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Advanced IPL Patient Education and Resources

This page contains educational resources for IPL: Photofacial treatments. 


Advanced M22: IPL Laser: Patient Resources

This page contains treatments details specific to the M22 laser available at Peach Skin Clinic. This page is not meant to diagnose or recommend. If you have any questions, please contact us at one our facilities. 

IPL Treatment Indications and Contraindications

IPL Treatment Indications

The IPL Skin Treatment is indicated for use in aesthetic and cosmetic applications requiring selective photothermolysis of soft tissue in the medical specialties of general and plastic surgery and dermatology.

  • Benign pigmented epidermal and cutaneous lesions including dyschromia, hyperpigmentation, melasma, scars and striae.
  • Benign cutaneous vascular lesions, including port wine stains, hemangiomas, facial and truncal telangiectasias, rosacea, erythema of rosacea, angiomas and spider angiomas, poikiloderma of Civatte. 

IPL Treatment Contraindications

  • Current or history of cancer, especially malignant melanoma or recurrent non-melanoma skin cancer, or pre-cancerous lesions such as multiple dysplastic nevi.
  • Any active infection.
  • Diseases which may be stimulated by light at 560 nm to 1200 nm, such as history of recurrent Herpes Simplex, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or Porphyria.
  • Use of photosensitive medication and/or herbs that may cause sensitivity to 560-1200 nm light exposure, such as Isotretinoin, tetracycline, or St. John's Wort.
  • Immunosuppressive diseases, including AIDS and HIV infection, or use of immunosuppressive medications.
  • Patient history of Hormonal or endocrine disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome or diabetes, unless under control.
  • History of bleeding coagulopathies, or use of anticoagulants.
  • History of keloid scarring.
  • Very dry skin.
  • Exposure to sun or artificial tanning during the 3–4 weeks prior to treatment.
  • Skin type VI.
  • Pregnancy and nursing. 

IPL Treatment Side Effects and Details

Treatment Side Effects

  • There may be some discomfort or pain associated with treatment
  • Transient erythema/edema may appear immediately following treatment.
  • Pigmented lesions may become darker for up to fourteen days following treatment.
  • Acceptable results will likely take a number of treatments, usually four to six. The entire program should be planned at the outset to promote compliance and realistic expectations.
  • There is a small risk of adverse reactions such as changes in the texture and pigmentation of the skin. These are usually transient and rare. 

Treatment Photography

It is highly recommended to take photographs before each treatment, to document the progress of treatment (left, right, and front of the treated area). Because improvement takes place gradually, a photographic record is extremely important for accurate evaluation, as well as providing a strong basis for patient satisfaction.

Treatment Discomfort

When a pulse is triggered, it may cause various degrees of discomfort. Some describe the sensation as stinging, while others liken it to a rubber band snap. A burning sensation may last for up to an hour after treatment. Most patients are able to tolerate this discomfort, but some people may require a topical anesthetic

Potential Risks with IPL Treatment

Damage to natural skin texture

A crust or blister may form, which may take from five to ten days to heal. 

Change of pigmentation

There may be a change of pigmentation in the treated area. Most cases of hypo- or hyper-pigmentation occur in people with darker skin, or when the treated area has been exposed to sunlight before or after treatment. In some patients, hyperpigmentation occurs despite protection from the sun. This discoloration usually fades in three to six months, but in rare cases, mainly hypopigmentation, the change of pigment may last longer or be permanent. 


There is a very small chance of scarring, such as enlarged hypertrophic scars. In very rare cases, abnormal, large, raised keloid scars may appear. To reduce the chance of scarring, it is important to carefully follow all post-treatment instructions and exclude patients that have a genetic tendency for scarring. Caution should be used when treating Port Wine Stains (PWS) in young children - scarring may occur if too much light energy is absorbed by the epidermis and per vascular dermis.

Excessive Swelling

Immediately after treatment, especially of the nose or the peri-orbital zone, the skin may swell temporarily. Swelling usually subsides within hours to as much as seven days. 

Fragile Skin

The skin at or near the treatment site may become fragile. If this happens, avoid makeup and do not rub the area, as this might tear the skin. 


Very rarely, a blue-purple bruise (purpura) may appear on the treated area. It may last from five to fifteen days. As the bruise fades, there may be rustbrown discoloration of this skin, which fades in one to three months. 


There is a small chance of burns occurring on the skin. To reduce the possibility of burns from occurring, it is important to carefully follow all treatment instructions, and in particular to perform test patches. Always perform a test patch on the intended treatment area during the first treatment session. 

IPL Primary Treated Conditions

Erythema of Rosacea

Erythema of rosacea is an inflammatory redness of the skin. Rosacea symptoms include facial redness across the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead, visibly dilated blood vessels and/or red inflammatory papules and pustules. Symptoms of rosacea develop gradually as mild episodes of facial blushing or flushing which, over time, may lead to a permanently red face.


Small dilated, or broken segments of a blood vessel visible through the epidermis, including small terminal segments or clustered patterns known as “spider telangiectasia".

Facial Telangiectasia

Small red focal lesions on the face, due to dilated blood vessels having a tortuous appearance. Commonly seen on the face around the nose, cheeks and chin.

Truncal Telangiectasia

Small enlarged blood vessels near the surface of the skin, usually they measure only a few millimeters. They can develop anywhere on the body. They may be composed of abnormal aggregations of arterioles, capillaries, or venules.


Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin, usually when excess melanin forms deposits in the skin. Often the hyperpigmentation is in patches of lentigines or sun-induced freckles.


Melasma is a form of diffuse, symmetrical hyperpigmentation on the face that appears most often as a result of hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or from birth control pills.


A variegated hyperpigmentation and telangiectasia of the skin followed by atrophy.

Telangiectasias/ Age Spots (Mild)

Telangiectasias are small dilated or broken segments of a blood vessel visible through the epidermis. Age spots include lentigines (small round dark macules, frequently sun related), ephelides (freckles) and hyperpigmented patches. These conditions may be the result of skin aging, and/or solar or environmental effects.

Telangiectasias/Age Spots (Severe)

The above described conditions to a more severe degree.  

Telangiectasias/ Age Spots (NonFacial)

The above described conditions on the neck, chest and hands, arms or other non-facial areas. 

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