Service Provider:
The therapist delivering your IPL must not only be well versed in using the technology but must also be able to understand the impact that the treatment will have on your skin. Such knowledge can be a key factor in stopping any side effects. However, because IPL can be extremely exciting, most people simply dive into the first hands offering them the treatment, regardless of their experience.
Before you begin your sessions, you should engage in a detailed conversation about IPL treatments with your provider. You should also try and discover the level of experience or training that they have in treating your condition. So, if you would like to use IPL for Rosacea, but a therapist does not have much training or experience in treating this, then we suggest that you seek another provider.
You must also ask your provider about the potential health risks of using IPL to treat the issue that you are facing. This will mean that you will not be thrown off by any side effects if they occur. Understanding the potential health risks will also allow you to weigh your options. So, if you are highly uncomfortable with burning and feel that it is not worth the risk, you may want to find other types of treatments.
3. Speak to Your Provider About Your Current Medication:
IPL is likely not the first solution that you have sought out for your skin issue and you may already be on some form of medication. If this is the case, then we suggest that you speak to your provider about this before the treatment, especially if they make your skin more sensitive to light.
Such medication can easily lead to adverse effects, such as burning or scarring. However, if your skin therapist is aware of the medication, they can examine it and determine if it is safe to continue using during IPL. On the other hand, if you would like to continue the medication while on IPL, they can also adjust the intensity of the light to accommodate for its effects, which should help reduce the possibility of any health risks.
How Long Does It Take For Dark Spots to Fade After IPL?
IPL for dark spots is another highly popular use of the treatment, and one of the common questions we get is, “how quickly will my dark spots fade after IPL?” Fortunately, the process for treating dark spots is relatively quick and it shouldn’t take long before you begin to see good progress.
Generally, your dark spots should begin to fade within two weeks of your first session, though this will depend on various factors, such as how deeply the pigment is located. In any case, you should see huge gains after you complete your first full treatment and your skin should look much more uniform.
However, you should not expect your dark spots to completely fade after just one treatment. So, if you would like further progress, we suggest that you speak to your provider about the possibility of another treatment. You must remember, IPL is a gradual process, and you can only see continuous improvement if you stick to your treatment plan.