Laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) can improve acne and rosacea.   If you blush or flush regularly, or if you have chronic acne or acne scarring, we can help.

When topical acne creams and antibiotics fail to clear your pimples, IPL acne treatment can kill the bacteria that contribute to common acne (acne vulgaris).  If the inflammation has left you with frequent flushing, blushing or stubborn spider veins (Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea), we can shrink the veins using IPL or Nd-YAG laser. We can smooth the appearance of pitted scars using CO2 laser, and even pare down a large, red nose (rhinophyma).

During an IPL treatment, intense pulsed light (IPL) is filtered into specific wavelengths that penetrate the superficial skin until they are absorbed by pigments deeper within the skin.  Once absorbed by pigmented bacteria and red blood cells, the light destroys these bacteria that cause acne outbreaks and shrinks the capillaries that contribute to facial redness.

There are three specific light wavelengths that target acne:

  • Blue light destroys acne-causing bacteria (420nm)
  • Yellow light helps reduce the swelling (560 nm)
  • Red light reduces hyperactivity of oil glands (590nm)

Most patients notice an improvement after 4 to 6 sessions spaced 4 weeks apart.

Some patients will return for maintenance treatments every 3-4 months.

  • $100 for a limited area
  • $150 for the whole face
  • $250 for the back
  • Children under 16 years old
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Patients with tanned, brown, or black skin
  • Patients taking blood thinners or doxycycline
  • Patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy for cancer
  • Patients with active herpes or other skin infection
  • Patients sensitive to strobe lights
  • Patients who scar easily

Before and after IPL acne treatment

This 29 year old woman had persistent acne & rosacea all over her face despite many years of treatment with skin care products, antibiotics, therapeutic facials, & microdermabrasion.

After 12 weekly Spectrum IPL acne treatments, her skin noticeably became clearer and any redness diminished. Two years following the 1st treatment, she continues to have a noticeable improvement in skin color and texture, with only an occasional pimple, as seen in the “after” images.

Risks of Procedure

Changes in skin color may occur in patients with darker skin tones

Bruising, Redness, Scarring, & Infection are rare

Pain resembles the snapping of a rubber band during the procedure

Acne is a chronic illness modulated by your genetics and hormones.  We do not expect that this treatment will resolve all blemishes or prevent future breakouts. Multiple treatments are required.

Before Your Treatment

Avoid the sun and tanning beds for 1 month before treatment

Avoid exfoliating or retinoid products for 1 week before treatment

Avoid medicines and supplements that inhibit blood clotting for 1 week before treatment: 

  • Vitamin E
  • Fish oil
  • Ginkgo
  • Garlic
  • Aspirin

Ask your doctor before stopping any prescribed blood thinners.

Day of Treatment

Getting Ready Tips – Wash your face thoroughly before your appointment

Arrive 30 minutes before your appointment for numbing cream

Payment is expected upon arrival

Photographs will be taken

The visit will take about 1 hour, counting topical anesthesia time

During the procedure, your skin will feel as if a warm rubber band is snapping against it

After Your Treatment

Things to Remember

Your face may look red and feel sunburned for 24 hours.

Avoid sun exposure while healing to prevent darkening of the skin.

  • Apply Sunblock (SPF 25 or higher) 30 minutes before going outside & reapply every 60 minutes

Wash the face a few times a day with a gentle cleanser.

Do not apply makeup while skin is sensitive.

Avoid the following until skin has fully healed – hot water, Jacuzzis, pools (chemicals + chlorine), excessive perspiration, strenuous exercise, or contact sports.

Never pick or scratch at the skin during the healing process (scabs & itching are expected).

Never wipe hard with a towel or washcloth. Always gently pat your skin dry.

Take Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen for pain.

Return to our office in one month.  Call (804) 330-5501 if you have any questions or concerns.