What can be Treated with IPL?
Acne (The light from IPL interacts with bacteria in the skin that is prominent in acne that can kill the bacteria. Also, it can reduce the amount of thick oil the skin produces). By adding IPL to benzoyl peroxide, you can see up to a 63% improvement in red lesions, irregular color and skin tone.
Melasma (dark spots that form on the skin “often occurs during pregnancy”)
Lentinges (age related brown spots)
Vascular (blood vessel) lesions
Sunspots (brown lesions)
Rosacea (redness across nose and cheeks)
Port wine stains (typically present at birth)
How does it feel to get an IPL Treatment? Is an IPL treatment painful?
The most common sensation people get from IPL is a quick, sharp discomfort due to the light heating the skin. The vast majority of people do not have excessive pain levels. However, pain is very individual and we all have our own unique pain thresholds. Cooling the skin can dramatically reduce this discomfort. Sometimes we use a small amount of freezing gel to help reduce the pain. However there is a risk of using freezing gels. If you have no pain and the IPL settings are too strong for your skin, you may not notice this and end up having too much heat applied to your skin, this can cause a burn.
What are the most common side-effects of an IPL Treatment? What is the downtime after an IPL Treatment?
The most common side effect is redness and mild puffiness to the treated skin. This usually lasts a few hours to a day and is mild. Most people are not bothered by this and go back to work the same day. A study by Fodor et al (2009) noted that nearly 67% to 75% of patients will have no complications when treating vascular lesions or hair removal.
Rarely, people can develop blistering (like a sunburn) from the treatment. If this happens, you treat it like a sunburn and keep it covered and clean.
Are there any Serious or Long-Term Side Effects of IPL Treatment?
I always tell my patients, if you ever see a health care provider who says there are no side-effects to a drug or treatment, they are being dishonest. Everything we do has the potential to have a side-effect, it may be 1 in 1,000,000 but there is still a chance. IPL is no different. Although it is very safe there are some potential rare side effects. I will try my best to provide an honest discussion of the potential side effects.
How Often do I need a treatment?
Most people require 3 treatments, scheduled about 6-8 weeks apart. Some people see dramatic effects after one treatment, but ideally 3 treatments are required. If you look at research, most studies treat patients 3-4 times.
What happens after the Treatment?
It is very important that after treatment you either stay out of the sun or use sunscreen for at least 8 weeks after treatments. If not, you can develop changes in the color of your skin.
You may start to notice some light flaking of the skin and it is important not to peel it off. Just let it do its thing. Keep it moist and if pain develops, let your physician know.