Without a doubt, laser treatments are known to improve the appearance of the skin significantly. But with all the different types of lasers on the market, it can be hard to know which one is best for your needs. Intense pulsed light (IPL) lasers are a popular choice for those looking to improve the appearance of their skin, but do they actually work?
There are different types of laser treatments for beauty. You might have heard about intense pulsed light (IPL) or fractional lasers. These lasers can’t remove wrinkles but can treat acne, redness, and uneven skin tone. In this article, we’ll find out if IPL works to remove hair and improve your complexion.
Intense Pulse Light in a Nutshell
Intense pulse light (IPL) is a technology that uses light to treat unwanted hair. The light is applied to the skin in pulses of various lengths, which causes heat and damage to the hair follicle. This can result in temporary or permanent hair reduction. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use on the face, neck, chest, hands, and arms.
IPL was developed in the mid-1980s as a treatment for hair removal and was later found to be effective in treating mild to moderate acne, rosacea, and unwanted hair growth. It’s also been used successfully on other non-skin conditions such as warts, age spots, and sunspots.
How Intense Pulsed Light Works
IPL works by emitting calculated amounts of light absorbed by the pigment in the hair shaft. The light energy is eventually converted to heat, damaging the follicle and preventing future hair growth. The light can also be absorbed by the skin’s melanin, making it an effective treatment for pigmentation disorders such as age spots and sunspots.
IPL treatments are heavily based on the Fitzpatrick skin type and the target area. The Fitzpatrick scale is a system that classifies skin color based on how likely it is to burn in the sun. Those with lighter skin tones (Fitzpatrick types I-III) tend to respond better to IPL treatments than those with darker skin tones (Fitzpatrick types IV-VI).
For example, lighter-skinned people may only require one or two IPL treatments to see significant results. In comparison, those with darker skin may need four to six treatments. The number of treatments also depends on the target area. Smaller areas, such as the parts near the upper lip or chin, may only require one treatment, while larger areas like the back or legs may need four to six treatments.
Types of IPL Treatments Available
One of the most popular types of intense pulse light treatments nowadays is the intense pulsed light facial. This type of facial uses a device that emits pulses of light to the face to improve the appearance of the skin.
The melanin absorbs the light energy from the device in the skin, which helps to break down pigmented cells and reduce the appearance of age spots, sunspots, and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
IPL facials can also help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduce the appearance of redness and rosacea. Most IPL facials last for 30 minutes to an hour, and the number of treatments needed will depend on the treatment’s severity.
Another intense pulsed light treatment that is becoming increasingly popular is the harsh pulsed light body treatment. This type of treatment uses a device that emits pulses of light to the entire body to improve the appearance of the skin. The melanin absorbs the light energy from the device in the skin, which helps to break down pigmented cells and reduce the appearance of age spots, sunspots, and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
IPL body treatments can also help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduce the appearance of redness and rosacea. Most IPL body treatments last for 30 minutes to an hour. The number of medicines depends on several factors, such as the severity of the condition, the size of the treatment area, and the skin tone of the person receiving the treatment.
Intense pulsed light treatments are a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your skin. If you are considering an IPL treatment, be sure to consult with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon before getting one for you.
IPL vs. Other Laser Treatments
Aside from IPL, other popular laser treatments are used to improve the appearance of the skin, such as fractional laser resurfacing, ablative laser resurfacing, and non-ablative laser resurfacing. So, how does IPL compare to these other types of laser treatments?
Fractional laser resurfacing is a type of laser skin treatment that uses a fractionated CO2 laser to improve the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and scars. The laser emits short bursts of energy that penetrate the skin and create tiny wounds. As the wounds heal, new collagen is produced, which helps improve the skin’s appearance.
Ablative laser resurfacing is a popular type of laser skin treatment that uses an ablative CO2 laser to improve the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and scars. The laser emits short pulses of energy that remove the top layer of skin, which helps improve the skin’s appearance.
Non-ablative laser resurfacing is a type of laser skin treatment that uses a non-ablative laser to improve the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and scars. The laser emits pulses of energy that heat the skin and stimulate the production of new collagen.
IPL treatments are most similar to non-ablative laser resurfacing treatments, as they both use light energy to stimulate the production of new collagen. However, IPL treatments are less invasive than non-ablative laser resurfacing treatments, as they do not remove the top layer of skin.
In short, intense pulsed light treatments are a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of your skin. If you are considering an IPL treatment, be sure to consult with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon before getting one for you.
Benefits of IPL You Can Enjoy
The most apparent benefit of IPL treatments is that they can help you achieve a more even skin tone. This means that if you have dark spots on your face or body, they will be lightened to be less noticeable. The treatment can also be used to get rid of age spots, freckles, and sun damage.
IPL treatments are known to be safe and effective for all skin types, including sensitive skin. They don’t cause any pain or discomfort during the procedure and don’t require any downtime after treatment (you’ll be able to resume your normal activities immediately).
Also, a typical IPL treatment takes only about five minutes to perform. It involves passing an intense light beam over your face or body. In some cases, multiple and consistent sessions may be necessary to achieve your desired results; however, each session typically only takes about five minutes.
Is Intense Pulsed Light Safe?
While IPL is considered safe, it’s essential to understand its potential side effects before undergoing treatment. Some patients may experience temporary redness or swelling after treatment due to injury to the dermis layer of their skin. This can be minimized by applying an ice pack immediately after your session and avoiding tanning beds for 24 hours after your appointment.
Long-term risks are minimal but include:
- Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when new pigment appears after the initial treatment has healed.
- Hypopigmentation (loss of skin color).
- Telangiectasias (small dilated blood vessels).
- Keloids (thickened scar tissue).
- Permanent depigmentation (loss of skin color).
Talk to your board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon if you have any questions or concerns about intense pulsed light treatments. They can help you decide if IPL suits you and explain this treatment’s potential risks and side effects.
Intense pulse light treatments are great, and they work successfully in addressing various skin concerns. That’s why many people love to undergo such treatment. The procedure is not only skin-friendly but also safe for all skin types. IPL treatment can boost your skin and make it look more youthful, radiant, and evenly toned.
So, if you’re considering undergoing intense pulse light therapy, don’t hesitate to talk to a registered clinic that can provide you with the best IPL treatments you deserve. One of those is Detroit Aesthetics. They pride themselves on offering the best IPL treatments to their clients that can help improve the appearance of their skin. So, if you’re looking for an IPL treatment provider in Michigan, check them out!