IPL Treatment Bellevue & Kirkland

Skin treatments using light were among the first used to treat certain conditions in the medical and cosmetic world. When it comes to light-based treatments, lasers and pulsed light are the two main types. Both treatments have their uses and merits, the master estheticians at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery use lasers and pulsed light treatments. Pulsed light treatments are best represented by intense pulsed light, or IPL. The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery offers the best IPL treatment Bellevue and Kirkland provide.

Overview: What Is IPL?

IPL—or intense pulsed light—therapy is similar to laser treatments. It was used as one of the earliest forms of laser hair removal. However, today, it is more widely used to treat certain skin conditions, pigmentation issues, and other coloration problems. When compared to lasers, IPL sends out more than one wavelength of light. Filters are placed to block the wavelengths not wanted or needed for your particular treatment or skin type.

IPL treatments are non-surgical and non-invasive. While you may need to make minor alterations to your routine, there is no significant downtime associated with a traditional IPL treatment. They can treat skin tones from Fitzpatrick scale I to III. Darker skin tones run the risk of skin damage or hyperpigmentation. The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery does have other laser options for those with darker skin tones. A patch test protocol can also be performed to see if you can successfully undergo IPL.

What It Treats

Performed by highly skilled master estheticians, The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery performs IPL to treat a variety of concerns. Patients of all ages benefit from an IPL session because it is a versatile treatment that can address anti-aging and rosacea. Intense pulsed light can treat concerns and conditions such as:

  • Acne scars
  • Stretch marks
  • Birthmarks
  • Freckles
  • Brown spots
  • Broken blood vessels
  • Spider veins
  • Scars
  • Acne
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Rosacea
  • General discoloration

Based on the sheer number of treatments our providers can use IPL for, the patient population for IPL treatment in Bellevue is large. Patients young and older with varying goals may find benefit from intense pulsed light procedures.


Like with all major medical treatments, there are benefits and risks that patients need to consider before treatment. Your master esthetician will also evaluate your candidacy during your consultation. 

Considering that IPL treatments have been performed for a few decades, providers widely agree that they are safe and effective. Some of the benefits of IPL therapy include:

  • Reduce redness from rosacea and other causes
  • More even skin tone
  • Induces collagen production
  • Helps treat sun damage
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Treat pigmentation issues
  • Address broken capillaries
  • Provide generalized skin rejuvenation
  • Little to no recovery
  • Combines well with other treatments
  • Quick treatment
  • Used for decades in the aesthetic industry
  • Well studied and safe
  • Extremely effective for treating pigmentation issues
  • Performed by experienced master estheticians


When it comes to risks, IPL treatment is fairly safe and has relatively few risks for patients who are good candidates. Some of the risks include:

  • Infection
  • Blistering
  • Worsening of pigmentation issues (after healing)
  • Hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation
  • Bleeding
  • Severe swelling (minor swelling is normal)
  • Sunburn or damage
  • Scarring

Most of these complications are either treatable or preventable. For example, part of the aftercare regimen is to wear sunscreen to help protect your extra sensitive skin. While it is a good idea to always wear sunscreen, it is especially important after IPL treatment in Bellevue.

How IPL Treatment Works For Different Conditions/Concerns

Intense pulsed light treatments can treat several skin conditions. The way it works is by targeting the blood, pigment, and water in your skin. When harnessed correctly and at the right wavelength, our master estheticians can help improve your skin conditions or concerns.


Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness and flushing of the face due to visible blood vessels. While not a harmful condition, it can be uncomfortable and embarassing. IPL treatments target the visible blood vessels to help reduce redness over time. Normally, our master estheticians recommend about three initial treatments and then occasional maintenance treatments.

IPL is not a cure for rosacea, but it can significantly reduce redness. If you do not continue with maintenance sessions (usually about once or twice per year), it may gradually get worse again. Though, this is best evaluated by a master esthetician based on the severity of your rosacea.

Sun Damage

Sun damage is damage to the skin from sun exposure that often appears brown or generally darkened in appearance. It can appear as spots on the skin or even affect the texture of the skin. Since pigmentation is often the main compliant when it comes to sun damaged skin, IPL can be used to treat the pigmented skin and lighten it over time through the destruction of this pigmentation.

