Intense Pulsed Light (also known as “IPL” or Photorejuvenation) is a concentrated beam of visible light. The beam contains numerous wavelengths of light, which is why it differs from a laser (which contains only one wavelength of light). Each pulse of light passes through the top of the skin and is absorbed by unwanted brown and red pigments within the skin. Because the diameter of the light beam is around the size of a postage stamp, this treatment is ideal for treating complete areas (such as the entire face or neck) where the goal is to even out skin tone that is mottled due to unwanted redness and/or sun damage.
We suggest avoiding sun exposure and wearing daily sunscreen for 4 weeks prior to each treatment. If the area that we are treating is tan for your skin tone, we will likely reschedule your treatment until the tan fades for safety reasons. If possible, please come into the clinic without any makeup or products on the area being treated. Alternatively, we will have you wash your skin prior to treatment. If the site being treated is near your hair, please avoid all alcohol based hair products (such as gel, mouse or hairspray) on the day of the treatment.
Our technology is cutting edge, and has a unique feature of painlessly measuring the natural pigment in your skin prior to each treatment. This data is sent wirelessly to the machine, which provides a suggested range of settings that is safe, effective and comfortable for your skin type. Your eyes will be protected with metal goggles and you will be fully awake. Cold gel is applied to the skin before the treatment, and the hand piece also cools the skin during the treatment. The coldness increases the comfort and safety of each treatment. Each pulse is stingy but should not be painful. Treatments take between 15-30 minutes.
Following the treatment, a nurse or staff member will go over the post-procedure instructions with you. You will go home with an ice pack, and apply it on and off as comfortable. For the first few hours, your skin may look and feel like a mild sunburn. Swelling is rare but can occur for several days following the treatment. Over the next few weeks, brown sunspots will develop thin, small brown scabs (called “peppering), and flake off. Sometimes the lightest brown spots are left behind, and amenable to creams or spot laser treatments. If desired, make up can be applied immediately following treatment. There are no restrictions on activity, but it is advised to avoid direct sun exposure until the brown spots have flaked off.
How may treatments should I have and how often? The number of treatments needed depends on the site, skin complexion and treatment goals. For facial treatments, a minimum of 1-2 treatments is suggested, though 3-4 is optimal. For non-facial sites, we suggest a minimum of 2-4 treatments; this is because lower settings are necessary due to the thinner skin on the neck, hands, arms and legs.
Treatments should be spaced at least 3-4 weeks apart. It is okay to space the treatments further out if desired; there is no loss in improvement.
Treatment cost depends on the size of the area being treated, but usually ranges from $300.00-500.00 per treatment. Discount packages are available.