What is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)?
Intense pulsed light can be used to treat many skin conditions due to its flexibility. In our clinic the most common conditions to benefit from IPL are acne and rosacea. Sessions are short and spaced apart by a varying number of weeks depending on the condition being treated. IPL is a very efficient treatment as the cost is low relative to the results that can be achieved.
How does IPL work?
Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments are often considered similar to laser due to their applications. Lasers use a single wavelength of light whereas IPL uses a broad spectrum of light wavelengths.
Filters are used to cut off the lower end of the wavelength spectrum and therefore the wavelengths that are not required for particular treatments. The chosen wavelengths of light target the skin concern e.g. Acne and over multiple sessions alleviate the signs or symptoms.
How popular is this treatment?
In our clinic we have found IPL becoming increasingly popular due to the above reasons and the success in treatments that we see.
What areas can be treated?
What conditions can be treated?
The face is the most common area to be treated but in fact pretty much anywhere on the body can be treated depending on the concerns and potential side effects. For example, treating acne on the face of a young man must be weighed against the potential for hair removal whereas a woman will most likely enjoy that particular side effect.
What happens during my consultation?
We will take a brief medical history, discuss the problem area(s) and if appropriate perform a test patch to determine your individual skin response and the required settings.
What happens during my treatment appointment?
You will be provided with eye protection and verbal advice about the procedure. Laser gel will be applied to your skin.
The IPL device will be applied to your skin and various shots will be fired. You may still be aware of flashes of light and will likely feel brief sensations of heat when the devices fires. You will be required to provide feedback throughout the treatment as this is crucial to gauging the optimal settings of the treatment. Cooling of the skin will be a carried out throughout the treatment and sometimes afterwards too.
What’s the aftercare advice?
Written advice will be provided post treatment. In most cases only a sun protection cream will be applied with advice to avoid excessive sun exposure where possible.
How long do the results last?
Who is not suitable for this treatment?
There are several factors that make the treatment unsuitable including certain medication use, likely high sun exposure pre or post treatment, existing medications and due to risk of burns and pigmentation issues those with very dark skin are unsuitable.
Treatment frequently asked questions (FAQs)
The benefits are the low cost, the relatively low risk of side effects and the brief treatment time to name but a few.
The results of IPL treatments are dependent on multiple sessions in the majority of cases and therefore results are gradually seen as the sessions progress. Ultimately it depends on the concern being treated as well as many individual variables which could be identified and discussed during a consultation.
Skin redness resembling sunburn on the day of treatment. Occasionally mild swelling, skin peeling and dry skin can occur. Most patients can undergo glycolic peeling without any side effects.