Everything You Should Know About IPL Treatments
IPL, which stands for intense pulsed light, offers individuals the opportunity to improve the texture and appearance of their skin without the risks and prolonged recovery time associated with other skin rejuvenation methods or surgery.
What is intense pulsed light?
Intense pulsed light therapy, also known as a photofacial, is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure. It uses high-intensity light comprising varying wavelengths to treat certain skin conditions, remove unwanted hair or enhance one’s appearance. IPL is akin to laser resurfacing of the skin, except that laser treatments utilize a single wavelength in the skin rejuvenation process, and a comparatively smaller surface area is treated on each application.
How does IPL photofacial therapy work?
An electronic device delivers intense pulses of light (0.5 to 100 milliseconds in duration, depending on the device) onto the skin. The light is converted into heat as it penetrates the skin deep into the dermis. The heat causes trauma to the cells in the targeted area, breaking them down in the process. The dead cells are discarded via the body’s natural elimination system. The body triggers a response that causes cell renewal and collagen production resulting in the rejuvenation of the skin. Damaged or discoloured skin is reduced in the process.
What skin conditions are treatable by IPL?
Among the skin conditions treatable by IPL therapy are:
- Varicose and spider veins
- Stretch marks
- Acne scars
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sun damage
- Age spots
Intense pulsed light therapy can also significantly reduce the growth of dark, coarse hair just about anywhere on the body and can be used in the removal of tattoos.
When is IPL not recommended?
Intense pulsed light therapy is a safe and simple procedure, but it is not suitable for everyone. IPL may not be recommended if you:
- Have skin cancer
- Are pregnant
- Are on blood thinners
- Are on or have recently taken Accutane (an acne medication)
- Are experiencing an acne outbreak
- Have severely tanned skin
- Have severely scarred tissue
- Are suffering from a skin condition
- Have skin that is photosensitive
- Use certain types of retinoid (vitamin a-based) creams
Intense pulsed light therapy is not recommended for severe skin conditions or for individuals who have very dark skin tones. The heat that is generated during an IPL treatment can burn darker skin and result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or discoloration of the skin. It is best to consult a dermatologist prior to any IPL treatment.
What is involved in an IPL treatment?
Each healthcare or aesthetic professional approaches the IPL procedure differently, but the following steps are typically involved.
- The provision of protective eyewear to be used throughout the session
- The application of a topical anesthetic to numb the treatment site for those with a low pain threshold
- The application of gel to the skin
- The delivery of light pulses using a handheld device that is passed over the skin’s surface
Treatment sessions typically last between 20 minutes and 30 minutes, and there is little to no downtime following the procedure.
What are the side effects of IPL treatment?
As with any other resurfacing procedure, there may be side effects from your IPL treatment. During the procedure, individuals will experience a stinging sensation. A topical anesthetic may be used to relieve pain during treatment. There will be some soreness and sensitivity following the procedure. Some individuals may also experience crusting, swelling, redness, peeling, blistering and scarring at the treatment site.
How effective is IPL therapy?
The effectiveness of your intense pulsed light treatment is dependent on a number of factors, including the severity of your condition, your skin type, hair type and the device used in your treatment. To achieve the best results, clients may require multiple treatments done over a period of a few weeks.
Where can you get IPL therapy in North Vancouver?
If you are ready to make an appointment for an IPL treatment in North Vancouver, contact us at Afterglow Skincare. At Afterglow Skincare, we offer state-of-the-art skincare treatments, including IPL therapy. Allow our team of highly trained professionals to deliver quality skincare treatment that transforms the look and feel of your skin.