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IPL Photofacial-Intensive Pulse Light

Skin rejuvenation , pigmentation , acne , rosacea, skin texture 

IPL procedure called Photofacial or Photorejuvenation. It is a non-surgical, research-based solution for skin rejuvenation, pigmentation, acne, and rosacea, which is very popular in medspa and doctor's clinics. 

The technology name is IPL -Intensive Pulse Light. Intense pulsed light (IPL) or flashlamp therapy is a non-invasive and non-ablative treatment that uses high-intensity pulses of visible light to improve the appearance of the following skin problems:

  • Vascular lesions including spider telangiectasis, port wine stains, broken facial veins, rosy cheeks, rosacea and red thread veins of the legs

  • Freckles and age marks

  • Facial lines and wrinkles

  • Acne and blemish-prone skin


The procedure of rejuvenating aged skin is referred to as photorejuvenation and requires a series of IPL treatments.

IPL may also be helpful for mild to moderate acne and stretch marks.

How does Intense Pulsed Light therapy work?

IPL systems work on the same principles as lasers in that light energy is absorbed into particular target cells with color (chromophores) in the skin. The light energy generates heat energy, which causes damage to the specific target area. IPL systems are different from lasers in that they deliver many wavelengths (or colors) in each pulse of light instead of just one wavelength. Modern IPL systems use filters to refine the energy output for the treatment of specific areas. This system enhances penetration without using excessive energy levels and enables targeting of specific chromophores (these are skin components that absorb light).

IPL therapy is considered a non-ablative resurfacing technique, which means that it targets the lower layers of skin (dermis) without affecting the top layers of skin (epidermis). The results are not as dramatic as ablative resurfacing, where both the dermis and epidermis are injured to produce a much more noticeable overall outcome. The advantage of IPL therapy is its minimal downtime – a patient can often have the procedure and return to daily activities in the same day.

IPL has all the spectrum of lights and is providing broad skin benefits: heat the dermis for collagen and elastin production, destroys damaged tissues (age spots, pigmentation, broken capillaries, vascular lesions ). It provides an anti-inflammatory effect and prevents breakouts, acne, P.acne bacteria, and creates oil control. 

Because of a broad spectrum of the light, IPL is perfect for skin type 1-3; skin type 4-5 needs to obtain a mandatory patch test (they can do it the same day of the initial appointment).

Candidates for IPL may have a combination of concerns with their skin.

Concerns Treated: 

  • Sun damage

  •  Rosacea

  •  Hyperpigmentation

  •  Wrinkles

  •  Rough texture

  •  Large pores

  •  Flushing,

  •  freckles

  •  Melasma,

  •  Large and sunspots

  •  Broken capillaries.

The Difference between IPL and LASER:

An IPL consists of a series of high-intensity pulses of broad-spectrum light, whereas Laser Skin Resurfacing delivers a direct beam of thermal energy to one specific target. Lasers are much more specific for one target, whereas IPL has a range of targets.

We want to treat a brown spot (also known as a sun freckle, lentigo, or age spot). We have a laser that has one specific wavelength of light that targets melanin, which reflects on the skin's surface as a brown spot. So it is a specializing laser and is extremely effective for that one thing, but it doesn't have many other uses. For instance, if we have someone who has brown spots but also has dilated blood vessels on the face as a result of sun damage or from having rosacea in addition to sun damage, then we would need to use two different lasers to treat those two different things. For brown spots, we would use Alexandrite Laser (skin type 1-3) or Q-switched Laser (all skin types ), but for vascular lesions, we would use ND: YAG. 

Since there are a lot of people with both brown and red spots, IPL is an ultimate solution because of the blend of different wavelengths. This technology allows treating both red and brown lesions at the same time. However, because it is a jack-of-all-trades, it isn't as effective in one single treatment for each of these things as the lasers are. So typically, a series of treatments over a few months needed, because over time, the results from this add up to the results we might get with the other devices if we used them separately. Another bonus to treating the entire skin surface with light, as opposed to just treating certain spots, is that we also get improvement in wrinkles, pores and all the in-between tones that exist (if not yet formed brown spots and red that are still there nonetheless and will be coming out soon).

The lack of downtime and overall effectiveness of this treatment makes it extraordinarily accessible, and it has been a popular aesthetic treatment in Medspa and doctor's clinics for about 15 years.

How much does IPL Photofacial Cost per treatment?

On average, IPL costs $700 to $1,200. You might have to pay more for anesthesia, tests, follow-up visits, or medicines.

IPL Photofacial - Intensive Pulse Light: Services
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All you need to know

IPL Photofacial - Intensive Pulse Light: FAQ

Who is the best candidate for this treatment?

The ideal candidate for IPL photo facial treatments is someone concerned about age-related skin conditions such as discoloration and fine lines. Additionally, people with acne or injury scars, rosacea, age spots, and freckles can benefit from a series of IPL treatments.

Intensive Pulse Light  Contraindications

  • Superficial metal or other implants in the treatment area.

  • Current or history of cancer, or current condition of any type of cancer, or pre-malignant moles.

  • Pregnancy and nursing

  • Diseases which may be stimulated by light at the wavelengths used, such as history of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus,Porphyria, and Epilepsy.

  • Poorly controlled endocrine disorders, such as Diabetes or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

  • Any active condition in the treatment area, such as sores Psoriasis, eczema, and rash.

  • History of skin disorders, keloids, abnormal wound healing, as well as very dry and fragile skin.

  • Use of medications, herbs, food supplements, and vitamins known to induce photosensitivity to light exposure at the wavelengths used, such as Isotretinoin  (Accutane) within the last six months, Tetracyclines, or St. John's Wort within the last two weeks.

  • Any surgical procedure in the treatment area within the last three months or before complete healing.

  • Treating over tattoo or permanent makeup.

  • Excessively tanned skin from sun, tanning beds or tanning creams within the last two weeks.

  • As per the practitioner's discretion, refrain from treating any condition which might make it unsafe for

        the patient.

How long does the treatment take?

Each session takes just, on average, 30 minutes. Temporary redness will occur and last up to 48 hours post-treatment.

How many sessions are needed to see results? Are they permanent?

Most patients receive eight to ten treatments per area in the clinic, though the exact number will depend on the age and condition of the area being treated.

Is there any specific pre- or post-procedure care required?


Before the first complete session, it is recommended to perform a small test spot treatment on a non-conspicuous site of the treatment area.

For skin types, I-IV wait for 15 minutes. 

For skin types, V-VI wait for 48 hours, before assessing the skin response.

This procedure can indicate if the patient can tolerate the treatment without developing adverse effects.


  • Avoid tanning before and after treatments. Sunscreen (> SPF 30) should be used to protect the skin from the sun. *Treating tanned skin may cause hyperpigmentation or may lead to adverse events.

  • During the first two days following treatment, avoid hot baths, massages, etc.

  •  Gentle face wash and non-irritant topical agents may be used without interruption.

Clinical Studies & More

IPL Photofacial - Intensive Pulse Light: News

Potentially Photosensitizing Medications

Photosensitizing Medication - Precautions for Photofacial Treatment 

Avoid PhotoFacial if you use the following medication

Pile of Pills

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