How Do I Know if IPL Treatment is Right for Me?

Ladner Facial Plastic Surgery

When you think about seeing a plastic surgeon, chances are you assume that you must have a procedure that requires you to go under the knife.

Not true!

Many plastic surgeons are also certified to perform a variety of non-invasive treatments, several of which don’t require any surgical procedures at all and have little to no recovery time. That means you can still improve your appearance without undergoing any anesthesia or needing any incisions or injections.


One way is through the use of Intense Pulsed Light treatment or IPL as it’s more commonly called.

Ladner Facial Plastic Surgery

What is IPL?

You may have never considered IPL because it was unfamiliar to you. Intense Pulsed Light treatment (IPL) is a light therapy used to treat everything from wrinkles to age spots and broken blood vessels, to unwanted hair. These photorejuvenation treatments result in skin that is more youthful in appearance as well as more evenly toned skin. Removal of unwanted body hair will also result in skin that appears smoother.

How does IPL work?

When you choose Dr. Keith Ladner for your IPL treatment, a continuously cooled applicator is placed gently over the skin as a broad spectrum pulsed light is transmitted through the layers of the skin. The light penetrates the tissue and gets absorbed into areas of the skin that have vascular lesions or hyperpigmentation. As the body works to naturally clear the debris, you’re left with better-looking skin.

If you’re using IPL for hair removal, the process is the same. The heat from the light helps to destroy the hair follicle, preventing hair from regrowing.

Many patients prefer IPL treatments over laser treatments because they penetrate down to the second layer of the skin without harming the top layer.

A typical treatment can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area. Your plastic surgeon will be able to give you a better idea after a consultation to see the areas that will be included.

Is IPL safe and are there side effects?

IPL treatments are considered safe skin treatments. Mild redness or swelling is common but usually goes away within a couple of days. Your skin may be sensitive for a couple of days as well, so patients are usually told to avoid extremely warm water and direct sunlight to the treated area.

If you are considering an IPL treatment, you will typically be told to avoid direct sunlight, tanning beds, waxing, and aspirin two weeks before your treatment starts. Your plastic surgeon will go over a list of items and activities to avoid.

Is IPL treatment right for me?

First, consider what you want to accomplish with your skin’s appearance. IPL is usually used for the following conditions:

Age spots

Sun damage


Varicose veins

Broken blood vessels


Unwanted body hair

If you checked one or more of those boxes, that’s the first step. If you don’t want to undergo surgery that requires incisions, then IPL may be right for you. But, you should understand that one treatment usually doesn’t produce the final results you’re looking for. This means you’ll have to return for multiple visits to get the results you want.

The IPL sessions don’t take long and recovery with IPL is also quick. This appeals to many patients because there is no time missed from work or other activities.

As with many other cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, health insurance does not cover them. So, be prepared to pay out of pocket for multiple visits.

Are you ready for IPL?

If you’re looking to avoid typical plastic surgery procedures, but still want to improve the appearance of your skin, call Dr. Keith Ladner for more information about IPL treatments. Dr. Ladner will assess your skin’s condition and let you know if IPL is the best course of action or if you would benefit more from another treatment. Dr. Ladner has done countless IPL treatments with amazing results. As a double board-certified plastic surgeon by both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Dr. Ladner is more than qualified to take care of all your plastic surgery needs. Contact Dr. Ladner today at (303) 253-7686 to schedule a consultation to discuss IPL treatments and find out if they’re right for you.

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