WHAT IS IPL?
IPL treatments, sometimes referred to as “IPL photofacials” are a broad-spectrum light treatment. IPL works the same way as skin lasers, using light energy that is converted to heat to target cells below the skin’s surface without causing damage to the top layers of skin. IPL uses short blasts of a polychromatic, high-intensity light to penetrate just below the skin’s surface, breaking up either the melanin that makes up brown age spots, or destroying broken capillaries – small, dilated, non-functional veins medically known as telangiectasia rosacea. IPL treatments also boost collagen and elastin growth.
BENEFITS OF IPL
- Even skin tone, removal of brown spots and sunspots
- Reduction of fine lines and wrinkles
- Removal of broken capillaries
- Refreshed and glowing appearance
- Tighter skin texture by stimulating the growth of new collagen and elastin
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE?
Similar to hair removal, IPL is best for people with fair to medium skin colour, as the light emitted is absorbed by the darkest target in its path. You are a good candidate for IPL treatments if your sunspots are significantly darker than your skin tone.
A short consultation at the clinic will determine whether IPL is an appropriate treatment for you, and establish whether you are taking any medications or supplements that might make your skin photosensitive. If you have melasma, large areas of pigmentation, or a darker skin tone, the clinic recommends pre-treating for 2 weeks with a recommended lightening cream before Intense Pulsed Light therapy.
What happens during the treatment?
After your initial consult, you will purchase a jar of specially compounded numbing cream. One hour before your treatment time, apply a thin layer of the numbing cream onto freshly washed skin. The cream has no colour but will appear wet. Once you arrive at the clinic, you will be ready for treatment.Your eyes will be covered with adhesive laser shields and you’ll see a bright, continuous flash of light. You’ll feel some heat and a slight “snapping” sensation, but for most people, IPL treatments are comfortable and well tolerated.
AFTER THE TREATMENT
Immediately following your IPL treatment, you may notice some darkening of brown spots. Broken capillaries may be reduced but are sometimes initially darker or bruised. Depending on what condition is being treated, you will notice some pinkness. Most brown spots take from 3-10 days to completely slough off. It is important to resist picking, peeling, or scrubbing the darkened areas for at least 2 weeks. For some, swelling of the treated area, particularly around the eyes is possible and considered a normal side effect, which should resolve in 4-6 days.
Sun makes skin more sensitive to heat, and using a laser on heat sensitive skin can cause hyper-pigmentation, burns and even scarring. You should not laser the face or any other areas that are prone to sun exposure, such as arms, fingers and feet and toes.