During IPL treatments, intense pulsed light targets pigmentation (brown sun damage) and hemoglobin (small blood vessels and redness/background flush). The light and heat from the IPL breaks up the pigment and coagulates the small veins and flush in the epidermis. Over your series of treatments, your complexion will have less unwanted pigment and redness, and the appearance of fine lines and pore size will soften. In a matter of weeks, your skin will radiate a healthier, fresher, and more youthful appearance. Typically, a series of 3 treatments are performed 2-3 weeks apart. At each treatment, the area will first be cleaned; it is helpful if you arrive to your appointment without makeup.
Depending on the condition, alternative treatments may be recommended. The ZO Skin Health ® medical grade skincare line is effective for reducing unwanted pigmentation and reducing the appearance of sun damage. Redness and facial veins can only be reduced with IPL or laser treatment.
Who is a good candidate for ipl?
Patients with redness, facial blood vessels, sun damaged skin, acne scarring, and patients looking to improve their overall skin texture are good candidates for IPL.
Who is not a good candidate for ipl?
If you have a darker skin type, are tanned or have recently been exposed to the sun in the area to be treated, you may not treat with the IPL. If you are pregnant, have been on Accutane within three months, or have an active cold sore, you should not have this procedure. You should advise us of all oral and topical medications that you are currently using prior to treatment, as some medications are photosensitizing and IPL should not be performed while you are taking such medications. Also, if you have recently used any type of gold therapy on your skin you should advise us as this can cause a blueish/gray discoloration.
IPL can reduce unwanted reds and browns on your skin, blend your complexion and minimize the need for excessive cover-up makeup. The IPL creates a healthier, more youthful appearance and improves the texture, fine lines, and pore size of your skin.
Every medical procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand the risks involved with IPL. Although the majority of patients rarely experience complications, the following is written to help you understand the minor risks of this procedure.
- Discomfort: This is a well-tolerated office procedure: you will experience a minor and tolerable degree of a warm, snapping sensation during the treatment.
- Redness: A minor degree of redness and/or temporary swelling of the skin may follow treatment. It usually lasts 1-2 hours and is easily camouflaged with makeup. Ensure not to overheat the skin immediately after the treatment to reduce this side effect.
- Bruising: It is rare to experience bruising from this treatment. Avoid aspirin (ASA), ibuprofen, or other blood-thinning medications prior to the treatment, if possible, to minimize the chance of bruising.
- Skin Injury, Infection, and Scarring: It is rare for IPL to cause a skin injury or superficial blistering. These typically heal within 2-14 days. There is a less than 0.5% possibility of a skin injury leaving behind a permanent scar. It is also rare for an infection to occur, since the skin is not typically broken. If a skin injury occurs, keep it clean, treat with antibiotic ointment, and don’t pick a crust (this can lead to infection and/or scarring).
- Microcrusting: Immediately after treatment, you may notice some darkening of your existing sun damage, which will continue to darken up to 24 hours after the treatment. It will take on the appearance of “coffee grounds”. Over a period of 3-5 days, you will notice these micro crusts begin to slough off. Do not pick at them, as this can lead to a skin injury.
- Pigmentation: You cannot have an IPL treatment if you are tanned. It is also important that you let any tanning lotions fade, and to not use tanning beds for 3-4 weeks prior to the procedure. Proper sun protection with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide (minimum 30 SPF) is also important for two weeks post-treatment, as your skin will be more sun sensitive.
- Eye protection: Patients are required to use Clinic 805 protective eye goggles during the treatment to prevent the possibility of eye sensitivity from the IPL light.
multiple treatments & maintenance
Most patients require three treatments to reduce pigmentation and five treatments to reduce redness. Pre- and post-treatment Visia ® skin analysis photos are taken to document the changes in the skin so you can assess and monitor your skin’s transformation. To maintain your skin’s radiant, healthy rejuvenation, it is recommended that you have a single maintenance treatment every 3-6 months.
protecting your results
Daily use of ZO Skin Health ® medical grade skincare will assist in maintaining your skin’s healthy glow. Mineral Zinc Oxide SPF 30 sun protection year-round is essential to protect your skin from future damage.
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