IPL Laser Treatment

IPL Laser Treatment

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) selectively targets brown spots and broken blood vessels to provide a more even and clear complexion. Laser skin resurfacing treatments with our CO2 laser or Erbium lasers can address fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of collagen. Pigment issues are improved with some of those procedures, but IPL offers a complete solution to directly address a wide variety of pigment concerns from sun damage and aging.

The treatment uses specific wavelengths of light energy that are absorbed by brown pigment or red blood vessels minimizing any damage to surrounding skin.

In most cases, we also treat skin texture and loss of elasticity with other types of laser treatments or chemical peels. This combination allows us to tailor treatments to address each individual patient’s needs for more radiant skin.

“I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner. I’m so much happier with my skin now.”
— Jessica D.

Why Consider IPL?

IPL Laser Treatments can:

  • Eliminate brown spots
  • Improve rosacea
  • Decrease facial veins
  • Improve complexion
  • Enhance the results of laser skin resurfacing

Dr. Rodwell’s Approach to IPL

Modern lasers are incredibly advanced and now offer the ability to directly target areas of concern with much less downtime compared to options we had in the past. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is designed to address the pigment concerns that are so common among all patients.

Dr. Rodwell will first meet with you to learn more about your concerns and determine the best plan. There are many options for skin care and laser treatments, and this is one of those areas that really needs a long term plan to help you look better and then maintain the improvements in your skin.

IPL treatments are often combined with a minimal downtime Erbium laser for additional skin tightening and collagen stimulation. A simple but effective skincare routine is also a key component of a comprehensive plan, and Dr. Rodwell and the staff at Charleston Facial Plastic Surgery will help guide you through those many decisions.

What to Expect After IPL Laser Treatments

It is important to avoid tanning or excess sun exposure for at least 2 weeks prior to an IPL treatment. Likewise, for several days prior to IPL patients should stop any skincare products that might make the skin more sensitive.

Treatments are quick with minimal downtime. The IPL device has a sapphire crystal cooled tip for added comfort. A topical numbing cream can be applied before treatment, but most patients do not find that necessary. IPL treatments can range from simple spot treatments of bothersome areas to full face, neck, and chest rejuvenation.  Many patients also enjoy the benefits of treating the backs of the hands — an often neglected area that is a telltale sign of aging.

Downtime is variable depending on the areas treated, the settings used, and the amount of sun damage present.

Some redness and warmth are to be expected for a few hours — similar to a mild sunburn sensation. Discomfort is very minimal and quickly fades. The main thing to know is that areas of brown pigmentation will darken several shades and remain that way for up to 1-2 weeks as the brown pigment is broken down before clearing. Occasionally there can be some mild flaking or crusting in certain areas depending on the depth of treatment. Makeup can be used starting 24 hours after treatment in most cases.

IPL recovery



Results can be seen with the first treatment, but most patients will need to plan for a series of treatments (2-4 on average) to get the full benefit from IPL. It is important to continue good habits with sunscreen use and a quality skincare routine. Once the skin tone has improved after the initial IPL treatments most people find benefit with 1-2 IPL treatments per year to maintain the best results since more brown spots and new broken blood vessels will tend to return over time as a normal part of the aging process and exposure to the sun.

If you are considering IPL Laser Treatments for brown spots or blood vessels in Charleston, contact Dr. Rodwell today to discuss your candidacy.

IPL Treatment FAQs

Is IPL treatment good for my skin?

One benefit of this treatment is how safe and gentle it is on your skin. The non-invasive solution has little to no downtime. Unlike therapies that remove the upper skin layer, IPL penetrates below the epidermis to treat age-causing elements that damage the skin surface.

Is IPL laser treatment effective?

Yes. It offers unique benefits many laser treatments don’t provide, like addressing hair removal, acne, rosacea, aging skin, and various other skin conditions.

Can IPL damage your skin?

If used incorrectly or too frequently, IPL therapy can damage your skin. Therefore, you should only seek this solution from a professional medical provider who has extensive training and experience with the technology and device.

Does IPL remove brown spots?

IPL is an excellent treatment for erasing mild sun damage, irregular pigmentation, brown spots, and freckles.

How long after IPL will I see results?

You’ll start noticing an improvement approximately one week after your first and subsequent IPL sessions, which will continue to improve in the following months. Finally, three to six months after your last session, you’ll realize optimal IPL benefits.

How painful is IPL?

According to clinical studies, IPL treatment offers no discomfort and is painless. In addition, the technology includes a cooling mechanism to ensure your skin never overheats or gets damaged.

How long until dark spots go away after IPL?

Unwanted pigmentation, like sun damage, will darken immediately after an IPL session. However, these spots will eventually flake off, which should take about five to seven days.