Whether it’s the case of a blemish here and there or a more complex issue, like rosacea, when it comes to our skin we all have at least one challenge. Unfortunately, while some over-the-counter products can help us make some headway, these products are often not potent enough to accomplish our appearance goals. At Urban Allure in San Francisco, CA, we know that intense pulsed light treatments are safe and effective – and can help you reach your aesthetic goals.
What Does IPL Laser Do?
IPL laser treatments are an advanced light-based energy treatment that can accomplish a variety of skin-related tasks. Broadly speaking, this treatment is used for skin rejuvenation, which means the core purpose of this treatment is to help restore a brighter, firmer, and more youthful appearance to your skin. As it is, this treatment can be used in a variety of ways for virtually every area of the face and even some smaller body areas.
At our clinic, we use the Ellipse I2PL system, which is one of the most advanced and diverse light energy treatments available to patients. The Ellipse I2PL system combines carefully curated wavelengths with expert device handling to restore the appearance of your skin and deliver true youthful radiance through the stimulation of collagen production. This IPL laser system can address skin concerns such as:
Superficial skin concerns are those that occur only on the surface of the skin and do not affect deeper layers of the skin. Most of us have some type of superficial skin concern, such as easy redness of the skin or dry skin with uneven skin tone.
Superficial skin concerns can also refer to minor discoloration, such as from the use of irritating skincare products, or even blemishes from old skin injuries or unwanted freckles.
Anti-aging concerns generally refer to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles on the face, particularly around the eyes, nose, and mouth, although some fine lines on the forehead may be reduced with the Ellipse I2PL system.
The Ellipse I2PL system is actually somewhat unique among other similar light treatment devices since it can resolve the appearance of minor fine lines and even a moderate amount of skin laxity.
Sun damage refers to skin cells that have been damaged by repeated unprotected exposure to UV rays. On the whole, UV rays can greatly damage the integrity of skin cells to make them weaker over time and more susceptible to forming dark spots, broken blood vessels, and age spots.
Sun damage can often be difficult to treat since some damage is more than superficial and requires deeper skin rejuvenation techniques.
Acne and Acne Scarring
Light energy treatments can be incredibly beneficial for those who suffer from chronic acne, hormonal acne, or acne scarring from earlier years in life. Both young adults and older adults can benefit from intense pulsed light acne treatment.
The light energy used in the Ellipse I2PL system is strong enough to kill acne-causing bacteria, which prevents future breakouts. This treatment can also be used to shrink enlarged pores and refine the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
This treatment can also be used for hair removal, both on the face and the body. Hair removal treatments are used to slow the hair growth process and essentially lessen the amount of hair that is grown on the body, which makes it easier to manage body hair. Hair removal treatments can also be used to treat and correct ingrown hairs.
How Does Intense Pulsed Light Work?
This treatment works by utilizing the power of light wavelengths and thermal energy to stimulate the body’s natural regenerative properties. The key to this treatment is the two-pronged approach to treating the skin. The Ellipse I2PL system stimulates collagen production within the skin and also accelerates your natural skin cell turnover cycle.
Through the stimulation of both of these skin functions, both the inside and the outside of the skin are treated and more comprehensive results can be achieved at one time. In a way, the fact that both collagen production and skin cell turnover are heightened by this treatment makes it a good all-in-one option for many patients with complex skin concerns.
Why Does Collagen Matter?
Collagen is a natural protein in your skin that is responsible for providing structural support to the skin. As we age, the amount of collagen we produce begins to decrease, and so does the structural integrity of our skin; at that point, when collagen production is low, fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity become visible.
By increasing collagen production with this treatment, you can reverse some visible signs of aging.
Why Does Skin Cell Turnover Matter?
Everybody has a natural skin cell turnover cycle, which usually lasts for 28 to 40 days. This cycle refers to the process of how old skin cells are shed and replaced with new skin cells. In general, the efficiency of our skin cell turnover cycle depletes as we age, which means we do not shed damaged skin cells as quickly.
This is typically why we see more age spots and sun damage as we get older. When this treatment increases the skin cell turnover cycle, the surface appearance of your skin will improve and become more radiant.
Why Do Different Wavelengths Matter?
