IPL (or Intense Pulsed Laser) is an effective treatment to remove unwanted hair from the body, in areas like the underarms, bikini line and legs, as well as the face. IPL involves the use of a focused, broad-spectrum light to target the hair shafts or the roots of the hair (which has the most amount of melanin) and instantly dissolve the hair. While it is a relatively safe procedure (and mildy uncomfortable), people who are about to undergo IPL should prepare for the treatments, keeping in mind the following guidelines:
Prepare The Skin
Make sure you prepare the skin so that it is in tip-top condition before the procedure, to help minimize scarring and increase recovery time. Avoid any tanning before you have your procedures (or indeed, in between procedures) and moisturize your skin regularly. Also, don’t use any skin care products with AHA or BHA products. Chemical peels should not be done at least 2 months before treatment, and botox and collagen shots should be avoided 2 prior to the procedure.
Avoid Other Forms of Hair Removal
About a month before your procedure, avoid doing any other form of hair removal before the first treatment – that means no waxing, plucking, shaving, threading etc. In order for the procedure to work, a small amount of hair growth is needed so that it can be targeted by the machine. After the first procedure, the technician may tell you some hair removal is necessary – but usually only bleaching, shaving or depilatory creams are acceptable methods.
Any hormonal change can affect the treatment, and although IPL is safe and has no adverse effects on fetuses and babies, pregnant women and those trying to conceive should not undergo IPL treatment. People under the age of 18 also experience a lot of hormonal changes, so it would be advisable for such individuals to proceed with IPL treatments only during less hormonal times, and of course should only be done with the consent of a guardian or parent.
You need to tell your dermatologist and/or technician about medications you take and other medical conditions you have. For example, people with diabetes may experience slower healing times, and require additional medication or treatment. Epilepsy medication should be ceased at least 12 months prior to the treatment. Other medications may make your skin extra sensitive to light.
As for other medications, avoid aspirin, neurophen naprosin or naprogesic 10 days before your procedure. Also, do not drink alcohol 24 hours before the undergoing IPL.
Preparing your skin for IPL ensures that the procedure will be as effectively as it can be, and facilitate the recovery process. If you have any questions or concerns, do ask your doctor, dermatologist or technician before the procedure.
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