What are the main contraindications to IPL treatment on the face?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Intensed Pulse Light (IPL) involves using a flash gun to deliver a broad-spectrum pulse of light to treat for various conditions. When parts of the skin (the chromophores) absorb this light energy, heat is generated resulting in a warm or even hot sensation. This heat is often dissipated using a cold contact such as a cooled sapphire applicator face so that excessive energy is not absorbed by the skin.

The darker an individual is, the more melanin (skin pigment) there is. This is also one of the many chromophores involved. A dark skinned individual is there no advised to undergo IPL due to the higher risk of absorbing too much light energy, resulting in too much heat generated which leads to a higher chance of burning. The result sometimes leaves an area of permanent whitening (hypo-pigmentation).

IPL whilst good, has its limitations. It cannon treat the deeper (usually lighter coloured) pigmentation disorders. It is important that the correct diagnosis of type of skin pigment disorder be made first before proceeding with this treatment. Pigmentation disorders are better treated using lasers. I prefer to use the picosecond laser for this purpose. 

All these light energies are not irradiating and therefore do not cause cancer. There is no chance of stimulating any cancer recurrence so it will be safe for you to undergo the procedure should you desire to do so. 

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