The fact that this treatment uses different wavelengths is part of the reason why it’s so effective. Different light intensities affect the layers of our skin differently. While traditional laser treatments use one wavelength to address skin concerns, IPL laser treatment utilizes different wavelengths at varying levels of intensity to address issues on individual skin layers.
Using different wavelengths enables your treatment to be customized to your precise skin needs and goals.
Why Should You Choose This IPL Laser Treatment Over Traditional Lasers?
There’s no doubt that traditional laser treatments are highly effective for correcting a variety of skin concerns – so why should you use intense pulsed light instead?
The fact of the matter is that light-based treatments have many advantages that laser treatments do not, such as the ability to completely customize the treatment to your skin needs. Some other advantages of light treatments include:
Intense light treatments are much more diverse than laser treatments, largely because the variety of wavelengths used in the treatment technology can more easily address skin concerns. For example, treating acne and rosacea can’t easily be done with laser treatments because the intensity of the laser is too great.
Additionally, light-based treatments are also appropriate for moderate and mild skin concerns, while some laser treatments can only treat more advanced skin issues.
Light-based treatments are also gentler on the skin because they do not harm the skin surface. While there are laser treatments that are non-ablative, sometimes these treatments are still too intense for those who have sensitive skin or who are at greater risk of hyperpigmentation.
The gentler treatment makes it easier for many patients to achieve their skin goals without being concerned about harming their skin.
Finally, the biggest advantage of light-based treatments is the fact that these treatments have better overall compatibility for people who have medium to dark complexions.
It’s often the case that traditional laser treatments can’t be used for those who have deeper complexions due to the increased risk of pigmentation. Light-energy based treatments, on the other hand, use wavelengths that will not cause pigmentation concerns.
What Should You Expect From Your IPL Laser Treatment?
Your intense light treatments will be fairly simple, as they only involve a 15 to 30-minute process where the Ellipse I2PL treatment device is moved over your skin to address each of your skin concerns.
Your treatment will be performed by one of our skilled technicians who will ensure that each of your skin concerns receives an adequate amount of care.
Does This Treatment Hurt?
No, this treatment does not hurt or cause significant discomfort. However, at the patient’s request, a topical numbing cream can be applied to dull the sensation of the treatment.
Will You Need a Consultation?
Yes, a consultation will be required before your first appointment. Part of the consultation will be to verify that your skin concerns are compatible with the treatment ability of the Ellipse I2PL system.
The other part of the consultation will gauge the severity of your skin concerns, collect information about your skincare habits, and any additional information about previous cosmetic treatments you have used in the past.
How Should You Prepare for Treatment?
Because of the nature of this treatment, the most important thing you will need to do to prepare for your appointments is avoiding adding any additional pigment or melanin to your skin.
This means you should avoid direct unprotected sunlight, tanning beds, and even self-tanning lotions, as the treatment may darken your skin tone further than you would like. Please avoid these activities for at least two weeks before your first appointment.
What Should You Not Do After Treatment?
After your treatment, you will be able to resume most of your normal skincare routine, with the exception of avoiding retinoids for three to five days.
You will also need to be sure that you are wearing adequate SPF protection in the sunlight. Those who have fair or sensitive skin may require protection stronger than SPF 30.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
Most people will require a series of two to five treatment sessions to see their desired results. For more complicated issues, such as chronic skin conditions, scarring, or deeper sun damage, you may need additional treatments to rejuvenate your skin appearance.
When Can You See Results?
You will start to see the results from your treatment several weeks after your first appointment. Your treatment appointments will usually be spaced about a month apart to give your skin adequate time to recover.
Many patients begin to see improvements in their skin after the first or second treatment. The results of your treatment will continue to improve over time.
Who Are Good Candidates for IPL Laser Treatments?
The vast majority of people seeking to improve the tone, texture, or quality of their skin are good candidates for this light-based treatment. Ideally, candidates should not be pregnant, breastfeeding, or prone to pigmentation concerns.
Rejuvenate Your Skin With Intense Pulsed Light Treatments
Whether you have one skin concern or a couple that you can’t seem to solve by yourself, you should know that IPL laser treatments are a good cosmetic treatment option for you. From sun damage to acne and acne scarring, intense pulsed light treatments are a diverse treatment that can tackle mild and moderate skin concerns. Please contact Urban Allure in San Francisco, CA to schedule your first consultation today.