Skip to main content
Dr Rory Dower

Home»Procedures»Skin Procedures»Intense Pulse light (IPL)

Intense Pulse light (IPL)

Our Intense Pulse Light machine, the Ellipse I2PL system, is an FDA approved technology that allows us to treat a variety of skin conditions and perform permanent hair removal.

Light energy, emitted through short, safe bursts, target the pigment (melanin) in skin and hair and the haemoglobin which causes redness in veins.

When the correct amount of energy is delivered optimally for the skin type, the best results are obtained – in the most comfortable manner possible for our patients.

Skin conditions we treat with our Ellipse I2PL include:

Brown lesions


Skin Rejuvenation

IPL Hair removal

The Ellipse I2PL machine, is effective in removing dark hair in men and women of all skin types.

Laser light emits energy which passes through the skin, to absorb melanin (the colour in the hair follicle). The heat acts to destroy the hair follicle which ensures that the hair follicle doesn’t grow back. Treatments aim to achieve long-term results.

Before booking an IPL treatment, we advise that you have a complimentary VISIA skin consultation with our aesthetic laser therapist. She will assess if you are a candidate for this treatment by analysing your skin or doing a patch test for hair removal. She will also advise you on the best personalised treatment plan and how many treatments will be needed to achieve the desired result.

FAQs about Intense Pulse Light

What do I need to do before IPL hair removal treatments?
  • Avoid sun exposure or tanning agents in the area requiring treatment at least 2-6 weeks prior to treatment. This reduces the risk of hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation.
  • Avoid other hair removal methods like waxing, plucking, electrolysis or bleaching the hair at least 2-4 weeks prior to treatment.
  • Shave the area 2 days prior to the day of treatment.
  • Avoid topical medications these may cause photo sensitivity
    No use of Roaccutane for at least 6 months prior to treatment.
  • You may need to take anti-viral medication prior to your treatment if you are prone to peri- oral or genital herpes simplex.
What do I need to do before IPL skin treatments?
  • Please avoid sun exposure for 30 days prior to your treatment.
  • All products that contain active ingredients should be stopped 5 days before your scheduled appointment. Examples include:
    • Rosex (for Rosacea),
    • Vitamin A prescribed cream (Retin-A),
    • Differin Ilotycin A, Isotrex), Skinoren,
    • Hydroquinone, or Glycolic Acid
  • If your dermatologist has put you on Roaccutane/Oretane or Isotretinnoins, that is contra indicated and you are not a candidate for the Ellipse IPL treatments.
  • If you are using any sun activators orally or using chemical self-tanning products it is advised to stopped 2 weeks ahead of your booked session.
What do I need to know about after my IPL hair removal treatment?
  • Redness and swelling can persist for anything from 2hrs to 2 days post treatment.
  • In most cases the treated area will feel like mild sunburn.
  • Apply soothing creams to the area after the treatment (burn shield or aloe vera gel).
  • Avoid sun and apply your SPF 50. This should also be done in between the course of your treatments this will also help avoid any pigmentation.
  • Avoid using deodorant after the treatment.
  • You may notice your hair will shed 3 days to 2 weeks after the treatment.
  • Shaving or depilatory cream is the preferred method of hair removal between sessions.
  • Book your next session once the hair starts to regrow.
What do I need to know about after my IPL skin treatment?
  • Immediately after your treatment all your brown spots will turn darker and remain darker for approximately a week.
  • To avoid swelling its advised to avoid any form of heat (saunas, steam baths, fire, or braai) .
  • Avoid exercise after the treatment it will bring more blood to the surface which will cause flushing and will then dilate the capillaries.
  • Spicy foods and alcohol should be avoided.
  • Keep applying your moisturizer regularly it will keep your skin hydrated and comfortable.
  • All types of exfoliations especially fruit acids, should be avoided for at least a week.
  • Avoid sun exposure for a few days after the treatment.
  • SPF 50 should be applied regularly even if you plan to be indoors.
What is the cost of an IPL treatment?

Treatment costs start from R500 per treatment, course/package options are available upon request.

What is the downtime?

Patients will feel warm and have redness after the treatment and a day or two after.

If your treatment was done on a pigmented lesion, they may experience crusting. It will disappear in 1-2 weeks.

Who is not a candidate for IPL hair removal?

IPL hair removal is unfortunately not effective for fair, red and/or grey hair.

How long must I wait between IPL treatments?

Treatment sessions are spread 3-4 weeks apart, depending on the recovery process.