IPL is a light based procedure that is excellent for skin colour improvement, treating brown pigmentation caused by sun damage, red veins and rosacea. It is used to stimulate collagen.
What Is IPL?
Intense Pulsed Light (abbreviated IPL) describes the use of intense pulses of non-coherent light distributed over a range of wavelengths; from 400nm to 1200nm.
The technology utilizes specific wavelength ranges to target various chromophores in the skin. This enables effective treatment of a broad spectrum of conditions, including vascular and pigmented lesions, skin photoaging treatments and hair reduction.
How does IPL Work?
IPL treatment uses concentrated light to heat brown pigment and red veins more than the surrounding skin, reducing these blemishes without breaking the surface if the skin.
Broad spectrum pulsed light is transmitted through a continuously cooled applicator, gently placed over the skin. Cut-off filters in the handpiece change the range of wavelengths, optimizing it for different applications and skin types. The light penetrates the tissue and is absorbed by either the relevant chromophores and damages them (blood chromophores when treating vascular lesions and melanin chromophores when treating pigmented lesions). The body's natural processes then clear the lesion debris, giving the skin a more even and youthful appearance.
IPL is a powerful treatment for sun damage, including the reduction of brown pigment spots caused by sun exposure over the years, and fading broken veins and red blood vessels. Commonly treated areas are the face, neck, chest and hands.
The result: your skin appears clearer and cleaner, reflecting light more easily.
A pleasant bonus to IPL is a slight enhancement in collagen production with each treatment. After a course of IPL, you may also notice improved skin texture or reduced pore size.
IPL for sun damage combines extremely well with Botulinum Toxin® for wrinkles and dermal fillers for facial contour. Studies show combining treatments may cause a synergistic effect, giving more improvement than expected.
IPL is an excellent treatment for rosacea, reducing facial veins for a reduction in flushing. We recommend that severe rosacea sufferers see one our expert dermatologists first, for a full treatment plan that may include medication and skin care.
IPL should not be used in Skin Type IV and over, as it risks causing burns and brown discolouration of the skin. You should also avoid IPL if:
you are pregnant or breast-feeding
your skin is tanned
you take medication that make your skin sensitive to light
or you can't avoid UV exposure on the area for four weeks after treatment.
Hormonal brown pigment, called melasma, should not be treated with IPL, as it may be exacerbated.
Additional treatment information
How long does treatment take?
Treatment takes 30-60 minutes depending on the area to be treated. Brown pigment typically required 2-3 treatments, red veins 2-5 treatments and rosacea typically requires 5-6 treatments.
What do I look like afterwards?
Expect to look red and slightly swollen immediately after. Cold compresses help, and you can wear makeup to cover redness immediately afterwards if you wish. Brown pigment goes dark and flakes off after 7-14 days. Red veins may leave a bruise lasting 7-14 days.
Does it hurt?
IPL feels like a short sharp sting, like a rubber band pinging against the skin.