IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It is a type of noninvasive, broadband light therapy used to treat sun spots, age spots, acne, redness, broken capillaries, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles and rosacea. It can reverse sun damage, even out skin tone and improve skin texture. The light penetrates into the deep levels of the skin to target various problem areas which begin in the dermis. It is commonly done on the face, neck and decollete’ as part of a photo-rejuvenation process and best results are achieved when it is done as a series. IPL may also be done on body parts such as the arms, legs, thighs, back and hands.
Who is a good candidate for IPL photofacials?
IPL is considered a cosmetic procedure for adult women and men with any of the above skin problems who are willing and able to wear sunblock and take other precautions to avoid direct sun in the recommended post-op period. It is not appropriate for persons of moderate to deep natural skin color since the light is attracted to color and the results may cause increased pigmentation instead of decreasing it. For the same reason, it should not be done on anyone who has a suntan, a chemical tan or are taking any photo-sensitive medications.
Does it hurt to have IPL?
Many IPL devices have cooling elements to decrease the sensation of heat from the light. Nevertheless, your practitioner will first apply a topical anesthetic to the areas to be treated which will be removed prior to the treatment. A cooling gel will then be applied. The light pulses are done systematically across the treatment areas and each pulse is usually described as a quick “snap”, like a rubber band.