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White pimple-like blisters after IPL

IPL is not great for reducing the pore size. The pore size is determined by our genetics, and it usually gets worse with age. On the brighter size, as I tell all of my patients: Everybody thinks they have huge pores. Everybody, even people with tiny pores. In reality, most people have reasonable size pores, and nobody else notices your pore size other than you. In rare instances that they are indeed large, fractional CO2 laser, like Active FX, is probably the best option to reduce them. It might require more than one treatment, and we usually space them about once every 6 months.


Intense Pulse Lights are not actually lasers but rather devices that use a group of filtered wavelengths in order to obtain certain clinical effects on the skin.  Most IPLs range from about 500-1200nm in wavelength. They tend to be good tools for breaking apart brown pigment such as the melanin that makes up sun spots.  They will also help with very fine vessels (less than about 0.2mm) to decrease overall redness like those that are present in patients with Rosacea.  Enlarged pores are mainly the result of a loss of skin collagen due to environmental damage (UV light, smoking) and age.  IPLs are only marginally good at creating new collagen.  They do not provide enough sustained heating to the papillary dermis (middle layer of the skin) in order to stimulate the skin to grow new collagen. When we look at the skin under a microscope after a series of IPL treatments we can see some slight new collagen formation but it is minimal and does not make much difference that you would notice in the mirror.  The best treatments for pores would be a non-ablative 1064nm Nd:YAG laser like Laser Genesis.  Normal results are about 20-40% reduction in pore size after five treatments.  The treatments require no down time and are reasonably priced.  If you are looking for even better results try a fractional treatment such as Active FX or Fraxel.

IPL is great foir sun damage... spots and hyper pigmentation in light skinned people. It also "refreshes" the skin... hence, the term, "photo-facial". But large pores are indicative of dermal problems, not necessarily epidermal. It's deeper. Sometimes porphyrins (bacterial residue trapped in the pores), sun damage at a significant level, cigarette smoking, environmental polutants or just plain genetics are to blame. In any event, Ilike the new Pearl from Cutera to treat pore enlargement and poor texture in general.. Pearl tightens pores and allows a completely new layer of skin to develop, all with just 4 days of "social downtime". Best regards, Eric Berger MD

Whereas a series of IPL treatents will reduce the size of pores, the results are really not impressive. IPL is not intended for this. If pore reduction were the only concern for a patient, I'd suggest laser resurfacing. The best results would be with ablative resurfacing (fractional or full). Full skin resurfacing has a significant downtime. I suspect most would opt for the fractional one. Ablative resurfacing is typically a one time procedure. Non-ablative resurfacing (both fractional and non fractionated) would be next. Third would be be laser genesis. Laser genesis and the non-ablative resurfacing both need to be done as a series of treatments. I suspect however, that there are other skin issues associated with the large pores that you would want addressed. Get a consultation with a physician to determine what's best for you.

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