IPL stands for intense pulsed light, and it is a type of treatment that is used to help reduce certain skin problems of the face, neck, décolletage,legs and hands such as hyperpigmentation and brown spots from sun damage and photoaging. The results are usually almost immediate and quite obvious. Here, you will find some basic information about IPL and what it can offer. It may be the right treatment for you.
- Removing “sun spots”, “age spots”, and brown blotches on the face, neck, chest, hands and other areas of the body
- Lightening and reducing redness, rosacea, dilated blood vessels and “broken” blood vessels on the face, neck, and chest
- Helping to control flushing
- Improving skin texture through collagen stimulation, improving pore size by temporarily reducing oiliness
IPL is also used for hair removal but will need several treatments. It only works on active hair follicles, thus needs to be repeated to treat them all. Not all hair follicles are active at a given time, so more treatments are necessary for this purpose. IPL works best on people with darker hair relative to their skin tone. The laser more easily picks up on hair with more contrast to the skin. We do have different lasers geared towards different hair and skin types when this is not the case.
When performed properly, IPL photorejuvenation consists of 3-5 treatments. Usually, patients come back every 4-6 weeks for another session until completed. A typical set of sessions takes 3-5 months. The more damage or redness you have, the more likely it is that you will need the full 5 treatments. Each treatment takes 30-60 minutes. Timing depends on the size of the area being treated.
During this procedure, a pulsating light is applied to the skin surface with precision. A range of light waves is emitted and targeted at redness in the skin. Hemoglobin or melanin are targeted. Hemoglobin is the cell that causes redness in the skin. Melanin is the brown pigmentation in freckles and spots. Light passes through the skin and damages these vessels and pigments. Once damaged, they are absorbed into the body, making them less visible.
In most cases, the entire face is treated. It’s also possible to treat the neck, hands, and chest. After a full series of treatments, there’s a noticeable positive effect on the skin. This not only treats the damaged skin on the surface. It also delivers thermal energy to deeper tissue which is beneficial to skin health.
The main benefit of the photorejuvenation is minimal down time and discomfort. Laser skin resurfacing has a much longer recovery period and may require time off from work. IPL offers no down time or time off. Any redness will last a maximum of 2 hours but often doesn’t appear at all.
There may be some mild discomfort, but most patients tolerate treatment very easily. As the skin becomes clearer, treatments are more comfortable.
Our skilled staff will go over all of the things you should do in preparation for your first session. Here are some of the basics:
- Avoid self-tanners and excessive sun for 2-4 weeks before treatment.
- Please notify our Clinic if you have a tan, it may be possible to schedule treatment with a more suitable laser if appropriate.
- SPF50 is recommended for the newly improved skin. Skin can be sensitive right after treatment and should be protected properly.
- Discontinue retinols for one week in advance of treatment.
- On arrival at our Clinic please avail of the Bathroom facilities to remove any makeup prior to treatment