The heat of the IPL treatments causes the cells to rupture and die over the three to four weeks following a session. With continued sessions, the pigmentation often fades significantly and many patients look much younger.


Like with many other anti-aging treatments, the science behind IPL for wrinkles is that it creates controlled damage that then promotes increased collagen production. This healing process can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, since intense pulsed light treatments can address several other signs of aging, it helps prevent aging as well.

Spider Veins

IPL is frequently used to treat red spider veins. Also called telangiectasias or broken capillaries, spider veins are sometimes caused by rosacea, but they appear all over the body and not just on the body. Like with rosacea, the IPL treatment targets the blood under the skin to diminish the appearance of it. Spider veins can be red, blue, or purple. IPL only treats red spider veins, but there are other options for other types of spider veins.

The Gallery is a professional clinic that provides great service. They address concerns and talk with you about a plan that would best suite you. All staff is courteous and helpful. I am happy with the laser treatments I receive from them.


I have been very pleased with the services that I have received at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery. There is never any pressure to spend money on other services and everything is explained fully. I highly recommend going there for any treatments you feel are necessary.


I just wish there was a gallery on my side of the Sound! Thanks for keeping everyone astonished when I tell them my real age.


I’ve been coming here for six months and my skin has improved tremendously!


Frequently Asked Questions

Does It Hurt?

A patient should expect an intense pulsed light treatment to be a bit uncomfortable. The associated pain depends on the wavelength used and what you are treating. General rejuvenation such as photofacial involves little discomfort while treating severe rosacea can cause more discomfort.

At The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery, we do offer numbing cream before treatment to help reduce discomfort. Ultrasound gel is also placed as a barrier during IPL treatment. This does help with cooling and comfort.

What Is The Difference Between IPL And Laser?

It is a common misconception that IPL stands for “intense pulsed laser”. While this is not entirely inaccurate, there are major differences between lasers and IPL. IPL is a broadband pulsed light treatment which means that can harness all light wavelengths. This is why it is effective for pigmented areas of skin and redness. IPL is also visible light and treats a wider area at once. Thus, it is less precise.

Lasers emit one wavelength of light at a time meaning it only emits one color of light. They are also more controlled and do not spread as much allowing for more precise application. This is largely why IPL has fallen out of favor for laser hair removal because it is not as effective in smaller areas.

How Long Until Dark Spots Go Away After IPL?

After an IPL therapy session, you may notice that the pigmented areas of skin appear darker or redder. This is normal and part of the treatment process. The darkness will begin to resolve in a few days. In the coming weeks, the dark spots will begin to break up and dissipate. This usually takes between two and four weeks.

Some patients may not see a noticeable difference until after additional sessions. It largely depends on the severity of your sun damage or dark spot. Most patients do see some improvement weeks after their second treatment in many cases. Your master esthetician can provide a better understanding of your results once they examine you.

What Should I Not Do After IPL?

Your master esthetician will provide aftercare instructions including what not to do after a Bellevue IPL treatment. Some of the things to avoid after IPL include:

  • Tanning
  • Prolonged and unprotected sun exposure
  • Exercise (for about 24 to 48 hours)
  • Go into saunas, hot tubs, and other hot environments
  • Pick at the treated area
  • Swim (usually okay after a couple of days)
  • Exfoliating too soon or overexfoliating

As long as you keep the skin from getting warm and follow your aftercare instructions, you can go back to all normal activities in two to three days. 

How Often Can You Do IPL Treatments?

Like with laser procedures, our master estheticians recommend letting your skin adequately heal between sessions. Thus, intense pulsed light treatments are usually spaced four to six weeks apart.

The Best IPL Treatments In Bellevue At The Gallery Of Cosmetic Surgery

At The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery, our master estheticians have decades of experience with IPL treatments. They make every effort to keep you as comfortable as possible during your entire procedure. The master estheticians at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery performs the best IPL treatments Bellevue and Kirkland provide.

The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery is a premier cosmetic surgery clinic and medical spa located in Lynnwood, WA. Minutes from both I-5 and I-405, our office is perfectly centered to treat patients from Bellevue, Kirkland, and Seattle. With free, on-site parking and a welcome environment, we aim to provide the highest quality of care.

To learn more and schedule a consultation, call us at 425-775-3561. You can also reach out online via Price Simulator, chat, or contact form.