IPL = Intense Pulsed Light, also referred to as “Photofacial”
What is it = IPL is a technology used by cosmetic and medical practitioners to perform skin treatments for aesthetic and therapeutic purposes.
An IPL treatment uses the power of broadband light (BBL) to improve the appearance of sun spots, rosacea, age spots, and skin texture. The treatment can also be used for hair removal, photo rejuvenation, as well as to alleviate dermatologic diseases like acne. It is a popular treatment because its effective, affordable, and non-invasive.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) is an established proven technology that uses light energy to erase scars, discolorations, and other blemishes. The non-ablative, non-invasive treatment creates a smoother and more even complexion in as little as three sessions.
Dr. Ronald Schuster and our team are pleased to offer IPL/BBL treatment to patients looking for outstanding results with little risk or downtime. We have the new Viora machine, which allows us to treat a wider variety of imperfections.
Who Can Benefit from IPL?
IPL can benefit men and women who desire healthy, glowing skin on the face, chest, arms, legs or hands. Treatment improves the appearance of the following:
- Inflammatory acne
- Spider veins (telangiectasias)
- Sun spots or sun damage
- Uneven skin tone
- Broken capillaries
- Age spots
How IPL Works
Intense pulsed light treatment uses light energy to target unwanted spots, blemishes or blood vessels. Different targets have different colors. The different colors attract different light colors. Filters are used to select the appropriate light colors for the specific targets. IPL treatment is completely customized to the unique needs of the patient.
During a session, we select the most appropriate handpiece, depending on the specific blemish or discoloration that needs to be treated. The handpiece delivers precise pulses of light to the areas of the skin that are different in color from the surrounding skin. The melanin (i.e., brown pigment) in the blemish absorbs the light energy. In the days following treatment, the spot or blemish may look darker and then peel, leaving the treated area more even.
A treatment session typically takes about 30 minutes. Treatments are not painful. They feel like a rubber band snapping against the skin. The handpiece has a cooling contact which makes treatment comfortable.
After an IPL treatment, patients can immediately resume work and other normal activities. The skin may look slightly red or irritated immediately following treatment, but these side effects typically subside within a day or two.
Most patients require three to six treatment sessions, spaced several weeks apart, to achieve the desired results.
Why We Recommend Having IPL Treatments in the Winter
Sun Exposure Can Irritate Skin after Treatment
After IPL, patients must keep treated skin protected from the sun for a week. This is because the treated skin may be mildly sensitive and more susceptible to the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. Having treatment during the winter makes it easier to avoid direct sunlight.
Treatment Is Less Effective on Tanned Skin
To be effective, the IPL handpiece must target the spot, blemish or hair follicle that is distinctly different in color than the surrounding skin. When the skin is tanned, it is harder for the IPL technology to isolate the spot or blemish that needs to be treated. We recommend patients that normally tan in the summer schedule IPL in the winter, when the skin returns to its non-tanned baseline shade and spots or blemishes are noticeably different in color.
Book a Consultation to Discuss IPL
If you would like more information about facial rejuvenation or hair removal with IPL technology, Dr. Schuster and our team invite you to book a consultation at our practice. Please call or email us to make your appointment.