Q) " I'm interested in getting some IPL treatments. Is it better to go to a beauty salon or a dermatologist and what is the difference?" – Jen, VIC

A) Dr Michael Rich, a specialist dermatologist from Melbourne, recommends that if you  choose to use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to treat skin conditions like pigmentation and rosacea, you should visit a dermatologist for the procedure: "Some would say I have a bias, but I don't believe that beauticians should use IPL machines. Like lasers, IPL machines should only be operated by doctors because they are too risky, in my opinion, otherwise.

"For example, if you cause trauma to dark skin surrounding a patch of pigmentation [while using IPL], you'll create a brown mark in that surrounding area too."

However, if you're interested in IPL for hair removal, it's not likely you'll want to go to your GP for a referral to a dermatologist! There are some specialist cosmetic laser centres you could visit. The important thing is that you feel comfortable that the practitioner can tell whether IPL is right for you (eg. light-based hair removal can be unsuitable for people with dark skin) and can inform you of potential side effects (eg. temporary swelling and redness).

Avana cosmetic clinics have a website (laserclinic.com.au) where you can email a consultant any questions that you have about IPL hair removal and that also lists Avana clinics around Australia.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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