Skin can become damaged due to long-term exposure to the sun. The epidermis can burn, and the tissues just beneath the dermal layers can become less supportive. Tiny veins and capillaries are especially sensitive to heat, the result being spider veins and red blemish spots. Age spots and freckles become more pronounced. A revolutionary new treatment known as Intense Pulsed Light therapy, or IPL, can counteract these outward signs of sun-damaged skin and restore a more youthful appearance. We recommend this photofacial treatment for those who are suffering the symptoms of sun-damaged skin on the face and other areas of the body.
How IPL Works
This type of outpatient treatment works on the same basic principles as laser surgery; however, IPL is not laser light. Lasers use a single wavelength of intense targeted light to penetrate beneath the surface layers of the skin. The instrument used in IPL therapy produces a combination of specially programmed wavelengths that are sensitive only to a particular density and color of tissue.
Skin colors vary from one individual to another. The tissue itself is composed of cells made up of complex molecules. The chromospheres in the tissue are what give skin its color. When the IPL instrument is calibrated for an individual’s skin color, the proper combination of wavelengths is absorbed by the skin without damaging adjacent tissue.
The light is pulsed, meaning it flashes on and off quickly. This keeps the skin from becoming overheated while at the same time allowing for the transfer of heat energy to the tissue. The epidermis is unaffected because the light penetrates down to the lower dermal layers. This is where most skin damage occurs. Therefore, the skin resurfacing process is targeted to the lower skin layers only.
What Patients Can Expect
Before performing IPL photofacial treatment, we consult with our patients and explain the entire procedure including any at-home skin preparation that may be needed. Depending on the severity of the skin spots or blemishes, we may apply a topical anesthetic just before the heat treatment begins. After the session is complete, we soothe the treated areas with cold gel.
Most sessions last about 20 minutes and most of our patients are scheduled for about three or four sessions, as the process of eliminating unwanted tissue is a multi-stage treatment. Side effects are minor and may include pink skin, some itching, and temporary loss of hair growth from follicles in the treated area. There is no actual downtime after the procedure, and our patients resume their normal activities immediately.
Benefits of IPL Treatment
Since no lasers are used, the effect on the tissue is very mild. No scars develop, and the epidermis is unaffected by the targeted heat energy. Also, there is no abrasion of the epidermis, something that always occurs when scouring treatments are performed. When unwanted tissue is cauterized, collagen production increases as the healthy, new tissue begins to develop. This means smoother skin with fewer wrinkles.
Are You A Candidate For IPL Treatment?
Those who suffer from pronounced freckling or blemishes caused by overexposure to the sun are excellent candidates for this non-invasive, outpatient treatment option. Individuals who have redness on the face caused by spider veins will also want to consider IPL photo facial therapy.
If you are interested in an IPL Photofacial, our team at Vitahl Medical Aesthetics can help. We will work with you to create a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. Contact Vitahl Medical Aesthetics today to schedule your consultation.