If you have considered, or already tried, Intense Pulse Light (IPL) as a way to treat your rosacea, you may want to be aware of the lesser known side effects of IPL. The most well-known side effects of IPL are often seen as minor and self-healing in a relatively short amount of time such as redness of the face, bruising, and possibly blistering. However, you may also have side effects that may be disguised as alternative skin conditions that are just as bothersome and lesser known as IPL side effects.


Severe Dryness

Severe dryness can be associated with IPL, and is often one of the more uncomfortable side effects. Many people with severe dryness suffer from flaky skin and even skin cracking, both of which can be highly painful and embarrassing, and such dry skin can lead to newly developed wrinkles and fine lines. One of the best tips from the National Rosacea Society for people with such ailments is to be sure to use the most gentle products available on the market.


A twice-a-day skin care routine they recommend is as follows:

  • Clean your face with a fragrance-free, non-soap cleanser.
  • Immediately following the cleanser, air dry your face, add your preferred rosacea product, air dry again.
  • Add moisturizer and makeup as normal.


The right products are also critical to ease your pain and improve your condition. If you have severely dry skin, be sure to avoid the following ingredients:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Alcohol
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Preservatives and Fragrances


According to Doctor Oz, the following ingredients are quite helpful for dry skin sufferers:


Highly Sensitive Skin

Highly sensitive skin and severely dry skin have much in common. The primary difference between the two is that highly sensitive skin has even more side effects. Many people with highly sensitive skin will more easily experience itching, stinging, burning, breakouts, and rashes for any number of reasons from products to the environment. If you suffer from sensitive skin, you might even be more easily prone to severe sunburns, yet you may not be able to use traditional sunscreen and require specialized sensitive skin sunscreen.


People with highly sensitive skin often struggle to find the right products. The National Rosacea Society recommends using water-based products for cosmetics and moisturizers. It is safe for sensitive skin sufferers to follow the same ingredient guidelines listed under the dry skin section above, as well. Keep in mind, everyone reacts differently to different ingredients, so products that work on your sensitive skin may have different results for someone else.   


Enlarged Pores

While IPL claims to be able to reduce the size of pores, many people actually experience enlarged pores after the procedure. People who suffer from enlarged pores can have varying degrees of severity from minor to the more severe “orange peel” effect. Whether you have enlarged pores from laser treatment or as part of your rosacea condition, you can help to reduce the size of pores or at least to make them appear smaller in size with the right products and skin care.  


To be able to reduce the size of pores can be somewhat challenging. The National Rosacea Society reached out to a number of doctors to accumulate the best advice possible based on the wide array of severity by rosacea sufferers. Dr. Linda Sy recommends using products intended to reduce the amount of sebum & keratinized in the pores to keep them clean and smaller in appearance. In some instances, it might be more beneficial to use Accutane, however only in more severe cases. And, in even more severe cases, isotretinoin may be prescribed. There is not a lot of reliable and readily available information pertaining to reducing the size of pores for people with rosacea the after treatment of IPL. It might be best to speak with a medical professional if this is a concern for you.

Despite the side effects you might have from IPL and rosacea, some basic tips remain steadfast and true. If you use appropriate specialty products, avoid harsh ingredients and elements, and follow a recommended skin care routine, you could greatly improve your side effects in no time.
What was your experience with IPL?