Initial and Long Term Results of Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL), previously named ‘Intense Pulse Light Therapy,’ is a cosmetic treatment popular for reducing redness and pigmentation, and for hair removal. This rejuvenation laser skin process is performed using a wand of light that specifically allows the correct amount of energy to be used. This enhanced light finds its way through the skin to the root of the hair, destroying the hair follicle.

For skin rejuvenation, this form of treatment gives the skin a healthy glow, and is beneficial for rosacea and redness of the skin, birth marks, age spots, tattoos, spider veins, stretch marks, acne, freckles and fine lines and wrinkles.

Initial Results

With this treatment, several enhanced wavelengths are used rather than one intense wavelength. This minimizes the amount of injury to the upper layers of the skin, needing only minimal to no downtime. Most individuals have this procedure during a lunch break, as it only takes usually about 30 to 40 minutes to perform, and go back to work immediately after the treatment.

Initial results of Intense Pulsed Light Therapy include slight stinging (like the snapping of an elastic), redness, some discomfort (usually painless), minimal bruising, skin tightening, slight bleeding, swelling, blistering and scabbing. These symptoms usually only last a few hours, but may last a few days to one or two weeks, disappearing shortly after this period of time. A patch test may be done to minimize risks and side effects. Small white pimples may indicate burn injuries with the need of an assessment from the doctor. Also, infections from open wounds or complications of cold sores from a herpes condition may cause complications.

The skin will continue to peel for about a week or two with dark pigmentation spots like tiny coffee grounds flaking off. It may be beneficial for people with darker skin to use bleaching creams first, as hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) can occur with this type of skin.

Long Term Results

Initial side effects are temporary and will normally disappear within one to two weeks at the very longest period of time. With additional treatments, the skin’s rejuvenation process takes place. Often 3 to 6 sessions are recommended for optimal results, but frequently rosacea can be treated with only as little as one or two treatments. Repeat procedures should not be performed until at least 3 to 4 weeks after to allow the rejuvenation process to work, and for the healing of the skin.

The treated skin is more sensitive to sunlight, and proper precautions should be taken to protect not only the skin in general, but particularly the areas of treatment. A good sunscreen should be used, and it is recommended to avoid the sunlight at peak times and possibly tanning.

Collagen tends to find its way gradually back into the skin after treatment, revealing a more youthful appearance and healthy glow. In addition, after the time of healing, the skin seems to take on a more even tone. Age spots, freckles and other skin deformities begin to disappear with the Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, and amazing results take place.

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