What Is An IPL Treatment And What Is It Used To Treat?
It is difficult to avoid the signs of sun exposure. Many adults did not grow up applying sunscreen whenever they went outdoors. As a result, the vast majority of people have spots, discoloration, freckles, and other indications of UV damage on the skin. IPL treatment is a noninvasive technique of correcting sun damage by using specific wavelengths of light. Also referred to as a photofacial, IPL treatments stimulate repairs that reinstate the skin’s smooth, radiant state.
IPL treatment can address a variety of dermatologic conditions at once. These include:
- Age spots
- Broken blood vessels
- Dark spots from hormonal changes
- Fine wrinkles
- Redness from rosacea
- Spider veins
- Stretch marks
How Does IPL Work?
Spots on the skin, including broken blood vessels, contain pigment. In the case of brown spots, discoloration stems from the accumulation of melanin in a small area. Red spots contain hemoglobin. IPL delivers intense wavelengths of light that get absorbed by these colored pigments. The heat reaction in the skin causes the breakdown of the melanin causing spots, freckles, or other problems. In the case of visible blood vessels and other minor vascular lesions, the IPL energy causes blood to coagulate and the wall of the vessel to break down. Collagen then infuses the area, stimulating a healing response.
Who Is The Ideal Candidate For IPL Treatment?
In clinical studies, IPL treatments performed better on lighter skin tones. Patients with more tanned or darker-toned skin may not be suited to IPL due to the risk of unexpected pigment changes. To ensure that a patient can achieve their desired cosmetic outcome from treatment, we perform a thorough consultation and skin evaluation before recommending an IPL photofacial.
How Long Does An IPL Treatment Take?
Patients can expect to be in the office for about an hour when getting their IPL photofacial. Treatment may take 30 to 45 minutes depending on how many areas we are treated and the size of each.
How Many IPL Sessions Will I Need?
Every person’s skin is unique and will respond differently to IPL treatment. Some people may see their desired improvements with just one session. Alternatively, it may take 3 or more sessions to correct more significant sun damage. Generally, we see outstanding improvements in 1 to 3 photofacial sessions scheduled 4 weeks apart.
Are There Any Risks Associated With An IPL Treatment?
Because IPL treatments use light energy that absorbs into the skin, there are minor risks involved. These are reduced by obtaining treatment from a trained professional. The Ellipse IPL device that we use has been thoroughly vetted through clinical testing, in which it performed very well in the areas of safety and efficacy. That said, patients should be aware of small risks of swelling, crusting, infection, pain, blisters, and pigment changes.
How Can I Prepare For An IPL Session?
One of the best ways to minimize the risks of IPL treatment is to prepare ahead of time. The primary recommendation for this therapy is to avoid anything that will make the skin more sensitive. Tanning and the use of tanning creams and tanning beds should be strictly avoided because light does not absorb as well on tanned skin. In addition to applying broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen daily, patients should avoid certain products, such as those containing retinol or glycolic acid.
What Our Patients Have To Say
“I was so scared to take this step in my life, I mean it was major surgery. From the first consultation appointment to my appointments now for follow-ups, Dr. Krummen has shown me nothing but compassion. She truly cares and listens to you about any concerns and gives you nothing but honesty. She truly is an angel. I’m so grateful I chose her to help me and I would recommend her with 100% certainty she would be loved by them as well. Lori and Tina are amazing too. This has been an incredible journey and grateful for everything Dr. Krummen has done for me!”