Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a non-invasive treatment that can effectively minimize hyperpigmentation and redness in the skin.

Many patients and celebrities swear by this light-based device to zap sun spots, melasma, acne, and rosacea.

Before undergoing IPL, it’s important to understand its benefits, process, recovery, and results.

What Is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)?

An IPL Photofacial uses a broad-spectrum light to target discoloration on the face and body.

The device can treat multiple concerns at once and be customized with different wavelengths.

Who Is a Good Candidate for IPL?

Patients that want to treat sun spots, uneven skin tone, photodamage, melasma, acne, rosacea, visible blood vessels, spider veins, stretch marks often experience positive results with IPL.

However, treatment may need to be postponed if these individuals are recently tanned or taking medications, such as Accutane, that make them sensitive to light.

In addition, patients with a naturally darker complexion, history of keloids, tendency to hyperpigment after injury, or any medical condition with photosensitivity are usually not ideal candidates for IPL.

How Does the Treatment Work?

The IPL handpiece emits a very bright light that is absorbed by melanin and hemoglobin to diminish brown and red discoloration in the skin. The energy focuses on the deeper layers of skin and bypasses the surface, making IPL a zero-downtime treatment.

Patients wear protective goggles during the procedure to shield their eyes from the broad-spectrum light. A cool gel is applied to the treatment area, and the provider will select a wavelength that best suits the patient’s goals.

IPL is performed as a series of brief pulses, and patients may feel a snapping or stinging sensation.

Recovery Process

A slightly sunburned appearance is noted immediately after treatment and usually subsides within 24 hours. Areas of hyperpigmentation may also look darker and slough off three-to-five days post-procedure.

Avoiding sun exposure and wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least at 30 SPF are essential to protecting the skin and maintaining results after IPL.

IPL Results

Patients often note improvement after the first treatment. Those with very pigmented lesions tend to have more dramatic changes.

However, a series of three-to-four sessions spaced four weeks apart is recommended for optimal effects.

To learn more about IPL and other light-based treatments and how they can benefit your skin, please contact Hagerstown Dermatology & Skincare today to schedule an appointment.