Freckles: FAQ

What is IPL treatment for freckles? 

IPL is a non-ablative, non-invasive procedure that uses controlled light in specific wavelengths to fade freckling and other skin damage caused by sun exposure. Lumenis IPL has been cleared by the FDA since 1995.

What are the advantages of IPL for freckle removal? 

IPL is gentle and safe, and it effectively treats multiple symptoms and locations in each session.  It is an in-office procedure, and virtually no down time is required1.  IPL is a remarkably quick way2 to rejuvenate your complexion by removing the spots, discolorations and pigment blemishes that affect appearance.  Additionally, it can be customized to individual skin types and conditions.

Who is an IPL candidate?

Any man or woman showing signs of skin damage caused by aging, sun exposure or other environmental factors.

What is IPL treatment like?

A cold gel is applied to the treatment area, and patients are given protective eyewear.  During treatment, the smooth glass surface of the IPL hand piece is gently applied to the skin, and precise pulses of light penetrate the area being treated.  The pain level is very minimal and can be further reduced by application of a topical anesthetic and/or cold air cooling.  Most patients experience a small stinging sensation.  Procedures last 10 to 20 minutes, and a complete program usually includes 2-6  sessions, at approximately 3-4 week intervals.

What preparations must I make prior to treatment?

No changes to your normal routine are necessary before or after treatment.  However, sun exposure must be limited prior to and following IPL treatment.

What will I look like immediately after IPL?

There may be a slight redness or blotchiness to the skin.  This usually disappears after an hour.  Freckles may darken soon after IPL treatments as a result of the light interacting with the pigment in your freckles, and may fade or flake off following your treatment. Other than that, there will be no outward signs of trauma to your skin.

Why do I need multiple treatments?

The goal with this procedure is to provide maximum benefit with minimal trauma and risk to the skin.  Several treatments ensure gradual, natural-looking improvement. Results usually last a year or more1.

What does IPL cost? 

Costs vary according to the size of the area, severity of the condition and other factors.  IPL is generally much less expensive than laser resurfacing and cosmetic surgeries.  It is considered a cosmetic procedure and is not usually covered by insurance plans.

How can I find the right doctor for IPL treatment? 

Our Find a Doctor tool can direct you to a qualified treatment provider in your area. It’s important to verify that the treatment provider uses the patented Lumenis IPL technology.


1. Weiss R. Rejuvenation of Photoaged Skin: 5 years Results with Intense Pulsed Light of the Face, Neck and Chest. Dermatol Surg 2002;28:1115-1119.

2. Bitter PH. Noninvasive Rejuvenation of Photodamaged Skin Using Serial, Full-Face Intense Pulsed Light Treatments. Dermatol Surg 2000;26:835-42.

3. Sadick N. Photorejuvenation with Intense Pulsed Light: Results of a Multi Center Study. JDD 2004; 3(1):41-49.

4. Goldman MP, Weiss RA, Weiss MA: Intense Pulsed Light as a Non Ablative Approach to Photoaging. Dermatol Surg 2005;31:1179-1187.