What’s IPL and Why It’s Good For You

IPL Photofacial

There are a few cosmetic and medical treatments out there that offer numerous skin solutions in one neat package. One that has gained popularity among the health-conscious set is intense pulsed light (IPL) photorejuvenation.

IPL photorejuvenation or more commonly known as IPL, is a gentle and non-invasive treatment where short blasts of polychromatic, high-intensity light is transmitted through a handheld device and onto the desired skin area. The light penetrates the tissue and is either absorbed by the blood if treating varicose veins or the melanin if getting rid of age spots or skin pigmentation. The affected tissue then triggers the body’s natural healing process, stimulating collagen production, reinvigorating the skin to give it a more youthful appearance.

IPL could be tailored to your skin type and condition and is best in the treatment or management of:

— Sun spots
— Rosacea
— Skin Pigmentation
— Spider or Varicose Veins

Throughout the treatment session the patient must wear protective eyewear. IPL treatments are relatively painless compared to other facial rejuvenation techniques. The sensation has been likened to a light pinch or the snap of a rubber band, but some people find it distressing.

Ideal IPL Photofacial Candidates

People with white, untanned skin that is still somewhat elastic are the best candidates for an IPL photofacial. It is also important for patients to have a realistic understanding about what the procedure can do. When performed on the right person, it effectively improves skin texture, eliminating discolorations, reducing pore size, and minimizing wrinkles and fine lines. If you have rosacea, a condition that causes blotchy redness in the face, you may also benefit from an IPL photofacial.

What to Expect During Treatment

Before the procedure begins, you will be given protective eyewear to protect you from the bright flashes of light. A cool gel is often applied to the treatment area, both to lubricate the handpiece and to help cool the epidermis during the treatment. Your skin care specialist will apply brief pulses of bright light to the skin through the handpiece. Depending on the size of the area being treated, the procedure may take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.

During the IPL photofacial procedure, you will feel a warm sensation caused by the handpiece. Some patients liken the sensation to a light “snap” from a rubber band. The number of pulses you receive will depend on the size of the area being treated. Following the procedure, your skin care specialist may help you in icing down the treatment area to help soothe any discomfort from the procedure. This is often unnecessary; however, as IPL photofacial treatment causes very little pain.

Recovery Time and Follow-up
  • Avoid sun exposure in the days and weeks before and after treatment.
  • A topical anesthetic may be applied to the area but is not usually necessary.
  • Cold gel is applied to the area being treated. IPL devices often have integrated cooling systems.
  • The smooth, glass surface of the IPL treatment head is applied to the skin, delivering precise pulses of light to the area being treated.
  • Treatment sessions usually last about 20 minutes. A course of 4-6 sessions every 3-6 weeks may be needed to achieve desired results.
  • Most patients can return to work immediately after treatment.

To find out if IPL skin rejuvenation is right for you, give us a call at (919) 554-6754online appointment scheduler.


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