Intense pulsed light, aka “photo facial”, is a technology used by cosmetic and medical practitioners to perform various skin treatments for aesthetic and therapeutic purposes. It can improve both the color and texture of the skin.
It is most frequently used for photorejuvenation: to treat skin discoloration, brown spots, visible capillaries, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tones and improving the appearance of spider veins. Treatments with “IPL” help improve each of these concerns.
Intense pulsed light works in a similar fashion to laser therapy but uses more than one wavelength of light. IPL works best on pale or light brown skin. Deeper skin tones are more prone to blistering and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, especially since melanin is one of the primarily targets of an IPL treatment. An experienced practitioner may still have success on deeper skin, but additional treatments are generally needed, as the intensity of the wavelengths is decreased to avoid triggering a pigment response. Better results may be seen with laser treatments such as the YAG laser.
The treatment emits intense, visible pulses of light onto a targeted area without damaging the surrounding skin. The light energy is absorbed by melanin (responsible for skin pigment) and hemoglobin (red blood cells in the blood vessels). As a result, these structures become damaged and are absorbed by the body or brought to the surface of the skin where they will slough off.
After intense pulsed laser (IPL) your skin may have a more youthful appearance because your skin tone is more even.
In general recovery is very quick, 24 – 48 hours. The side effects are minor and include irritation or pain during treatment which can be dealt with using contact cooling or topical anesthetics; redness of the skin and mild soreness immediately after treatment; the symptoms of a mild sunburn (redness, peeling, swelling) that may last a day or so after treatment.
Hyper-pigmentation conditions treated with Intense Pulsed Light
- Visible Capillaries
- Liver or age spots (aka brown spots)
- Dark spots from hormonal changes
- Discolored skin
- Fine wrinkles
- Redness from rosacea
- Unwanted Hair
What is an IPL laser?
Intense Pulsed Light is, in fact, not a laser at all but instead a type of light therapy used to treat conditions on the surface of the skin: wrinkles, spots, and unwanted hair. An IPL treatment uses light energy to target a certain color in your skin. Unlike a laser, It does this by putting out more than one wavelength of pulsed light.
What is an IPL photofacial?
The term “photofacial” has been used to describe the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment. Photofacials are designed to deal with inconsistencies of texture or tone in one’s skin, things like freckles, age spots, red spots, brown spots, visible capillaries and some scars.
Is an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment right for you? Get a free consultation & find out!
We’d love to meet and talk to you about your cosmetic goals and see if IPL therapy is right for you. We can’t stress the importance of an “in person” consultation enough. In fact we wrote an entire article about it “Why we recommend ‘face to face’ consultations…” Of course you can always call (949) 477-9740 or use our handy contact form to set up an appointment as well.