IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light; it is the concept were a mix of specific Light Energy Wavelengths are applied to the skin surface. The IPL energy will heat up different depths or layers of the skin, resulting in Exfoliation, Pigmentation Reduction, stimulation of Collagen production. It is one of the Noninvasive, Non Ablative Skin Resurfacing Treatments.
The IPL Photofacial is a light-based skin treatment, that uses a mix of light energy to cause a reduction in skin problems like brown spots, red spots, sun damage, Rosacea. It can also be used for problems like broken veins broken capillaries, redness and spider veins. An IPL photofacial will also improve the impact of enlarged skin pores and light skin wrinkles. IPL is also one of the best hair reductions (hair on face, neck, back, chest, legs, underarms, or bikini area) treatments for type 1 – 3 skin, (fair to light olive toned skin).
IPL uses a mix of Light Energy Wavelengths that are tuned by changing the Filters in front of a Light Source. LASER which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation emits just ONE Light Energy Wavelength, so is a much more specific type of energy device.
Yes, there are many devices available for use at home, while some users may benefit from these treatments. The majority of home users will never be able to get the results possible at the clinic, as the IPL at Clinic is a much more powerful and effective machine, while the home IPL devices will always be much weaker.
You should not have an IPL treatment while you are on treatment with photosensitising medicines, like Isotretinoin (Roaccutane). You should also tell the treating doctor if you are on any blood thinning medicines like Aspirin, Warfarin or Ibuprofen. You should also avoid an IPL photofacial if you have recently had a chemical peel or are applying creams that contain glycolic acid, salicylic acid or vitamin A molecules (like Tretinoin, Adapalene) or other skin sensitising creams.
Depending on the settings used for you, you will feel a degree of warmth in the treated area. This can sometimes feel like a hot rubber band snapping at your skin. Yes, you can return to work after this LUNCH HOUR treatment, you might need a little makeup to cover the redness if present.
On average the IPL photofacial takes about 30 – 45 minutes at clinic.
Besides the skin care discussed above, you should certainly avoid any skin treatment like a waxing, threading, chemical peel, filler injection, or Botox till your skin has recovered completely and your doctor has signed you off for these treatments. Till your skin is completely recovered you need to avoid Tanning Beds and Strong Sun exposure.
The Skin Type, Skin Problem being addressed and the Strength of the IPL Machine, influence how long does the IPL treated skin take to heal. While you can do gentle cleansing the evening of the treatment, we advise you to start applying makeup only from the next morning (bearing in mind that all contact with the skin surface should be very gentle). Gentle Ph Balanced Skin Cleansers, a good Moisturising Cream with Ceramides, and an SPF 30 + moisturising sunscreen will be needed till full recover and beyond to maintain the results. The pigmentation on your skin and freckles will look darker for the first 5 – 7 days, before they start reducing in appearance. You might notice sunburn like dryness and tightness for 3 – 5 days and rarely will have light skin flaking. Very rarely you can have bruising from the treatment which takes a couple of weeks to recover from.
As with any therapeutic equipment, it is the operator’s skill set that influences the incidence of complications. Given that heat is generated, there is always a risk of burns, darkening of pigmentation, scars that can occur, you should therefore choose the clinic with caution.
IPL Hair Reduction is a cyclical treatment and will generally require 5 – 8 treatments, each at 4 -6 weeks apart, before a satisfactory reduction is achieved. After this you will require regular 3 -6 monthly maintenance treatments.
For skin pigmentation, broken veins, or exfoliation even a single IPL session might be enough, but some patients might need up to 3 – 6 treatments.
One of the pros of IPL is its versatility in the number of skin problems it can help with, the cons is that given it is a mix of light energies it can rarely cause complications like burns, pigmentation or scars. It is also relatively unsafe to use IPL for darker skin tones, because of its lack of specificity.
The options you have instead of IPL are Lasers, Fractional CO2 lasers (like SmartXide), Fractional Erbium YAG lasers (like Fraxel Re:store), Medical Microdermabrasion, Microneedling Radio Frequency or (MNRF).
At our clinic we charge from £60 - £250 depending on if it a small area or the full face. Do drop in for a consultation to find out more.
We are ready to treat you.
General Medical Council
Associations of Plastic Surgeons of India
The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Disclaimer: The content on this website is purely generated for awareness and educating purposes only. This shall not be considered as a substitute for professional advice or prescription. Every individual and their case is different, so the results mentioned on the website may vary from person to person.