IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)


What is IPL?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a laser treatment used to reduce redness in the skin and blood vessels, and also to remove unwanted brown spots such as freckles and age spots. IPL can give great results in just one treatment, but it can also be repeated every 4-8 weeks, for cumulatively better results.

Individual response will vary according to skin type, hair color, degree of tanning, follow up care, and the body area(s) treated. People with fair skin who tend to sunburn rather than tan can get excellent results on the first and subsequent visits, while those with darker skin or who tan very easily may have more variation in their results.

Treatment using the Alma Harmony Intense Pulsed Light Laser will not cure any medical condition causing pigmented or vascular lesions, nor provide immunity against recurrence. The purpose of the treatment is to achieve cosmetic improvement by removing redness and accumulated pigment using intense pulsed light to target hemoglobin in veins and to target stored melanin that appears as pigmented marks.

When should I schedule my IPL treatment?

IPL should be scheduled when you are not planning on being in the sun before or after treatment. You must not have a tan prior to IPL treatment, or else treatment with IPL might result in uneven pigmentation of your skin. And, if you go on a sunny vacation right after your IPL treatment, sun exposure may reverse your results.

What does an IPL treatment feel like?

The IPL laser feels like a warm rubber band snap on the skin with a bright flash of light. You will wear special goggles to protect your eyes, and a cold gel will be applied to your skin during treatment to cool your skin. Ice packs are applied following treatment.

What can I expect after treatment?

Your skin may be pink and a little swollen immediately following treatment, and you may feel a sunburn sensation that lasts a few hours. The extent of this varies from person to person. Applying an ice pack to the treated areas helps decrease swelling. Brown spots that are treated will darken or appear like coffee grounds, and then take up to 2 weeks to peel off your skin. Blood vessels and background redness may take two weeks to disappear after IPL.

Do I need to take any precautions after my IPL treatment?

You should protect your skin from sun and wear sunscreen for a month after your IPL treatment. If your IPL treatment will involve the mouth area and if you have a history of herpes simplex infections (cold sores), we may consider having you take anti-viral therapy starting the day of treatment. Please inform us if you have a history of cold sores.

How often can I get an IPL treatment done?

IPL treatments may be repeated every 4 weeks if so desired for cumulatively better results.