Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a treatment that improves the color and texture of your skin without surgery. Visible skin damage such as sun exposure, aging, and broken blood vessels may be treated by IPL treatments. 

What is Intense Pulsed Light?

IPL (sometimes referred to as a “fotofacial”) uses various wavelengths of light passed through a small, transparent hand-piece to penetrate the skin tissue and create heat, targeting abnormal vessels responsible for inflammation. After treatment, the body removes the abnormal vessels and heals the inflammation that was threatening the skin and oil glands of the eyelids. This allows for the treatment of a broad spectrum of conditions including: acne, rosacea, dry eye, blepharitis, and more. Treatments can range from a small, targeted area to entire facial treatments. IPL is safe, effective, and has minimal “down time” following the procedure. It is cleared by the FDA for over 20 different skin indications and for the treatment of Blepharitis.

Intense Pulsed Light Treatments - Facial Plastic Surgery
A diagram of the skin before, during, and after an Intense Pulsed Light treatment.

Ideal Candidates for Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

Intense Pulsed Light treatments are ideal for those with light skin, though advances in skin care technology have allowed for a wider range of available skin types to be treated. Ask your doctor about your personal skin conditions to identify whether IPL treatments are right for you.

These treatments are not recommended for women who are pregnant, those with specific skin conditions, or those taking medication for other conditions.

Things to Consider

Preparing for IPL Treatment

Prior to receiving treatment, you will have a consultation with one of our providers. During the consultation you will discuss your concerns, ongoing skincare routine, skin conditions, and health history. Your provider will then recommend a treatment plan to target your specific conditions. In some cases, you may need to return to our office at a later date to begin treatments. We recommend avoiding tanning beds, sunless tanner or tan enhancer caps, direct sunlight, chemical peels, skin injections, retinols/Retin-A or exfoliating facial cleansers with ingredients such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid at least a week prior to your visit. If Blepharitis treatment (treatment of the lower + upper eyelids) is recommended, your provider will apply topical anesthetic eyedrops and corneal shields before the procedure.

Potential Risks of Intense Pulsed Light Treatment

Intense Pulsed Light treatments are typically safe when done by our experienced staff, but the procedure could cause spots to flare up, or cause other unwanted side effects:

  • Mild scarring
  • Pain and swelling
  • Infection and bleeding
  • Skin discoloration
  • Dry and crusty skin

Operation Duration

15-60 Minutes

Anesthesia Use

None Needed

Recovery Duration

1-2 Days

Insurance Covered


Recovery From IPL Treatments

IPL requires multiple sessions but most patients start seeing positive changes after just one treatment. The number of treatments varies depending on the severity of the condition, desired outcome, health history, and more. Your provider will work closely with you to determine a treatment plan that will achieve the best results.

Schedule a Consulatation

If you are ready to schedule a consultation, contact one of our Michigan locations and a staff member will reply shortly.

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