IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) for Skin Rejuvenation Explained

Posted September 04, 2019
How IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) for Skin Rejuvenation Works

IPL, which is also known as Intense Pulsed Light, is a light therapy treatment that is used to treat wrinkles and spots on the body including sun damage, age spots, freckles, rosacea, birthmarks and varicose veins. IPL is non-invasive and it uses different wavelengths of visible light to treat the targeted area. IPL has grown in popularity over the last few years and many patients have questions about how it works as well as its overall effectiveness. In order to answer the most asked questions about the use of IPL, Cosmetic Town TV recently took an in-depth look at the treatment and how it can benefit patients:

Intense Pulsed Light Examined

Intense Pulsed Light is similar to a laser treatment. The main difference is the fact that IPL uses pulses that are made of different wavelengths (like a photo flash) wile a laser only uses one wavelength of light on the skin. In addition, IPL penetrates the dermis (the second layer of the skin) without causing any harm to the epidermis (which is the top layer of the skin).

Once the light from the IPL is beamed onto the area that is scheduled to be treated, the pigment cells that are located in the skin absorb the light energy which is then converted into heat. The heat will destroy the unwanted pigment to get rid of any skin discoloration and it will also promote the production of collagen so the skin will achieve a look that is youthful and rejuvenated.

During the treatment, patients will need to wear dark glasses to protect their eyes from the pulses of light. The pulses might feel like the snap of a rubber band and, in some cases, the pulses might sting the skin but the effects are no more painful than the feeling of a snap of a rubber band.

Ideal Intense Pulsed Light Patients

When it comes to undergoing an IPL treatment, ideal patients include:

  • Patients with a lighter skin tone
  • People with “red targets” such as blood vessels
  • Patients that want to eliminate the appearance of broken capillaries
  • Someone looking to rejuvenate the look of damaged or aged skin
  • Patients with spider veins, sun damage or general redness to the skin

Intense Pulsed Light Cost

The cost of an IPL treatment often depends on a number of factors including the area of the country where the treatment is being performed, the amount of work that needs to be performed to achieve the desired results, the skill level of the doctor and the number of treatments that are performed. In general, the cost of an Intense Pulsed Light treatment is $300-$400 per treatment. Since it often takes multiple treatments to achieve the desired results, many doctors offer special pricing that is available when the patient books multiple treatments.

Intense Pulsed Light Recovery, Results and Risks

There is not much that patients need to worry about when it comes to the recovery period after an Intense Pulsed Light treatment. Patients can return to work or other activities immediately after the treatment. There might be some slight redness in the treated area for around an hour after the treatment. In addition, there might be some slight swelling for a few days to a week after the IPL treatment. The treated skin imperfections will start to darken and then slough off after a few days to a week to reveal skin that is smoother and rejuvenated in appearance.

The results of an Intense Pulsed Light procedure are permanent as any treated blood vessels or skin imperfections will not return. However, patients can still start to show new signs of aging on the body so they might want to undergo additional treatments in the future.

There are multiple risks that are associated with an IPL treatment and they include:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Changes in skin pigmentation
  • Burns on the skin (which are often superficial)
  • Scarring
  • Acne outbreak
  • Cold sore outbreak

Intense Pulsed Light Consultation Appointment

Once a patient makes the choice to have an IPL treatment, it is time to schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified doctor that has experience in performing this procedure. The doctor will examine the skin of the patient to determine its current condition and if IPL is the best option to achieve the desired results when it comes to the amount of skin rejuvenation desired by the patient. In addition, the doctor will explain the pros and cons of the treatment so patients will know what to expect from an IPL laser. Patients should also ask to see “before and after” photos of actual patients so they will have a better idea of the type of results they can expect from IPL. It is important that the patient have realistic expectations about the amount of skin rejuvenation that can be achieved by Intense Pulsed Light. Realistic expectations keep a patient from being disappointed or surprised by the final results that will be visible on the skin once they have an Intense Pulsed Light treatment.



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