What is Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy?
IPL is not actually a laser, but a pulsed light treatment designed to recognize and remove abnormal color in the skin. It works very well for brown “sun spots” as well as for redness caused by rosacea. This is a very safe and well tolerated treatment, and a favorite of patients due to the dramatic results many see.
As with laser treatments, a series of 3 to 5 treatments typically are needed, although some patients will only require 1 or 2. This depends on the condition being treated and the state of your skin. While not used as a “tightening laser”, research has proven an increase in collagen with its use. Many patients are not only pleased with the evening out of skin tone and color, but they also remark on a tightening of pores and skin.
What Can I Expect During and After IPL Treatment?
Each treatment usually takes about 15 minutes, can be done with or without topical numbing, and is very well tolerated.
After the treatment, patients will usually have a slight sunburn feeling and redness lasting for 1-2 hours. Most brown spots that are treated will turn darker for 7-10 days and then slough off, leaving the spot either lighter than before or completely eliminated. It takes about 2 weeks from then to see the final results. Sun avoidance is recommended, along with using a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher daily.
Is IPL Painful?
Most patients tolerate treatment with IPL for hyperpigmentation well. However, it is not uncommon for patients to feel slight stinging or the feeling of a rubber band being snapped against their skin. Cooling methods, in addition, topical numbing cream to keep you as comfortable as possible. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your provider prior to treatment.
Who Is a Good Candidate for IPL?
The ideal candidates for IPL are patients with lighter skin tones and no active skin eruptions or infections. Since IPL can lighten the skin, it is best to consult an experienced medical professional before treatment to ensure that IPL is the right treatment for you.
What Are the Risks of IPL?
IPL is a very safe cosmetic procedure; however, some patients could experience temporary discomfort, redness, bruising, and changes in skin pigmentation. For this reason, it is always best to only seek treatment from an experienced and licensed medical professional, like the ones at the Skin & Beauty Center, a dermatology clinic in California.
How Long Does It Take to See Results From IPL?
The results from IPL therapy will appear after a series of equally spaced apart treatments. In general, patients will see some immediate improvement, with the full effects visible after several weeks.
How Long Does It Take to Recover After IPL Treatment?
Most patients can return to normal activities immediately after IPL treatment. Any residual redness, swelling, or discomfort should quickly resolve a few days following the procedure.
How Do I Prepare for IPL Therapy?
To prepare for skin rejuvenation with IPL therapy, it is a good idea to avoid sunbathing or tanning beds several weeks prior to treatment. In addition, you should also discuss the medications you are currently taking with your provider. Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it may be recommended that you discontinue those prior to treatment.