Intense Pulsed Light therapy, or IPL, targets hemoglobin (the red blood cells in the blood vessels) or melanin (the brown pigment in freckles) using lightwaves. The light bypasses the outer layer of skin and gently heats the cells in the deeper layer of skin, the dermis. These cells, called fibroblasts, start to produce more collagen, which improves texture and fine wrinkles. Because our supply of collagen dwindles as we age, this treatment is highly beneficial for facial revitalization, but it can also be used on the neck, chest, hands, and other body parts.
IPL is used for a variety of conditions:
- Lightens and removes sun spots and brown patches on the face, neck, chest, hands, and other parts of the body.
- Soothes the redness of rosacea and helps control flushing.
- Removes and minimizes “broken” blood vessels
- Improves skin tone because it stimulates collagen
- Minimizes pore size and fine lines
There is little discomfort or downtime and the benefits are amazing. Treatments take approximately 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the area to be treated. Generally, the area is numbed 30 minutes before the treatment begins. The patient wears glasses to protect the eyes. As the hand piece is moved over the face, the pulsing light feels like a series of snaps from a rubber band. After the treatment, there may be a little swelling and/or redness.
A Series of Treatments is Best
IPL treatments are most successful if the patient plans to have several done over a period of months. For mild to moderate skin damage, three to five treatments are recommended. More treatments may be indicated depending on the level of damage. With each treatment, you will see the skin gradually clear.
Once your skin has been rejuvenated, you will want to keep the glowing results. In order to avoid the reappearance of the brown patches and age spots, you will have to take precautions to avoid sun exposure and damage. Your results will not last long if you do not protect your skin from the sun.
Here are some other recommendations to help you keep your skin glowing:
- Wear a hat and sunglasses
- Wear sunscreen every day on your face and hands
- Schedule maintenance appointments twice a year
- Discuss pharmaceutical-grade skin products with your aesthetician
Each patient is unique; therefore, results of treatment may vary.