Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatments

What is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)?

IPL (sometimes referred to as a “fotofacial”) uses various wavelengths of light passed through a small, transparent hand-piece to penetrate the skin tissue and create heat, targeting abnormal vessels responsible for inflammation. After treatment, the body removes the abnormal vessels and heals the inflammation that was threatening the skin and oil glands of the eyelids. This allows for the treatment of a broad spectrum of conditions including: acne, rosacea, dry eye, blepharitis, and more. Treatments can range from a small, targeted area to entire facial treatments. IPL is safe, effective, and has minimal “down time” following the procedure. It is cleared by the FDA for over 20 different skin indications.

Diagram of Intense Pulsed Light Photofacial Treatment

A diagram of the skin before, during, and after an Intense Pulsed Light treatment.

Preparing for your treatment

Prior to receiving treatment, you will have a consultation with one of our providers. During the consultation you will discuss your concerns, ongoing skincare routine, skin conditions, and health history. Your provider will then recommend a treatment plan to target your specific conditions. In some cases, you may need to return to our office at a later date to begin treatments. We recommend avoiding tanning beds, sunless tanner or tan enhancer caps, direct sunlight, chemical peels, skin injections, retinols/Retin-A or exfoliating facial cleansers with ingredients such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid at least a week prior to your visit.

what to expect during the procedure

Your provider will begin by cleaning the area to be treated to ensure there is no sweat, dirt, or makeup on the skin. Next, a cool, ultrasound gel will be placed on the areas to be treated. If you will be having your upper and lower eyelids treated, you will be given numbing eye drops that will be effective for the duration of the treatment. For all treatment areas, a dark, protective cover is placed on your eyes. The IPL device gently touches the skin as your provider moves across the areas to be treated. The treatments can take anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour. Most patients describe the treatment as quick, comfortable, and with minimal to mild pain.

after your ipl treatment

After your IPL treatment, expect to have some skin redness for up to one week after the procedure. Some mild skin irritation can occur that is similar to a sunburn. If the eyelids were treated, we recommend artificial tears instilled in both eyes every two hours to help with irritation. Makeup can be worn 24 hours after an IPL treatment. Avoid direct sunlight and apply sunscreen with an SPF 30 and the ingredient zinc oxide for one week after the procedure. You will also be provided with more specific guidelines in the office.

Intense pulsed light Results

IPL requires multiple sessions but most patients start seeing positive changes after just one treatment. The number of treatments varies depending on the severity of the condition, desired outcome, health history, and more. Your provider will work closely with you to determine a treatment plan that will achieve the best results.


IPL costs vary depending on the area to be treated and number of required treatments. During your consultation, your provider will talk with you about your treatment plan and costs.


Learn more about our providers here!


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