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Intense Pulsed Light Therapy


Intense Pulsed Light is used to selectively remove and treat a number of conditions including broken blood vessels (telangiectasia), redness, freckling and excess hair. Broken blood vessels and redness may be a consequence of medical conditions including acne rosacea but are also a common consequence of sun exposure, ageing, temperature extremes, topical steroid use, genetic influences and surgical scarring.
You will need to avoid sun exposure and use a sun block for 4 weeks prior to the procedure. You may purchase a numbing cream called LMX from us or the chemist to use on the day. Treatment will not be done during pregnancy and LMX cream should not be used while breastfeeding. Please let me know if you are taking aspirin, other blood thinners or anti-inflammatory medications, as I may need to reduce the treatment strength to avoid bruising.


If you are suntanned or have a fake tan, your treatment may be postponed. Please come with the area free of makeup and inform us if you have any tattoos, including permanent makeup. Please rub LMX cream into the skin half an hour before your appointment if you are using it. Your face will be photographed preoperatively. It is important for your eyes to be shielded from the intense light treatment and they will be covered prior to starting treatment. Even though your eyes are protected, you will notice a bright flash of light. Each pulse of the IPL feels like a hot & sharp rubber band flick. The strength of the treatment may be reduced if you find it too uncomfortable. Usually 3 treatments are required and these are 4 or more weeks apart.


The treated area will be red for a few hours after treatment. Cold packs, aloe vera and other cooling preparations may be applied to ease any discomfort. Your skin usually feels tight and somewhat irritated like mild sunburn for a few days. You may apply moisturiser and cosmetics over the treated area. If you have had treatment near the eyes, you will develop some swelling the next day & this will last for a few days around the eyes. If you have had freckles in the area treated, these will usually darken and peel off in the week after treatment. If crusting occurs, apply Vaseline frequently and notify me. It is important that you avoid sun exposure and use sun block for 4 weeks prior to your treatment, throughout the course of treatment and for 2 months following your last treatment to prevent the development of freckling in the treated area.


Some problems are resistant to treatment and may require either repeated treatments or a change to a different laser system. Most problems will recur after a few years and can be treated again. Changes in skin colour including darkening, freckling and lightening may occur and are more common in darker skin. In some areas, particularly the neck, you may notice patterning or a line between treated and untreated areas. This will usually be evident only between the first and second treatments and will be remedied by the second treatment. Uncommon complications include prolonged redness, severe swelling, blistering, scabbing, bruising, scarring and permanent hair loss in the treated area. Tattoos, including permanent makeup, may be damaged by the treatment.

If you have any questions or problems during the course of your treatment please call:
Adelaide Skin & Eye Centre 8211 0000 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)