Can I get burned by an IPL treatment?

If yes, then how bad would the IPL burns be? Is it like a sunburn or worse? How do I treat an IPL burn if I get one? I hope that any damage is only superficial.


F, 40, North Dakota

Tags:woman age 35-44 burn damage

It's actually really common to get burned from an IPL treatment even when you have a practitioner that's highly trained. Most people have really sensitive skin and don't realize it until they go in for this kind of laser treatment. I knew that my skin was sensitive so I specifically searched for a doctor who was really familiar with ipl treatment.

Even with that doctor, I ended up getting laser burns in my more sensitive areas like near my ears and under my eyes. It wasn't bad enough to blister but it was bad enough that I had a slight burning sensation and I had to use hydrocortisone cream. That didn't stop me from going back for my last treatment though because the results themselves were worth a little bit of pain.

I have definitely read that you can get second degree burns from ipl treatment but I personally have never actually seen it. I've had about six different friends undergo ipl because we live in a really sunny part of the United States and so our skin is prone to sun damage. Maybe we haven't seen any bad effects because we went to a very highly ranked laser technician but I feel like the chances of being burned are really low.

I know that your chances go up if you see someone who is not well trained in this practice or if your skin type makes you particularly sensitive to intense pulsed light. But I guess you can't really know that before your first time. I think if you're worried you'll probably be fine, but it might be a good idea to tell your doctor you're worried about ipl burns and see if there's any skin care or lifestyle changes you can make so that the healing process goes smoother.

You can be burned by an IPL treatment but it's usually not very bad. I find it a lot safer than laser hair removal, which gave me pretty severe burns my first time. I actually was burned during my ipl treatment once but it was like a low-grade sunburn and they gave me a soothing moisturizer to use with my skin care routine and it felt a lot better by the next day. I had some very slight blistering on the edges of my face but my doctor actually gave me a discount for my follow up treatment as an apology.

I know that burns can be more frequent with plastic surgeons who aren't as well versed in the technique or familiar with the different treatment settings. Because of that, you should make sure that your doctor has had the appropriate amount of training and has good reviews for IPL treatment.