What Is Intense Pulsed Light?
Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment, sometimes referred to as photo-rejuvenation or photo-facial, uses broad-spectrum light energy to safely and effectively correct a variety of skin concerns, including discolouration caused by sun damage, broken blood vessels, redness, rosacea and some forms of scarring.
IPL treatments may also stimulate collagen production which helps to improve skin tone and texture. Results from IPL treatment can be quite dramatic, and patients are often able to eliminate years of accumulated sun damage, revealing a radiant and youthful complexion. IPL leaves skin soft, smooth and rejuvenated with little to no recovery time.
How Intense Pulsed Light Works
For IPL treatments, skin is cleansed and pre-treated with a cool gel. Light energy is delivered to the skin through a hand piece in a series of brief pulses targeting areas of visible pigmentation or blood vessels.
These pigmented areas absorb the light and are damaged and absorbed by the body without injury to surrounding tissue. The treatment causes a brief snapping sensation and temporary stinging which are relieved by cool compresses. Most patients are able to tolerate treatments well and report only mild discomfort.
It is common to have some redness and mild swelling after treatments, and pigmented areas may temporarily darken before sloughing off or being absorbed.
Best results are achieved with a series of three to five appointments, and can be maintained with periodic follow-up treatments and adherence to good skincare and sunscreen practices.
IPL is ideally suited for lighter skin types, and it is important to avoid sun exposure prior to and immediately after treatments. Daily use of an SPF 45 sunscreen is recommended.