IPL Hair Removal Side Effects

Here at British Lasers, we know that there are risks associated with IPL hair removal. Being a medical procedure, the patient may encounter a few complications and side effects.

Skin Types

However, there is variation according to the colour and type of skin. The normal side effects that accompany IPL treatments are mainly heat-related and include swelling and reddening of the skin in the targeted areas. But, these effects normally subside within forty-eight hours.  It is very important to cool the skin before, during, and after treatments to avoid burns and to provide a more pleasant pain-free experience for the patient.

Cooling is performed either by contact technology, i.e. cooling by the sapphire tip of the handpiece, or by application of a cooling gel to the skin during treatment. In some cases blowing chilled air to the treatment area by a cooler, or using ice packs has been implemented.

In order to minimize any side effects, the patient should avoid exposure to sunshine for a few weeks before and after treatments.  Furthermore, there is a long list of contraindications that the therapist should observe in order to verify the suitability of the patient for such treatments.

Normal Side Effects

The common side effects associated with IPL include a feeling of soreness around the area where IPL is applied.  As indicated, these side effects will subside within forty-eight hours but they may be accompanied by minimal pigment change in the targeted area of skin following the procedure. This will result in a mild darkening or lightening of skin in patches with the darker one appearing like dots comparable to skin that has been sun-tanned. Lightening of the skin occurs as well, especially where there was too much light absorption. Such occurrences are more common in darker skin tones. Your normal skin colour will probably come back after a few months at the most.

There may also be some pain during the procedure. The sensation you get may leave a tingling effect. This is due to the heat emanating from the flash lamp. However, the latest IPL devices contain cooling systems in order to reduce the discomfort.


IPL does not cause many complications. The risks involved are minimal. A majority of the side effects clear eventually. Note that there is a risk arising from the skin overheating during the procedure. It may lead to serious scarring or blistering.  This is why cooling is so important in IPL treatments. An over the counter anesthetic cream can alleviate the pain. This occurrence is more common in darker skin because it is richer in skin pigment that allows for more absorption of light.

In addition, confirm the qualifications of the therapist performing the procedure on your skin as well as the quality of the IPL device to be used. This will ensure that you do not expose yourself to unnecessary risks and complications during the procedure.

Side effects and complications can be avoided by following the aforementioned steps so that you can get the best out of the IPL procedure for removal of any unwanted hair on your skin.

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