Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) – An Effective Treatment for Multiple Skin Issues

Have you heard about intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy and wonder what it is and how it works? Maybe you are considering IPL for spider veins, acne scars, facial redness, unwanted pigmentation, or signs of aging. Let’s take a look at what IPL is, how it works, and what to expect during an IPL treatment.

Intense pulsed light therapy is a cosmetic treatment Arizona Dermatology offers through our Medspa. Also called a photofacial, IPL is a non-invasive skin treatment that uses pulses of light to penetrate deep into skin, similar to laser therapy. The difference is that laser therapy delivers a single wavelength of light energy, where IPL delivers multiple wavelengths. This allows IPL to treat a larger area of skin in a shorter time. As with lasers, the light energy penetrates the skin, targeting damaged or pigmented skin cells and heating them until they break down. The body’s natural processes remove these damaged cells and replace them with new, healthy ones.

What Does IPL Treat?

IPL can be an effective treatment for a number of cosmetic skin concerns. The friendly staff in our medspa are trained to use IPL to treat:

  • Rosacea
  • Sun damage (about 70% reduction in sun spots and pigmentation caused by sun damage)
  • Fine lines and wrinkles (this study shows how patients felt about their perceived age reduction after multiple IPL treatments)
  • Enlarged blood vessels (one to three treatments can remove 50%-75% of broken blood vessels)
  • Spider veins (multiples sessions 4 to 6 weeks apart will cause spider veins to fade over several weeks as the body re-absorbs them)
  • Freckles
  • Melasma and other pigmentation problems
  • Acne and surgical scars (about six sessions are needed to reduce scarring)
  • Stretch marks

What to expect with IPL Treatment

First you’ll meet with one of our board-certified dermatologists to discuss your skin concerns and make sure IPL is the right treatment for you. When you come in for your treatment, don’t hesitate to ask any questions or bring up any concerns. Our first priority is always you!

Here’s what to expect when you come for your first IPL treatment:

  1. You’ll be given special safety glasses or eye pads to protect your eyes from the light.
  2. A cooling gel will be applied to the targeted area of skin.
  3. Our medspa staff will use a handheld device to deliver pulses of light evenly throughout the targeted area using our advanced technology systems. You may feel a hot snapping or pinching sensation. Most patients do not find the treatment painful. Treatments generally take 15 to 45 minutes.
  4. After treatment, the cooling gel is gently removed, and a moisturizer is applied.
  5. Since this therapy is effective, yet gentle, you can reapply your makeup directly after the treatment, if desired.

Our IPL Technology

We are proud to offer the most advanced technology when it comes to IPL treatments: the Palomar Icon™ Aesthetic System, the MAX G™, and the Skintel™ Reader.

The Palomar Icon™ Aesthetic System is a state-of-the-art IPL system that works to remove even the most stubborn sun spots, stretch marks, wrinkles, and spider veins for resulting blemish-free skin. With over 350 units of energy delivered, it is the most powerful laser among leading brands.

The MAX G™ is an optimized light handpiece used to deliver low-energy beams of light directly into the skin. The handpiece provides accurate precision while maximizing patient comfort and safety. The MaxG™ addresses unwanted pigmentation, such as sun spots, facial redness, fine wrinkles and more, with fewer and more comfortable treatments.

The Skintel™ Reader is the only FDA-cleared melanin reader, accurately reading the amount of melanin in your skin to optimize effectiveness and safety during IPL treatments. Knowing the amount of melanin in your skin helps our doctors choose the best setting for you and minimizes the risk of over-treatment. Many other non-medical facilities providing IPL treatments don’t initially test melanin levels. This can lead to burning or scarring.

IPL Treatment Results

After your procedure, expect some minor discoloration or swelling of your skin. Results will appear between two and four weeks after treatment. Your doctor will make recommendations on treatment frequency based on your individual needs, but most people will need three to five treatments spaced three to six weeks apart for maximum results.

IPL Treatments at Arizona Dermatology

IPL, when properly administered, is a safe, effective, non-invasive treatment for facial redness, sun spots, unwanted pigmentation, spider veins, acne scars, and more. Contact us at Arizona Dermatology to discuss whether IPL therapy can help you achieve the smooth, beautiful, blemish-free skin you’ve been looking for.