What is IPL?
IPL is a great option for photorejuvenation with minimal to no downtime. IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, also known as a photofacial. This therapy allows you to improve the color and the texture of the skin. Unlike lasers that emit a specific wavelength, IPL releases a range of wavelengths at the same time. This broad based light can help improve multiple skin conditions simultaneously. The light penetrates into the dermis and is absorbed by pigmented objects in the skin. As the spots are absorbing light, they heat up and are selectively removed. The procedure is non-ablative, which means it does not damage the surface of the skin.
What can IPL be used for?
IPL can be used to improve the color and texture of the skin. It can be used anywhere on the body but is most often used on the face, neck, chest, and hands. The light can be used to treat red blotchy skin to brown aging spots. Several sessions may be required for optimal results. IPL can be used to improve the following:
• Sun damage
• Age or liver spots
• Fine wrinkles
• Redness from rosacea
• Small visible blood vessels or spider veins
• Discolored skin
• Unwanted hair
How do I prepare for an IPL session?
Prior to your IPL photofacial, you should avoid prolonged sun exposure and tanning, including artificial tanning with creams. Tanned skin will make it more difficult for the IPL to target pigmented areas of concern. Chemical peels and topical retinoids should be postponed because it can increase the sensitivity of the skin.
What are the risks of IPL?
Most patients experience a mild redness or swelling after the procedure, which lasts a day or two. The skin will look and feel as if you’ve had a mild sunburn. Risks can include bruising, blistering, changes in skin color, and infection. A spot treatment may be recommended prior to a full session to evaluate the skin’s response to therapy.
When should IPL not be used?
• If you are sensitive to light
• Have recently tanned, including artificial tanning with creams
• Might have skin cancer
• Have darker skin tones
• Produce keloids when scarring
• A recent skin infection
• If you suffer from an active skin condition like eczema
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Schuering today to discuss if IPL is right for you.