Intense Pulsed Light Treatment - IPL in Flagstaff

Intense Pulsed Light, also known as IPL, Photofacial, or Photorejuvenation, is a procedure that uses light in different wavelengths to significantly improve the signs of sun damage and also enhance your skin’s overall appearance.  IPLs can be of great value in reducing the effects of sun damage such as age spots, brown pigmentation, wrinkles, and Rosacea. Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona offers IPL procedures as a safe and effective way to revitalize and restore your skin’s youthful glow. At the same time, many people find that it improves one’s confidence as an added result.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

What is IPL? Am I a Candidate?

Unlike laser treatments, IPL releases light energy that is absorbed through pigment cells that are then converted into heat. The process only permeates through the second layer of skin, providing less skin damage. The heat targets the area, fading away fine lines and broken blood vessels, and even helps to reduce Rosacea flares. It is the treatment of choice for poikiloderma, (red/brown mottled pigmentation from sun damage, usually on the side of the neck), but it can also be used in combination with other treatments. Areas where IPL is usually performed on include the face, neck, chest, hands, and arms. Other parts of your body can get this treatment, but it may not be as effective. IPL is not recommended for individuals with keloid scars or warmer flesh tones.

During your IPL consultation with one of our aestheticians/certified medical laser technicians at Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, you will have ample opportunities to ask questions and will be able to discuss whether or not you are a good candidate for the treatments. Let us know of any skin conditions, acne or eczema, which may hinder your recovery process. We’ll walk you through each step of the procedure and be with you from beginning to end to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the process.

Risks and Safety

During the consultation at Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, our licensed aestheticians will go over the possible risks associated with getting an IPL. Most people experience mild redness and a small amount of swelling that typically goes away in a day or two. Other possible risks may include bruising, blistering, skin discoloration, or infection. For safety precautions, apply sunscreen and moisturizers to your skin following IPL treatments, as it will be vulnerable and sensitive to the elements. Prior to starting IPL treatments, a variety of activities should be avoided, including tanning beds, chemical peels, and waxing. Medications like aspirin and ibuprofen, which can increase bleeding, and certain creams and lotions that have vitamin A or glycolic acid should also be avoided prior to IPL treatment.

Preparation, Procedure, and Recovery

When preparing for the initial procedure, your skin will be prepped and cleaned, and then one of our aestheticians/certified medical laser technicians will apply a cool gel to your skin and will provide eyewear to protect your eyes during the light treatment. Once prepping and cleaning have been administered, the IPL handpiece is placed on the skin, releasing pulsating light waves that may sting, bringing on the similar touch-sensation of a rubber band snapping upon your skin. The procedure usually takes 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the specific area you’re requesting to be treated. To achieve your desired results, it is suggested that you receive three to six treatments, which we offer in discount packages. Allow one month of separation between each treatment to give your skin ample time to heal.

Following the procedure, the treated area will look and feel as though you have light sunburn on your skin and will be sensitive for a few hours. However, with this being a non-invasive treatment, you should be able to return to your normal daily activities, including being able to wear makeup immediately following the procedure. Avoid over-exposure to sunlight, hot water, steam rooms, or freezing temperatures for a week after each of your treatments.


If you’re ready to reverse the effects of sun damage and the appearance of fine lines, sunspots, wrinkles, and age spots, then consider IPL treatment. The first step is to schedule a complimentary IPL consultation. In the consultation, the aesthetician/certified medical laser technician will describe how the treatment is administered, inform you of the risks and safety protocols, and answer any of your questions.

At Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, our goal is to help you feel comfortable in your skin again and increase your confidence. To learn more about IPL treatments offered at Plastic Surgeons of Northern Arizona, contact us today at (928) 774-2300 or (800) 962-1390 to schedule an IPL consultation in our Flagstaff office.

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