IPL, or intense pulsed light, is a common treatment for treating damaged capillaries and hyperpigmentation, also known as spider veins and age spots. IPL also enhances the production of elastin and collagen, which helps to improve the skin and give a radiant appearance. The result is excellent after a few sequences of treatment.
You can get IPL treatment at a medical spa or specialist clinic. You can also get the treatment from regular spas, particularly those that specialize in skin care treatments, but it is rare. It is even less frequent at resort spas because the procedure can be painful.
Who can get an IPL treatment?
The perfect candidate for IPL would be someone with light skin who has suffered sun damage, damaged capillaries, skin sag. People often have mistaken IPL treatment with laser treatment, but they are not similar.
Dark-skinned people should be wary of undergoing IPL treatment because dark skin tends to absorb light. Complications could result, including hyperpigmentation, burns and blistering. People with darker skin who want IPL treatment should consult an expert physician who has experience treating people with their skin color. The physician may have suitable equipment to achieve the same result with minimal risk.
IPL vs. Laser Treatments
IPL employs short emissions of polychromatic, high-intensity light to invade the first skin layer. The light then destroys the melanin responsible for age spots or blood vessels causing broken capillaries. The skin fixes the damage, resulting in a better skin tone.
A handful of treatments are necessary to achieve optimal results. You can expect between three to six procedures, with a month between all rounds of treatment. First introduced in the 1990s, IPL is an effective general-purpose treatment.
Lasers use high-powered, direct beam of powerful light on a particular wavelength to focus on a specific condition. Since lasers are used for a single purpose, they achieve better results. If you need to treat age spots and damaged capillaries, that would require two separate laser treatments while IPL combines both into one procedure.
IPL at Day Spas
Day spas typically have IPL equipment because they are not as costly as lasers and can perform many functions. In contrast, a medical spa, dermatologist’s office and a plastic surgeon with a med-spa usually have different types of machines. This includes lasers and IPL, so they can use the most suitable device for your skin type.
IPL usually is cheaper than laser treatments, so you may consider undergoing the procedure first to check the results.
Since IPL and lasers use powerful beams of light and heat, the procedure can be range from mild discomfort to painful. Pain is based on the treatment, your skin type, the condition involved and your pain threshold. The expertise of the practitioner may make the procedure less painful, but you should expect a level of discomfort.
Discuss with the expert to get an idea of how the treatment will feel and what side effects to expect. This would help put you at ease before the treatment procedure.