Similar Treatments and Alternatives for Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL) is among the most comprehensive of facial treatments aimed at rejuvenating the facial skin and erasing signs of aging. Earlier, this treatment was referred to as ‘Intense Pulse Light Therapy’ and now it is also called FotoFacial treatment. All these nomenclatures refer to the fact that this treatment uses a complex blend of various light pulses. People contemplating Intense Pulsed Light Therapy should also be aware of similar treatments.

Understanding Intense Pulsed Light Therapy Alternatives

Please understand that Intense Pulsed Light Therapy is a sub-dermal treatment that yields immediate and long-term results. This means that it acts upon the internal layers of the skin and not the outer, superficial surface. It is aimed at stimulating the collagen formation in the skin that helps to attain and maintain the younger appearance. Treatments like chemical peels cannot be considered as alternatives since they act superficially, and not all dermal fillers help to stimulate the collagen formation.

Some worthy Intense Pulsed Light Therapy alternatives include:

Fraxel Treatment

Fraxel is among the latest and safest of laser treatments. It works at both levels, i.e. it aids skin resurfacing that helps to create instant results and it induces internal heating of the tissues that sustains long-term collagen formation. It is ideally suited for people who are looking for a comprehensive anti-aging treatment for their entire face and not just age spot removals. The elasticity of the skin is exponentially raised since the re-stimulated collagen fibers stretch the skin, making it supple yet tighter. Fraxel is reputed to be effective against all kinds of signs of aging and discoloration patches.

Fraxel is rather similar to Intense Pulsed Light Therapy since it bypasses the outer layer of the skin. Further, it is not painful and doesn’t have a considerable recovery period. Fraxel results too are long-standing, reputed to last for years, negating the need for repeated sessions.

Just like Intense Pulsed Light Therapy uses different types of light pulses to penetrate the skin, Fraxel uses different degree of laser penetration. Just like Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, Fraxel can be used on the face and the surrounding tissues like the neck, shoulders and chest. However, Fraxel is still a laser treatment, which makes it more likely to scar the skin or cause excessive heating of the skin that can raise complications. The pulses used in Intense Pulsed Light Therapy are much more penetrative, but precisely controlled and yield better results in shorter sessions.


Microdermabrasion is also called dermal peeling, and it is the most comprehensive form of facial skin resurfacing treatment. It acts by removing the outer, dead layers of the skin, helping the newer or younger skin to emerge. Unlike facial peels that are aimed at merely exfoliating the skin, the microdermabrasion process also acts at the internal level. It helps to rejuvenate the skin in a sustained manner by stimulating the internal healing process, including the synthesis of collagen. This makes it a reasonable contender for being an IPL replacement.

Microdermabrasion is a bit restricted when compared to the internal heating provided through IPL sessions. The light pulses are able to penetrate the skin evenly and stimulate the skin’s healing process to a larger extent. Microdermabrasion might be a quicker and easier way of instantly getting a rejuvenated looking skin, but its collagen-stimulating abilities are restricted. However, its overall ease and lesser costs make it a more undemanding option.

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