Guide to IPL Skin Rejuvenation
IPL skin rejuvenation is a common cosmetic procedure designed to produce a clear, healthy and beautiful complexion. There are a variety of specific skin issues that can be solved using IPL, from certain types of conditions, to blemishes, wrinkles, the effects of ageing, and more. In this guide, you will learn more about the procedure, the process, the technology, and the benefits.
This article forms part of a series on Facial Rejuvenation by our medical experts, including: Photorejuvenation, Skin Rejuvenation and Facial Rejuvenation. Learn more by visiting these article, voicing your opinions in the comment sections below or contacting us on 1300 788 800.
What is IPL Skin Rejuvenation?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light technology. It is an FDA and TGA-approved and patented form of treatment which has been shown to be both safe and effective. IPL is also known as photorejuvenation. Because it is a relatively simple and straightforward procedure, with few concerns in terms of either side effects, recovery time, or the level of invasiveness with the treatment itself, IPL is continuing to become a more widely utilised choice.
Benefits of IPL Skin Rejuvenation
IPL skin rejuvenation offers patients a wide range of benefits, including:
- IPL is a quick in-office procedure, with almost zero needs for recovery. It’s easy to fit it into your schedule and get on with the rest of your life. You see great results without undergoing intensive surgery.
- IPL works wonders for removing red splotches, brown spots, and scarring, as well as reducing pore size, eliminating and reducing wrinkles, and improving overall skin texture, smoothness and quality. IPL has been used to treat rosacea, hyperpigmentation, melasma, age and sunspots, broken capillaries, spider veins, stretch marks, and other conditions as well.
- IPL is a great tool to help combat the effects of ageing, and achieve a more youthful appearance.
- IPL offers a legitimate and long-lasting solution, as opposed to some procedures which offer only short-term results.
- IPL can also be utilised anywhere on the body, offering great versatility from a single procedure.
During an IPL procedure, intense light from a range of wavelengths is focused on the specific parts of your skin that you are treating. The IPL device itself is gently pressed onto the skin, with a smooth, transparent surface emitting the light on the targeted areas.
This light helps to spur on the production of collagen, which will help to fill in lines and wrinkles or shallow scarring, while also reducing redness, discolouration, and spots.
Meanwhile, the targeted tissue that has been damaged is naturally removed by the body. Depending on what is being treated, the exact wavelength range can be adjusted to optimise results.
You will wear an eye mask to protect your eyes and vision during the procedure, and topical gels may be applied on your skin to prevent overheating. You may also be given pain medication before or after the procedure, but you do not undergo any form of anesthesia.
The entire procedure is very quick, taking about half an hour to complete, although the exact length will depend on what you are specifically treating, and its size or scope. Once it has been completed though, you will likely spend a very short recovery and observation period in the clinic before being allowed to go home.
Light vs. Laser
It is important to understand that IPL skin rejuvenation utilises light waves, not laser. These terms are often used interchangeably by many individuals, however, this is not correct. A separate treatment, known as laser skin resurfacing, is also utilised as a cosmetic treatment for some similar conditions. Laser skin resurfacing may either be ablative (removing top layers of skin via induced injury) or non-ablative (heat damage to deep layers of skin without removing skin).
While there is an overlap between IPL and laser skin resurfacing in terms of what they are used for and how they work, they are not the same and do not have the exact same applications, either. Laser skin resurfacing is also much more expensive than IPL. The latter is also seen as offering reduced risk of abnormal healing or the potential for making certain types of skin conditions worse.
While IPL is a very versatile and effective procedure, it does not produce guaranteed results for all people, all skin types, and all issues. For instance, IPL is not as effective on very dark or tan skin in comparison to fare or pale complexions.
The procedure itself may be slightly uncomfortable, akin to a stinging or slight burning sensation. After the procedure, it may feel as if you had been sunburned for about 24-48 hours. There is the possibility, although not common, that you may develop blistering or scabs following IPL.
After receiving your treatment, you will be advised to spend anywhere from two to five days out of direct and prolonged sun exposure. Your clinician may also recommend avoiding direct hot water streams, i.e., your shower, or soaking in water in a tub or pool.
Depending on what exactly you’re looking to accomplish, you will likely need to schedule multiple IPL treatments, potentially up to half a dozen. Individual IPL sessions are spaced approximately four weeks apart. Therefore, while the treatments are quick, the overall process may take some time to see final results and completion. In the first week or two after a treatment, blemishes or spots may actually darken before fading.
While IPL offers a long-lasting solution with the appearance and texture of your skin, it does not stop the ageing process, or the causes of other wear and tear to your skin. Therefore, it is not a permanent solution.
The average cost in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane for IPL treatment in 2014 was approximately $450, with a range spanning from $100-$800. Often, depending on the strength of the device. However, keep in mind that this represents the cost of a single treatment, and in many cases, patients undergo several individual treatments throughout the process. There may also be additional costs beyond the actual fee represented above. Of course, this is an elective, cosmetic procedure, and is not covered by insurance.
Choosing Your Practitioner or Clinic
As with any type of medical procedure, it is important to select the right physician or skin clinic to work with. When it comes to IPL, you should understand that this is an overall process which could take three, sometimes up to 5 treatments (in extreme cases) with 3-4 weeks in between each treatment.Therefore, your physician should from the opening consultation be able to create an overall action plan and timeline for you, and you should be on the same page with him or her with what the entails, how many treatments you will be undergoing, and how long the entire start to finish process will take.
You should feel comfortable with your practitioner, and be able to take to him or her freely about your concerns, while asking questions and receiving honest feedback. He or she should also be able to talk with you about all of your options for skin treatments and cosmetic procedures, so you know you are making the right choice. Overall reputation, combined with experience and education, as well as any additional training or certification, remain the cornerstones of selecting any clinic or individual for your procedure.
The Bottom Line on IPL
IPL skin rejuvenation is safe, easy and highly effective for treating everything from wrinkles to blemishes, and a wide range of skin conditions and related ailments. With a relatively affordable cost per treatment and little if any need for downtime, IPL offers its patients a great combination of convenience, accessibility and overall success.