Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL), previously named ‘Intense Pulse Light Therapy,’ is a skin treatment process performed using an enhanced wand of light and energy. For hair removal, this light finds its way through the skin to the hair shaft (root) of the hair, destroying the hair follicle. This method of cosmetic treatment is also highly beneficial for the treatment of birth marks and broken capillaries, fine wrinkles, spider veins, age spots, tattoo removal, acne and sun-damaged skin.
Little to no downtime is necessary with this cosmetic therapy approach, as Intense Pulsed Light Therapy is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment. It is unlikely to damage the top layers (epidermis) of the skin because it uses several wavelengths of enhanced energy to treat the skin, unlike other laser treatments that normally use an intense all-at-once light, causing more side effects. In addition, other dermabrasion treatment methods may also be more invasive.
This treatment method can be done within a short amount of time. The duration is usually only 30 to 40 minutes a session, making it convenient for most individuals to be able to have it performed even during a lunch break. Makeup can often be worn after a treatment session, and most individuals who have this procedure go to work immediately after the procedure.
Medical studies indicate that this type of procedure can treat rosacea and redness of the skin successfully. This does, however, depend on the extent of the severity of the condition of the individual and other underlying medical or skin difficulties. Also, the effectiveness will frequently depend on the skills of the doctor who is performing the treatment, and the type of machine that is being used. Good rosacea skin improvement normally can be achieved with only one or two Intense Pulsed Light Therapy sessions.
Although Intense Pulsed Light Therapy is non-invasive, it is extremely effective. Just one session of this treatment process can be just as beneficial as several microdermabrasion therapy treatments.
Because this method of cosmetic therapy uses several gentle wavelengths, several sessions are normally required to have the desired results. With Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, 3 to 6 sessions are often needed for successful results for skin rejuvenation. For hair removal, 6 to 12 treatment sessions are usually necessary. This amount can vary depending on the area of hair to be removed, and the thickness of the hair. Studies have shown that men tend to experience more pain than women with this form of hair removal treatment, as men's hair is normally thicker.
Intervals of 3 to 4 weeks must be allowed in between treatments for the effects of the procedure to take place, and to allow for the proper healing of the skin. For tattoo removals, there is the possibility that not all of the ink may be removed.
Studies indicate that this type of procedure may not be suitable for all skin types, especially not tanned or darker skin, as skin discoloration can occur. Studies have shown that the results are not as successful for the treatment of blond or red hair. There is not enough data and studies done to determine the long-term safety and effectiveness of the Intense Pulsed Light Therapy treatment.