IPL is one of the newer forms of facial rejuvenation. Unlike lasers, which use intense, focused light, IPL is intense broadband light. Although IPL delivers energy to both the superficial (epidermis) and deep (dermis) layers of the skin, the epidermis is spared from damage. Thus, there is virtually no recovery time. In the studies that have been performed so far, IPL can smooth the skin, remove age spots, freckles, melasma, and even visible blood vessels. IPL may tighten skin and improve fine lines but does not affect wrinkles.
What is the IPL procedure like?
Before treatment, a cold gel is usually applied and you will be given protective eyewear. During treatment, a physician or trained staff member applies the surface of the IPL hand piece to the skin. Light is delivered to the skin surface in pulses. Depending on the kind of device, there may or may not be pain.
How long does the IPL procedure take?
Each session usually lasts about 20 minutes, and you should return to normal activity immediately afterwards.
What will my face feel like after IPL treatment?
IPL therapy brings about gradual changes over the course of the treatments. After a full course, you may notice improved texture of skin, decreased redness, more even color, and youthful skin tone.
How long before I can return to normal activities?
You should be able to return to normal activities immediately. You may experience mild redness, but it usually disappears within a few hours.
How many IPL treatments will I need?
On average, four to six IPL treatments are recommended, scheduled at three-week intervals. However, each person is unique and you and your physician will decide on a plan that is best for you.
How long will the results last?
With good sun protection, results from a full series of treatments can last up to a year.
What are the risks of IPL?
IPL therapy is safer than laser therapy because IPL does not damage the epidermis. There may be some mild pain during the procedure but no recovery time. Unlike some laser therapies, however, multiple treatments (4-6, at three weeks intervals) are often needed to get the full benefit. The risks and benefits of IPL therapy need to be discussed in detail with your physician.
How much does IPL cost?
The cost is variable, but usually more expensive than peels and less expensive than lasers. Typically, the cost ranges from 300-600 dollars per treatment.