What is IPL?
IPL, an acronym for “intense pulsed light” (also known as IPL photofacial), is a technology used by cosmetic and medical practitioners to perform various skin treatments for aesthetic and therapeutic purposes.
What can be treated with IPL?
IPL is employed in the treatment of a range of dermatologic conditions including:
- Superficial uneven pigmentation and vascular changes caused by sun damage
- Poikiloderma of Civatte (a reddish-brown coloring of the sides of the neck with prominent hair follicles)
- Sebaceous gland hyperplasia (small bumps on the skin when sebaceous glands become enlarged)
- Broken capillaries/telangiectasias (spider veins)
- Vascular lesions (small blood vessel damage)
- Superficial pigmented lesions (freckles, liver spots, birth marks)
Why IPL Is More Effective than Laser Treatment
Each color has a different wavelength of light, which can be either absorbed by or reflected off any surface it hits.
A laser uses only one color of light (monochromatic), while IPL uses a blend of many colors of light (polychromatic).
In our skin we have what are called “chromophores” (chromo, from Greek for color + phore, from Greek for produce). A chromophore is simply anything that absorbs light.
When IPL shines on different areas of your skin, the chromophores in that area absorb the energy of the light at a specific wavelength, causing them to heat up. By heating them, they are broken apart and will fade away.
The multiple colors in the IPL light can more effectively target the damage or blemishes in the skin—which may be of different colors and absorb different colors of light. Because the light is so precisely focused on the treatment area, there is no harm to the surrounding skin or tissue, so is therefore known as a top scar treatment available.