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Can You Do Light Exercises After an IPL?

author image Maria Hoven
Maria Hoven is a health and fitness expert with over 10 years of expertise in medical research. She began writing professionally in 2004 and has written for several websites including Wound Care Centers and healthnews.org. Hoven is earning a Doctor of Philosophy in cell and molecular biology from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Can You Do Light Exercises After an IPL?
Strenuous exercise and exposure to the sun may irritate your skin after IPL. Photo Credit Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images

IPL, or intense pulse light, is a laser-based skin therapy that uses multiple wavelengths of light to treat skin conditions. Although IPL is fairly simple and noninvasive procedure, there are some effects that require a few days to recover from. Exercising may irritate your skin, especially if it is done outdoors exposed to the weather elements. Consult your IPL technician about exercise recommendations and possible limitations after your procedure.

Skin Conditions

IPL is used to treat many skin conditions, including acne and rosacea. It can also help eliminate unwanted hair, skin redness, pigmentation and discoloration. IPL may also improve the firmness and texture of your skin and reduce fine lines and pore size. It is usually done as a series of four procedures, four weeks apart. Each IPL procedure takes around 50 minutes to perform.


IPL may cause skin lesions that crust and flake off within two to three days and heal completely in seven to 10 days. Do not pick or scratch the affected areas. IPL may also cause a sunburn-like sensation that usually resolves within few hours to a day but may last up to 48 hours. Help relieve the sensation and hasten recovery by applying ice packs or aloe vera gel to the treatment area every hour.


Avoid strenuous exercise for 48 hours after IPL treatment. However, light exercise, such as walking or bicycling indoors, may be allowed and should not cause any harmful side effects. However, avoid exposure to the sun and other irritating weather elements, such as wind, since the treated areas can be sensitive. Exercising outdoors may not be advised. Wear protective clothing if you will be walking outside, and apply a sunblock of at least 30 SPF or greater. Avoid swimming for 48 hours. The treated areas should not be soaked in water with chemicals or impurities.


IPL treatment makes your skin sensitive, so you should not use any abrasive cosmetics or do abrasive aconites for at least 48 hours. Use mild and gentle cleansers and use lotions that contain vitamins A, C and E. However, avoid using skin lotions that may be irritating, such as retinol. Take warm-water showers for the first two days and avoid tubs, saunas and hot tubs. Sweating during exercise may irritate your skin and delay healing.

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