Even if you have practiced good skin care tips for years such as washing your face regularly or following a proper skincare regimen, you may notice your skin beginning to show early signs of aging, uneven skin tone, and sun damage. If you are looking to fight the signs of aging, refresh your appearance, or remove unwanted blemishes discreetly, you may want to consider IPL treatment. We recommend intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments to target problem areas and help our patients to achieve a more renewed and youthful appearance.
What is IPL?
As stated above, IPL stands for intense pulsed light treatments and uses specific controlled wavelengths of light to target certain cells underneath the skin’s surface to improve skin tone and color, correct sun damage, remove visible capillaries or veins, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
IPL is not a laser resurfacing treatment, though they are similar. The key difference is that lasers often use a single wavelength as opposed to IPL treatment where several wavelengths are delivered during treatment allowing us to treat various conditions.
What can be treated with IPL treatments?
Since the IPL technology delivers broad-spectrum light into the skin it can correct a variety of benign skin conditions. Common conditions treated with IPL treatment include:
- Fine lines
- Signs of aging
- Small veins
- Sun damage
- Uneven skin tone
- Unwanted hair
The collagen stimulated during IPL treatment can also improve pore size and skin texture as well as reduce facial redness as a result of inflammatory skin conditions.
Though commonly used for facial rejuvenation, IPL treatment can be used on any area of the body aside from the eyes. The most commonly treated areas include the face, neck, chest, back, and legs. For hair removal, it can also be used under the arms and along the bikini line.
Who is a good candidate for this treatment?
IPL treatment is ideal for patients with light to medium complexions. Deeper skin tones are prone to blistering and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation since melanin is the primary target of IPL treatment.
Please schedule a consultation with your doctor first to determine if IPL treatment is right for you.
How does IPL treatment work?
The light emitted from IPL treatment is less focused and scattered compared to laser treatments. This significantly reduces the chance of damaging the top layer of your skin. These light waves can be adjusted and controlled to address your individual skin concerns.
During treatment, the light waves are filtered to target certain cells beneath the skin. This energy is absorbed into the cells and converted to heat. The heat then damages the cell walls stimulating your body’s natural healing response to rejuvenate the skin.
What should I expect during treatment?
Prior to your appointment, we may recommend you avoid certain activities or products at least two weeks before your procedure. Patients should avoid the sun and tanning beds before treatment for a minimum of two weeks. We also recommend patients stop the use of retinoids and decrease medication that may cause an increased risk of bleeding such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
At your appointment, a skincare professional will clean the area before applying a topical numbing cream to reduce any sensations of discomfort. Once you are numb, a cool gel will be applied to help the IPL device move across the skin. Both you and the skincare professional will wear protective goggles throughout treatment.
The length of treatment will depend on your condition and the area being treated. Once treatment is complete the area is cleaned again and a cold compress is applied to the area for several minutes following treatment. Depending on your desired results and targeted area, you may need 3-6 treatment sessions scheduled at least a month apart to allow the skin to heal.
After treatment, there is minimal downtime so you will be able to return to your regular activities. The treated area may be red and sensitive for a few hours similar to the feeling and appearance of a sunburn. Your skin may continue to be sensitive for several days following the procedure.
Some patients do report mild redness and swelling that will fade within a few days. Some common side effects of IPL treatment include bruising, blistering, and permanent changes in skin tone. The results of treatment can be expected to appear several weeks after the last appointment. The results are clearer, younger-looking skin. To maintain results, we recommend patients follow all post-care instructions and maintain good skincare with proper sunscreen protectant applied daily and diligently.
For more information about our skin rejuvenation and IPL services or to schedule a consultation, contact Eastlake Cosmetic Surgery today.