Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Specialist

Iftikhar Ahmad, M.D. -  - Medical Spa

MINTS Medical

Iftikhar Ahmad, M.D.

Medical Spa located in Lincoln Square, Chicago, IL

At MINTS Medical, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad and his team offer Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments. Give us a call or book a free consult online to schedule an appointment.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Q & A

WHAT IS IPL?

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. In IPL intense white light is shown over the skin which interacts with various pigments in your skin and makes your skin smooth and even.

HOW DOES IPL WORK?

IPL-Intense Pulse Light is a safe and effective light treatment that will rejuvenate and renew the skin for a healthier and more youthful appearance. IPL is an effective treatment for uneven skin tone. It can be used to treat certain grades of Rosacea with capillary damage, skin inflammation and redness. A different setting can also be used to treat dark spots (aging spots, sun damage, liver spots, and melasma).

IS IPL SAFE?

In energy range used in aesthetics, IPL is very safe.

HOW DOES IPL TREATMENT FEEL?

IPL feels like a light electrical heat pulse with a light rubber band snap sensation. Our machine has a cooling probe so the pain is very minimal compared to other machines. This allows us to use proper settings without causing discomfort which creates an efficient result and a pain-free appointment.

HOW MANY TREATMENTS DO I NEED?

For optimum results, IPL requires a series of 3-6 treatments and takes approximately 15- 30 minutes, depending on the area of treatment and consultation needed.

WHAT IS THE DOWN TIME?

IPL treatment does not have any downtime.

HOW LONG BEFORE I SEE THE RESULTS?

While the results will become evident over the next several days and continue to improve, optimal results develop after a course of 3 treatments, 4-5 weeks apart. The results can be enhanced by using the proper skin care and packaging with facials and proper homecare procedures.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?

Your skin may appear slightly pink, returning to normal in a few hours or overnight. A slight pink hue may last an entire day if your very sensitive. Discoloration or brown spots start fading within a few days, or by the next cell turnover stage (within 3 weeks).

IPL is not recommended for dark skin individuals. It may cause depigmentation or hyperpigmentation.

HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY IPL TREATMENT?

  1. RECENTLY TANNED SKIN CANNOT BE TREATED! If treated within 2 weeks of active (natural sunlight or tanning booth) tanning, you may develop hypopigmentation (white spots) after treatment and this may not clear for 2-3 months or more.
  2. Stop any topical medications or skin care products 24 hours prior to treatment.
  3. You MUST avoid bleaching, plucking or waxing hair for 4-6 weeks prior to treatment. The melanin- containing hair must be present in the follicle as it is the “target” for the laser light.
  4. If you have had a history of peri-oral or genital herpes simplex virus, we may recommend prophylactic antiviral therapy. Follow the directions for your particular antiviral medication.
  5. The use of self- tanning skin products must be discontinued four weeks before treatment.
  6. Do not use Accutane for at least 6 months prior to the treatment.
  7. Do not use any photosensitive medications for two weeks before the procedure.
  8. Do not use over the counter photosensitive products like Retin A, Renova, Differin, Tazorac, BPO, Salacylic Acid, Glycolic Acid etc.
  9. You may not be the best candidate for laser hair removal if you suffer from Lupus, melisma, have uncontrolled diabetes, migraines, seizures or have a tendency to develop Keloids
  10. Botox in treatment area within last 2 weeks.
  11. Shave the area one day before the treatment. DO NOT WAX.
  12. Do not undergo the treatment if you are pregnant or nursing.

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER IPL TREATMENT?

  1. Immediately after treatment, there should be erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) of each hair follicle in the treatment site, which may last up to 2 hours, or longer. The erythema may last up to 2-3 days. The treated area will feel like a sunburn for a few hours after treatment.
  2. A topical soothing skin care product such as post-laser cream is recommended following treatment.
  3. Avoid sun exposure to reduce the chance of hyperpigmentation (darker pigmentation) and use a sunblock (SPF 30+) at all times throughout the course of treatment.
  4. Do not expose yourself to excessive heat for 48 hours, like steam, sauna, jacuzzi or hot yoga.
  5. Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin. Do not use any other hair removal treatment products or similar treatments (waxing, electrolysis or tweezing) that will disturb the hair follicle in the treatment area for 4-6 weeks after the laser treatment is performed.