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Intense pulsed light (IPL) devices use multiple wavelengths of light to treat sun-induced changes on the face, including brown pigmentation, age spots, and broken blood vessels. It may be used for these changes on the hands, neck, chest, legs, and arms as well. IPL is also used to treat acne and rosacea. It is non-invasive and is tailored to the individual patient’s skin.

What Is IPL?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that utilizes a powerful spectrum of light wavelengths to rejuvenate and improve the appearance of the skin. This technology has gained immense popularity for its ability to address a wide range of common skin concerns, making it a go-to choice for individuals seeking effective and tailored solutions.

IPL works by delivering short bursts of intense light energy to the targeted areas of the skin, effectively targeting and breaking down melanin responsible for issues like brown pigmentation and age spots. Additionally, it can constrict blood vessels, reducing the visibility of broken blood vessels, redness, and rosacea. One of the key advantages of IPL is its adaptability—it can be safely and precisely adjusted to suit an individual’s unique skin type and concerns. Whether it’s sun-induced changes on the face, hands, neck, chest, or even legs and arms, IPL can be customized to deliver exceptional results, leaving the skin looking more youthful and vibrant.

What Does IPL Treat?

After years of unprotected sun exposure, the skin will lose its smooth, uniform, youthful appearance. Certain chronic skin conditions (like rosacea) can also cause damage to the collagen and elastic fibers of the dermal layers. Maintenance and rejuvenation of collagen and elastic fibers help maintain the youthful appearance of your skin. Some types of skin conditions improved by laser therapy are rosacea, flushing, hemangiomas, sunspots, photoaging, different colorations in the skin, fine wrinkles, large pores, and loss of tone and elasticity.

The IPL Session: What to Expect

The IPL process typically begins with a consultation with a trained professional. During this initial meeting, your specific skin concerns and treatment goals will be discussed. The practitioner will assess your skin type and condition to determine the most suitable IPL settings for your needs. It’s crucial to disclose any medical conditions, medications, or recent sun exposure during this consultation. Once the consultation is complete, the actual IPL procedure will commence. You’ll be provided with protective eyewear to shield your eyes from the intense light flashes.

The practitioner will then apply a cool gel to the treatment area to enhance light penetration and protect your skin. The IPL device emits brief pulses of intense light, which may feel like a warm, snapping sensation on your skin. The light energy is absorbed by pigmented cells or blood vessels, targeting the specific issues you’re addressing. The duration of the procedure can vary depending on the size and number of areas being treated.

How Long Does It Last?

The duration of results from an IPL treatment can vary depending on the specific skin concern being addressed and individual factors. Typically, the benefits of IPL can last anywhere from several months to a year or more. For conditions like sunspots or pigmentation issues, maintenance sessions may be recommended to sustain results. The longevity of results can also be influenced by ongoing sun protection and skincare, which can extend the effectiveness of the IPL treatment.

The Recovery Process After IPL

Following an IPL session, it’s normal to experience some mild redness and warmth in the treated areas, akin to a sunburn. This usually subsides within a few hours to a day. Some individuals may notice slight swelling, which can also be temporary. It’s crucial to avoid direct sun exposure immediately after the procedure and apply sunscreen as recommended by your practitioner. Makeup can typically be applied right away if desired to conceal any redness.

Over the next few days to a week, you may notice the targeted pigmentation or blood vessels darkening and then gradually fading. This is a sign that the IPL is working to address your skin concerns. It’s essential to continue protecting your skin from the sun during this time to ensure optimal results and prevent further damage. Your practitioner will provide specific guidelines on skincare products and routines to follow post-treatment.

Schedule Your Consultation

Skin Center & Total Health Spa is your trusted destination for a comprehensive transformation of your appearance and overall wellness. Our center is akin to the Fountain of Youth, offering a professional and relaxing atmosphere where you can rejuvenate not just your skin but also your body, mind, and spirit. Led by the expertise of Dr. McCollough, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, our multidisciplinary medical facility offers a wide range of cosmetic and wellness treatments. Discover the path to a more vibrant, confident, and healthier you — schedule your IPL consultation with us today.

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