Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment For Acne


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What is intense pulsed light treatment?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment or photo rejuvenation, a non-invasive and non-surgical skin treating procedure has completely changed the face of skin treatment (pun intended). 

 Invented by Thomas L Roberts, III using CO2 lasers in the 1990s, this procedure is highly effective for treating pigmented cells and scars left behind by acne, sun spots, age spots, wrinkles, large visible pores, melasma, freckles, spider veins, and stretch marks.

What happens during an intense pulsed light procedure? 

The following two steps are involved in an intense pulsed light procedure:

  1. The doctor cleanses your skin with a solution.

  2.  A bright, intense light of a specific wavelength is emitted onto the parts of your affected skin, which enhances the production of collagen in that area, and fills the shallow areas of the acne scars.

A broad range of light waves during an intense pulsed light procedure to diffuse spots, wrinkles, spider veins, stretch marks, etc. 

Are there any side effects of intense pulsed light treatment?

During the treatment you may experience minimal pain, burning, stinging, prickling, or tingling sensation depending upon the type of device being used, and the treatment settings. 

Post-treatment there might be some redness, blistering, or bruising in the treated areas. 

The potential risks you face while undergoing this procedure include adverse reaction to anaesthesia, hematoma or seroma, allergic reactions, scarring, infection, bleeding, and damage to the area underlying the skin. 

Are there any post-treatment guidelines for intense pulsed light treatment? 

After the treatment, you need to keep the treated areas clean and avoid direct sunlight for at least the next 48 hours. If you cannot avoid going out, you need to use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.  

How many sessions of intense pulsed light treatment will I need? 

You can go for 2 to 4 sessions of treatment at intervals of 4 to 6 weeks.  Each session can last for 30 to 60 minutes. The number of sessions, required, though, depends upon your particular skin condition. 

How long will it take to recover from an intense pulsed light treatment? 

Depending upon which area is treated and how aggressive the treatment is, the recovery time is anywhere from a week and up to 3 weeks.  

Am I an ideal candidate for intense pulsed light treatment? 

You will need to discuss your candidacy for this treatment with a qualified physician, who will first perform a patch test to determine your eligibility. If you are eligible a personalized treatment plan will be made for you. 

You however, need to avoid this treatment if you are pregnant, have a dark skin complexion, a dark tan, or suffer from sensitivity to bright light, porphyria, lupus, and a tendency to form deep scars while healing (keloids). You are also not a good candidate for this treatment if you have diabetes, or you do not respond well to burns. 

What is the price/cost of intense pulsed light treatment in India? 

Cost of intense pulsed light treatment can vary depending upon the city/locality,  clinic/hospital type & amenities, experience of the provider, the technology & material used, skin area and skin type etc.

Please consult your doctor to get the exact treatment plan and price quote suiting your unique needs.

Are the results of intense pulsed light treatment permanent? 

Results are not considered to be permanent. Acne may disappear for few months or years and may re-appear. 

More Topics Related to Acne Treatment

People interested in this topic also read: 


1. Patidar M, Deshmukh A, Khedkar M. Efficacy of intense pulsed light therapy in the treatment of facial acne vulgaris: Comparison of two different fluences. 2018. Available at: Accessed March 2, 2018.

2. Kumaresan M, Srinivas C. Efficacy of IPL in treatment of acne vulgaris: Comparison of single- and burst-pulse mode in IPL. 2018. Available at: Accessed March 2, 2018.

3. Tsoukas M, Adya K, Inamadar A, Pei S. Light-based therapies in acne treatment. 2018. Available at: Accessed March 2, 2018.

4. Puttaiah M, Jartarkar SR 2017.1-2.Intense pulsed light: A promising therapy in treatment of acne vulgaris | Our Dermatology Online journal. Odermatolcom. 2018. Available at: Accessed March 2, 2018.

Would you like to consult a doctor for Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment For Acne ?

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
Doctor I am suffering from acne from 2years
Please help me
My acne once goes all and after some days more acne comes plzz doctor help me
Dr. Shaurya Rohatgi
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Acne can be treated easily with facewash, tablets and creams. Some people have more oilyness on the face which results in breakouts. After completing treatment for controlling the active breakouts, tablets can be stopped and creams need to be continued to prevent recurrence. Diet and lifestyle modifications are also important. Please don't do any self treatment such as over the counter Steroid creams. Don't burst the pimples with your fingers as it can result in ugly scars. The marks and pores left behind after the pimples heal can also be treated. Please call me or send your photos through online consult option for detailed prescription and diet advice.,
Verified User
I have a bad back and butt acne. Please suggest me something so i could get rid of my acne forever.
Dr. Sujit Shanshanwal
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Without examination of the skin condition and knowing the extent of involvement.. along with this more information on ongoing medication or history of previous/current skin/systemic illness it is not possible to comment on the treatment that would suit you best. Please get the problem checked thoroughly by visiting a qualified dermatologist or you can send images online through private online consult for a better assessment of the problem. Hope this is helpful.
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Did you know?

Foods do not cause breakouts

Chocolates do not cause pimples or acne, neither does pizza or fries. In fact, there's little evidence that specific foods actually do cause acne. Staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet, though, can help definitely result in a clear, glowing skin.

Sun exposure can minimize breakouts

Spending small amounts of time (10 to 20 minutes) in the sun can be beneficial for healing acne. Too much sun exposure though can be harmful. It can cause more breakouts and darken existing acne scars.

Do not overclean

Over exfoliating and over cleansing can actually aggravate your acne problems. It can irritate and dry your skin out, and make it produce more oil and then cause breakouts. Overdoing acne treatments can have the same effect. Therefore, stick to a morning and night regimen — cleanse, medicate, and moisturize.

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