Preparations for Intense Pulse Light Therapy

There are no absolute preparations before one undergoes intense pulse light (IPL) therapy. Prior to the procedure one must

- avoid a sun tan for at least 4-6 weeks

- not take aspirin for about 5-7 days

- avoid smoking for 2 weeks

- avoid creams and lotions the night before the procedure

- not be taking any blood thinning drugs

IPL is typically done in a physician's office as an outpatient procedure. Once the face is washed the areas to be treated are predetermined and marked. The IPL does sting and most individuals do require som type of pain control. The physician will apply a topical anesthetic at least 20-30 minutes prior to the procedure.

Many IPL systems now have a cooling tip at the end to minimize the pain

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy may take anywhere from 15-45 minutes. The amount of time needed will depend on the size of the treatment area and the severity of the skin lesions.

Most individuals requires anywhere from 2-4 sessions spaced over a few weeks.

After the procedure, the skin will appear:

- red

- mildly swollen

- mildly bruised

- blisters

These minor side effects will quickly dissipate over the next few hours. One may also apply a cold compress to help decrease the side effects

After treatment, one can return to normal activities within a few hours.

After IPL therapy, it is strongly recommended that one keep away from the sun to avoid sun burn.

The pain is minimal and one may take any over the counter pain medications.

After treatment, there is no down time.

You can resume all of your normal activities immediately afterward.

The results of IPL therapy are not immediate and the final cosmetic result may take 4-6 weeks to appear.

Most individuals report a high degree of satisfaction with the procedure. The treated areas are noticeably clearer and in most cases the skin continues to improve with each successive treatment.

Depending on the severity of your spider veins or skin imperfection, you may require several treatments. This Therapy will not prevent new spider and reticular veins from forming.

The risks associated with IPL vein therapy are minimal. Your eyes will be shielded during the treatments.

Most facilities use state-of-the-art cooling systems, thus the treatments are low risk and relatively pain-free. However dark pigmentation and scarring are rare and permanent complications

In addition to the leg spider veins, the IPL can provide non-invasive skin treatments for the face. IPL provides dramatic results for a variety of other conditions which include:

- age spots

- sun-induced freckles

- scars from Rosacea

- birthmarks

- unsightly veins

- Acne scarring.

IPL therapy is generally considered cosmetic in nature and not covered by medical insurance or Medicare. The average cost for IPL therapy may vary from $2-400 per session.

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