Light therapy is a relatively new form of treatment for skin rejuvenation. It’s a little similar to laser resurfacing, but there’s one big difference. Intense pulsed light, or IPL, doesn’t actually employ the use of a laser. The instrument used emits pulses of broadband light, and our experts calibrates the instrument to deliver just the right combination of wavelengths. This light energy doesn’t affect the epidermis. Instead, it targets darker tissues that lie beneath. The treatment is effective for improving the appearance of fine wrinkles, age spots, freckles, scarring, and other blemishes.
Because the treatment is considered minimally invasive, it has become quite popular over the past decade. The treatment is gentler than laser resurfacing, and there’s no downtime afterwards. Although several IPL treatment sessions are required in order to achieve the desired results, our clients certainly don’t complain. The results can be quite long-lasting.
How Broadband Light Affects Skin Tissue
As stated above, IPL therapy doesn’t involve removal of the epidermis. The idea is to leave the outer skin layer intact and instead focus on darker, pigmented areas of skin that show up as age spots, injury scars, and other forms of blemishes.
Most of the IPL devices in use today deliver pixilated beams of light. The beam is broken up into a multitude of thin shafts. As they leave the device, these streams of light interact with each other. The interference pattern that develops is within a specific range of the visible spectrum.
Why is this important? A certain combination of frequencies will result in a beam of energy that passes right through the epidermal layer. Only darker cells with pigment, also known as chromophores, absorb the energy. That’s exactly what the dermatologist wants, because heating up these tissues causes damage. The body will discard these damaged, darkened tissues in favor of new cell growth and development. Capillaries also absorb the light energy, and they constrict. This results in a lighter, more evenly toned skin layer.
During the Treatment
We outline the entire procedure during a consultation so that you won’t be in for any surprises. We protect the eyes from stray light beams by covering them with shades. The pulses from the IPL device are rapid in succession, and each pulse lasts for only about two milliseconds. After several pulses, we move the device to the next area of concern.
An entire region of the face can be treated in a relatively short amount of time. There’s no downtime after the first treatment, and follow-up treatments can be scheduled after consulting with our team of professionals.
Advantages and Benefits
Unlike traditional laser resurfacing, IPL doesn’t heat up and destroy any of the epidermal layer. This makes it suitable for all skin types. The instrument can be carefully calibrated to deliver light energy that passes through even the darkest of skin.