IPL Using ELOS
Through a series of treatments, ELOS® IPL improves the complexion and texture of your skin. During your consultation, the clinical nurse specialist will review the potential benefits of the treatment and the few risks that are associated with the ELOS® IPL treatments. It is important that you read the information contained in these sheets carefully and completely.
The ELOS IPL Procedure
During ELOS® IPL treatments, intense pulsed light targets pigmentation (brown sun damage) and hemoglobin (small blood vessels and redness/background flush) and is converted to heat. The heat breaks up the pigment and coagulates the small veins and flush in the epidermis. Bipolar RF (radiofrequency) heats the dermis and stimulates cells called fibroblasts to produce new collagen. 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 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® Medical 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 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 and tone are good candidates for IPL.
Who is not a good candidate for 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. If you are tanned, or have recently been exposed to the sun in the area to be treated, you may be more susceptible to potential side effects, such as blisters or crusts. Your treatment may also need to be reduced in intensity or postponed until the tan fades. In addition, patients with pacemakers, metal implants, or internal defibrillators should not have this procedure.
IPL can reduce unwanted reds and browns on your skin, blending your complexion and minimizing 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 and a numbing cream may be applied to your skin prior to the treatment. 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 ELOS® 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 microcrusts begin to slough off. Do not pick at them, as this can lead to a skin injury.
- Pigmentation: You cannot have an ELOS® 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 Protetction: Patients are required to use protective eye goggles during the treatment to prevent the possibility of eye sensitivity from the ELOS® IPL light.
Multiple Treatments & Maintenance
Most patients require three treatments to reduce pigmentation and five treatments to reduce redness. Pre- and post-treatment photos are taken to document the changes in the skin so you can monitor your skin’s transformation. To maintain your skin’s radiant, healthy rejuvenation, it is recommended that you have a single maintenance treatment every 3-4 months.
To obtain your best possible results, it is important to care for your skin appropriately after your treatment. Please note the following:
- You should treat your skin as though you have a mild sunburn for the next few days.
- When bathing or washing your skin, be mindful of the heat of the water. Wash when you normally would with a gentle cleanser. Do not use scrubs or exfoliants (avoid alpha-hydroxy acid, glycolic acid, scrubbing beads, active products, etc). You may use a basic moisturizer twice per day – our nurse can recommend a suitable product for you.
- Use ice packs or cold compresses only if your skin feels uncomfortably hot or appears swollen.
- You may notice some redness or striping after your treatment. This can last a few days, and should be left alone to heal.
- You may also notice that your brown spots (pigmentation) will initially darken and take on the appearance of coffee grounds before sloughing off a few days after treatment. Do not pick your skin or attempt to speed up the healing process in any way.
- You should avoid sun exposure to the treated area for the first few days. When sun exposure is unavoidable, utilize a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a physical block (such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) with a minimum SPF of 30, and cover with clothing whenever possible.
- For the best results, two or more treatments spaced 2-3 weeks apart are recommended.
Please notify the clinic if you experience prolonged redness, excessive swelling/puffiness, or any unusual side effects: 250-595-3888.