A Beginner’s Guide to Intense Pulsed Light Acne Treatment

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy or photo facial is a treatment to improve your face’s skin color and texture without using invasive surgical procedures. If you are suffering from photoaging on your face, neck, chest, or hands due to sun exposure, a photo facial is the best way to reverse the damage.

IPL treatment works best for people with pale or light brown skin. It’s advisable for adults who want to get rid of acne, birthmarks, age spots, discolored skin, fine lines, rosacea, scars, unwanted hair, and other aging or sun damage signs.

Here, we give you a low-down on everything you should know before taking an IPL treatment.

Safety, risk, and side effects

IPL is safe for most adults. However, it is not suitable for pregnant women and adults with dark skin, active acne, severe scarring, recent sunburn, and people who have recently taken Accutane, an acne drug.

You will experience minimal pain or a tingling sensation during the treatment. Post-treatment, individuals experience a varying degree of redness, bruising, or blistering in the treated area. You can avoid potential risks such as allergic reactions, infections, bleeding, or scarring in the treatment area by getting it done by an experienced and certified professional.


The IPL treatment’s effectiveness depends on skin color, quality of equipment used by healthcare professionals, and your skin’s response. Everyone responds differently to the treatment, with most people requiring multiple rounds to get significant results.


If you plan to get IPL treatment, consult your provider about how it would benefit you. You will have to avoid sunbathing, tanning beds, waxing, chemical peels, and collagen injections for two weeks before the treatment. You will also have to avoid using perfume or deodorant on the skin area you want to be treated.

What to expect

Your healthcare provider will clean the treatment area with a solution and use a handheld device to deliver bright, intense light of a specific bandwidth to the affected areas. Light of a particular wavelength is decided from a broad range of light waves to treat your skin condition, which varies from person to person.

Recovery period

The recovery period is between one and three weeks, depending upon the aggressiveness of the treatment. Temporary side effects such as redness or stinging sensation will last for between four and eight hours. A cold pack can help ease such symptoms. You should avoid putting makeup or lotion on the treated area for at least two days or until swelling has disappeared.

IPL treatment at Ballentyne Medical Aesthetics

Ballentyne Medical Aesthetics should be your one-stop destination for non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatment. Although Dr. Ballentyne has been in the medical spa industry since 2002, he and his daughter Alexis started Ballentyne Medical Aesthetics in 2017 to provide cosmetic treatment to Portsmouth residents.
If you want to know about the right treatment to cure your skin problem, fill out the new patient form, and we’ll get in touch with you. You can also reach us through email at hello@ballentynemedicalaesthetics.com or by calling us at (603) 319-8432.