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Online clinic on skin conditions - Sep 2014

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Effect of IPL hair removal on skin

Postby Andrew1984 on Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:14 am

Dear Doctors,

Since the hair removal via IPL (Intense Pulse Light) is becoming more and more popular as an alternative to the painful wax, I would like to know if it could contribute in any way to the formation of skin cancer, or cause any other aesthetic or serious damage to the skin.

In addition, I also would like to know:

1) During a treatment, how can a pigment free area (consequent to halo nevus evolution, with the total disappearance of the mole) be protected? Is a SPF 50 cream effective against the Intense Pulse Light?

2) Is it useful to protect all areas subject to IPL with sun protection cream?

3) For how long is it prohibited to be exposed to the sun after each IPL treatment? Is it sufficient to use a SPF 50+ cream, or the part (for example the arms) must be physically covered? What are the risks in failing to do so?

Thank you very much in advance for helping in making clarity about this subject.
Kind Regards,

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Re: Effect of IPL hair removal on skin

Postby Dr Walayat Hussain on Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:17 am

Unlike using a sunbed, IPL should not contribute to skin cancer risk. There are however different risks such as scarring, permanent skin colour changes if not performed by a trained practitioner. I would ensure you only receive IPL from a skin specialist ie a Consultant Dermatologist.
Dr Walayat Hussain
Consultant Dermatologist & Specialist Dermatological Surgeon

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Dr Walayat Hussain
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