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IPL Skin Care: Things You Need to Know Before Treatments

Most people would like to have smooth, radiant, and younger skin that enhances their beauty and appearance. However, skin problems such as acne, pigmentation, brown spots, wrinkles and fine lines may develop upon aging, exposure to dirt and sun rays.

You may have used all sorts of skin care products and cosmetic treatments, but the stubborn skin problems persist. One such cosmetic treatment nowadays that could treat these skin problems and found to be effective is IPL technology. To give you a glimpse of what it is and what it could do for you, here are some details about this treatment.


The Definition of  IPL Technology

IPL refers to intense pulsed light technology. It is a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment that uses intense light to heat and destroy the elements that damage the skin.

This light therapy could reduce and prevent the visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. It could also treat brown spots, sun damage, freckles, broken capillaries, pigmentation, acne, rosacea and can even remove unwanted hair on face, chest, armpits, and legs.

Some dermatologists recommend the use of IPL technology to treat various skin conditions. “Current IPL systems are very versatile, allowing us to cover a lot of the skin’s surface while treating a variety of skin conditions,” said Adriane Pampa, MD, a dermatologist from Miami.

An IPL skin treatment may be either a photorejuvenation or photofacial process. IPL photorejuvenation treatment targets the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of the skin. It treats damaged, aging, and dull skin. Another good thing about IPL photorejuvenation is that it can be combined with other skin treatments such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels.

Meanwhile, photofacial treatment targets the inner or deeper skin layers. This IPL treatment could repair and remove sun spots or other pigmentation. It could also help in fighting acne problems and treat rosacea, as well as other types of redness in the skin.


How Does IPL Skin Treatment Work

IPL treatment is performed at a dermatologist’s office or clinic and also at medi-spas. The doctors use a high-powered IPL device and computer-controlled flash gun that can emit an intense pulse of light to the targeted area for treatment. This is a hand-held device and has a wavelength spectrum of about 400 to 1200nm.

In IPL photorejuvenation treatment, the IPL device releases strong pulses of filtered light to enhance the fibroblast cells which generate collagen and elastin production. Collagen is a protein that fills out the wrinkles, and with this IPL treatment, it makes the skin firm and tight. It also reduces enlarged pores, resulting in a youthful and smooth skin.

Meanwhile, in an IPL photofacial treatment, the intense pulsed light that is released is absorbed by any pigmented areas. Once heated, the skin will be renewed with healthy regenerated cells. The pigmented area will turn darker after the treatment, but it will slowly fade away in a few days.

For treating skin pigmentation, an IPL photofacial is recommended. This is because it targets the melanin in the skin. Too much melanin in your skin triggers freckles, so with just a couple of IPL treatment sessions, the dark spots on your skin will diminish.

The length of an IPL treatment depends on what kind of skin condition is to be treated. Normally, an IPL photorejuvenation takes about 30 minutes. For better results, you must have at least three to six treatments. There must be a span of one month between each treatment to give time for skin healing. Some patients see good results after their first treatment.


IPL Treatment vs Laser Treatment

IPL can treat skin conditions with multiple intense and powerful wavelengths of light. On the other hand, a laser emits only one wavelength of light onto your skin. At the same time, IPL does not trigger any deep resurfacing effects and causes less damage to the skin, such as minor redness and swelling, compared to laser treatment.


Who Should Have IPL Skin Treatment?

IPL skin treatment is effective, but it is not recommended for everyone. IPL is not advisable for people who have darker skin tones, likewise, it is not ideal for people who have thick and raised keloid scars. Those who are also pregnant and have skin cancer and open lesions are not allowed to have the IPL treatment.

It is advisable that you consult your doctor and have your skin diagnosed before the treatment. Tell your doctor if you are taking medicines or have any medical conditions, so the doctor can evaluate if you are safe to be treated.


The Benefits of IPL Skin Treatment

  • One of the greatest benefits of IPL skin treatment is the stimulation of collagen production, which could rejuvenate and renew your skin. After the treatment, your skin will look younger and tighter.
  • Inhibits and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Treats scars, stretch marks, and atopic dermatitis, including nail and plaque psoriasis.
  • This treatment can also manage and prevent acne.
  • It is also best for treating pigmented skin lesions.
  • IPL targets the increase of melanin thus removing dark spots on the skin.
  • Treats rosacea, sun damage, and blitzes spider veins.
  • Removes unwanted hair on some parts of the body.


The Potential Risks of IPL Skin Treatment

After an IPL procedure, some patients may experience the following:

  • mild redness
  • minor swelling and inflammation
  • change in skin color
  • blistering
  • scabbing
  • bruising
  • infection

Any mild redness or swelling can fade within one or two days. It is recommended that you consult your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects or risks.



IPL skin treatment works well compared to other cosmetic treatments. It can efficiently remove dark spots, pigmentation, and lines on your skin. Sessions are generally quicker and after the first treatment, and you could see very good results.

IPL technology will not damage the top layers of your skin, and it also has few side effects. Another good thing about it is that you do not need a long recovery time. You must also discuss the treatment with your doctor, including its benefits and risks before having any treatment.

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