IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, and IPL treatment is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure used for various skin concerns. It utilizes high-intensity pulses of broad-spectrum light to target specific skin issues such as sun damage, age spots, freckles, pigmentation irregularities, acne scars, vascular lesions, and hair removal.
How IPL Treatment Works
During an IPL treatment, a handheld device uses pulses of light onto the skin, which is absorbed by the targeted pigment or blood vessels. This absorbed light energy heats and destroys the unwanted cells or stimulates the production of collagen, depending on the purpose of the treatment. IPL treatment can be adjusted for a variety of skin concerns.
Who Should Get IPL Treatments?
IPL treatments work best if you have pale or light brown skin. There are several skin concerns that can be treated with IPL including:
- Stretch marks
- Liver or age spots
- Broken blood vessels
- Brown spots, also called liver or age spots
- Dark spots from hormonal changes
- Discolored skin
- Fine wrinkles
- Redness from rosacea
- Spider veins
- Unwanted hair
Who Shouldn’t Get IPL Treatments?
Talk to your doctor prior to getting IPL treatments if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have a skin condition
- Are currently taking medications for other conditions.
IPL Treatments may not be for you if you:
- Are sensitive to light
- Have recently tanned your skin using sunlight, tanning beds, or tanning creams
- Might have skin cancer
- Use a retinoid cream
- Are very dark-skinned
- Have a skin resurfacing disorder
- Have severe scarring
- Have keloid scar tissue
Risks and Side Effects of IPL Treatment
While IPL treatments are safe when done by a trained provider, there are still some side effects that could occur including scarring, swelling, bleeding, and blistering. Your skin could change color, become infected, or hurt. These symptoms typically resolve within a few hours to a few days after treatment. Talk to your provider if you feel sick after your treatment or if your condition gets worse.
What to Expect During IPL Treatment?
Prior to your IPL treatment, do NOT:
- Tan in the sun, in a tanning bed, or with tanning creams for 4 weeks before you go
- Wax, or get a chemical peel or collagen shots for 2 weeks before
- Wear perfume, makeup, deodorant, or any skin irritants
- Take aspirin or another drug that can make you bleed more
- Take any medication that will make you sun-sensitive; for example, the antibiotic doxycycline.
To begin, the provider applies a cooling gel to the skin to minimize discomfort. You will wear protective eyewear to shield the eyes from the intense light. Then, the provider places a handheld device on the skin, and delivers the pulses of light in a controlled manner. The treatment typically lasts between 20-30 minutes but larger areas could take up to an hour. The treatment can sting a little so if you are worried about discomfort, your provider can give you a numbing cream 30-60 minutes before treatment begins.
IPL Rockville MD
Dental, Spa, and Cosmetic Surgery has a compassionate and knowledgeable team dedicated to providing the best skin care service for you. If you are interested in IPL treatments, contact us today to schedule your consultation!