Home Beauty IPL Risks – What You Need to Know

IPL Risks – What You Need to Know

by Safa Kamran
Published: Last Updated on

IPL machine has become increasingly popular over the last few years.

It has a vast range of benefits, from treating skin conditions like acne, redness, and sun damage to being used in hair removal.

However, the concern with IPL, like all cosmetic or medical procedures like it, is safe.

So what are the risks you should know about?

Is it a procedure that you can have done without fear? Read on to alleviate your concerns.

The Risks/Side Effects of IPL

You must ask a trained technician to carry out your IPL procedure; this drastically reduces risks due to untrained personnel. Some of the risks/side effects associated with IPL are:

1) Inflammation and Irritation

IPL laser hair removal causes damage to the hair follicles being targeted by the light.

In addition, research shows that hair follicles react to the heat energy created from the IPL gun; due to this, people may experience inflammation and redness in the areas being treated by the IPL procedure.

There may be an additional sensation of tingling in the skin, or the area may feel tender; occasionally, there may even be swelling.

The skin usually appears much like the skin of someone who has recently undergone waxing or plucking of hair.

Usually, the signs and symptoms of inflammation or irritation subside within a short period.

Some doctors apply topical anesthesia to reduce the chances or the amount a person’s skin will react to the treatment process.

A few hours after the treatment process, the irritation usually subsides itself.

In the occasion that the inflammation or irritation persists past the initial few hours, using an ice pack or having a cold bath has been proven to decrease the symptoms.

2) Pigmentation Issues

There have been people that have experienced changes to their pigmentation.

The changes are usually minor and only in the areas that underwent the procedure.

The skin can become hypo or hyperpigmented depending entirely on each individual and how their melanin reacts to the IPL treatment.

It has been seen that people with lighter skin tones experience hypopigmentation after an IPL procedure.

Conversely, those with darker skin tones have been more likely to see hypopigmentation post IPL treatment.

However, this does not mean that a light-skinned person could not have hypopigmentation or dark-skinned person hyperpigmentation.

The changes to the skin, whether it be hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, do not have lasting effects.

They subside after some time without any residual marks.

3) Developing of Crusts

Some people have complained of their skin crusting where IPL was performed.

Crusts can develop into scars or scabs if not cared for properly.

It is best to keep the area moisturized and avoid itching to prevent any other complications.

4) Skin Infection Risks

IPL does carry the risk of skin infections.

Therefore, the area in which IPL has been used should heal like one would a wound.

It would help if you relaid any signs of infection, inflammation, or unwellness to a dermatologist.

5) Formation of Blisters and Burning of Skin

IPL treatment involves the use of heat.

The light energy from the IPL gun is converted to heat energy.

In the hands of an unqualified person, it can easily lead to burning or blister formation.

6) Scarring of Skin

While scarring is rare in IPL, it is not entirely unheard of, either due to the carelessness of the administrator or the person. IPL treated areas should be kept moisturized and away from the sun to prevent scarring.


IPL is not without its risks.

Thankfully though, there are ways to reduce those risks.

Given how popular IPL is becoming, it is important to know the side effects of the treatment, but know that you know, you can book your IPL appointment without worry.

Remember to consult your doctor beforehand to be safe.

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