IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is a technology where light is converted into heat energy. The process, called photo rejuvenation, allows the light waves to target colour particles such as haemoglobin in broken capillaries and melanin in sun spots and freckles. IPL improves the appearance of sun damaged skin by removing age/sun spots, and redness caused by broken vessels. IPL can be used on any isolated body areas such as the full face, the hands or décolletage.
The heat triggers an anti-inflammatory response in the tissues stimulating a collagen and elastin production, resulting in the skin not only appearing more even in tone but also firmer and smoother in texture.
Photo rejuvenation (or Photofacial) is a non-invasive skin health and restoration process that uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to reduce some of the damage inflicted on your skin from sun, aging and other conditions such as Rosacea. The technology utilises a broad spectrum of light (IPL) which reaches deep down within the skin, targeting pigment and vascular imperfections. It treats skin damage without disrupting the skin surface, hence no 'down time'. The goals of therapy are a more even skin colour and texture. The IPL can not only treat the imperfections on the face but also other areas such as the neck, chest and hands.
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light and is a technology where light is converted into heat energy. The process, called photo-rejuvenation, allows the light waves to target colour particles such as haemoglobin in broken capillaries and melanin in sun spots and freckles. IPL can therefore improve the appearance of sun damaged skin by removing age/sun spots, and redness caused by broken vessels. IPL can be used on any isolated body areas such as the full face, the hands or décolletage.
A broad spectrum of light is emitted onto the skin through a hand piece. The light penetrates the tissues without injuring the skin’s surface, and is absorbed by the pigment in the spots and blood vessels when treating vascular lesions. Pigmented areas slowly come to the skin’s surface and shed, whereas vascular lesions are dissipated into the lymphatic system for excretion. Furthermore the heat generated from the IPL treatment triggers an anti-inflammatory response in the tissues stimulating a collagen and elastin production, resulting in the skin not only appearing more even in tone but also firmer and smoother in texture.
No, IPL is different. IPL therapy is considered a non-ablative resurfacing technique, which means that it targets the lower layers of skin (dermis) without affecting the top layers of skin (epidermis). The results are not as dramatic as ablative laser resurfacing where the top layers of the skin( both the dermis and epidermis) are injured or shed to produce a much more noticeable and visible overall outcome. The advantage of IPL therapy is its minimal downtime - a patient can often have the procedure done in their lunch break and return to work immediately afterwards.
This treatment is ideally suited for lighter skin types. The practitioner will assess suitability during the consultation. It is important that the patient does not have any sun exposure for 4 weeks prior and post treatment. Application of a high sun factor cream of SPF30 or SPF50 is highly recommended during the treatment regime.
IPL can be used to treat a variety of conditions on the face, neck, chest and hands, including: Rosacea; sun damage; refinement and reduction of open pore size on facial skin; flushing; skin texture irregularities; redness; broken capillaries; brown spots; age spots; sun-induced freckles on the hands, chest, and face; broken capillaries around the nose; fine lines; ruddy skin.
Although mainly used for the face, Photo-Rejuvenation treatments can be safely and effectively used on non-facial skin for photo-aging and discolouration of the neck, decolletage, chest, hands, forearms, shoulders and legs.
IPL treatments are normally straightforward. Before treatment, a cold gel is usually applied and you will be given protective eyewear. A topical anaesthetic cream may be applied to the area but is not always necessary. During treatment, a trained staff member applies the surface of the IPL hand piece to the skin. Light is then delivered to the skin surface in precise pulses to the treated area.
Low to moderate discomfort is associated with the treatment. This will be directly associated with the physical amount of pigment or blood vessels to be treated. The sensation can be likened to a quick sharp flick but is definitely well tolerated by the majority of patients. The practitioner is able to alter the energy settings accordingly to the patient’s sensation in order to make it more comfortable for them.
Each session usually lasts about 20 minutes, and you should return to normal activity immediately afterwards.
Recovery with the IPL Photo rejuvenation is minimal. Your face may be mildly red after the procedure similar to what you would see after a good exercise workout. The flushing and redness will last from a few minutes to several hours after treatment. You may also experience some swelling but this will quickly subsides. Pigmented areas on your skin will become darker initially, and then flake off over the following week.
You should be able to resume all of your regular activities immediately. You may experience mild redness, but this usually disappears within a few hours. By dividing the full treatment schedule into several treatments, the procedure provides progressive improvement with very low risk. You will also need to avoid the sun as much as possible after the treatment and use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 40 daily, at all times of the year.
On average, four to six IPL treatments are recommended, scheduled at approximately four-week intervals for the first four months, with the fifth and sixth treatments several months apart. Vascular lesions require treatment at much shorter intervals. However, each person is unique and therefore during your consultation a plan that best suits your circumstances will be decided.
IPL therapy brings about gradual changes over the course of the treatments therefore patience is needed. After a full course, you may notice improved texture of skin, decreased redness, more even colour, and a youthful skin tone. Although brown pigment marks initially darken in the first few days or weeks, the skin overlying gradually flakes off in due course revealing a lighter complexion.
Good skin care maintenance is suggested following treatments, including complete sunscreen protection to prevent recurrence of photo-aging. With good sun protection, results from a full series of treatments can last up to a year or more. Maintenance follow-up treatment may however be desirable every year or two, depending on the condition. Patients with rosacea may require regular maintenance treatments, and the frequency will depend on the severity of the condition.
Like any medical treatment there are possible risks associated with IPL treatment. Nonetheless IPL therapy is usually much safer than conventional laser therapy because IPL does not usually damage the epidermis(outer layer of the skin). Unlike some laser therapies however, multiple treatments (4-6, at three weeks intervals) are often needed to get the full benefit. Side effects are usually minor and may include bruising, pain during treatment (reduced by contact cooling and if necessary, topical anaesthetic), mild sunburn like sensation with associated redness, peeling, and swelling that could last a few days after treatment. Skin blistering may also occur resulting in scarring as well as darker or lighter skin patches. Although usually temporary these occasionally may be permanent. Every attempt will be made to minimise any such side effects.
A number of other non- surgical treatments may be combined with IPL to enhance or improve the results of your treatment such as dermal fillers and muscle and skin smoothing injections. IPL can also be combined with other skin treatments such as the Hydrafacial, chemical peels, micro-needling as well as other energy and laser devices.
1 Treatment £250, 3 Treatments (price based on full face) a consultation is necessary
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