IPL (Intense Pulse Light) in Philadelphia
Uneven skin tone is a common aesthetic problem we all notice as we age—especially if we have an active lifestyle out in the sun! After years of unprotected sun exposure, you will notice brown spots, freckles, sun spots. You may also notice unwanted vessels around your nose or rosacea on your cheeks. These common concerns can now be removed and you can reveal your glowing complexion with intense pulsed light, or IPL, skin treatments.
What can IPL treat?
This skin revitalization method is ideal for reducing the appearance of pigment on your face, chest, or hands. Pigmentary irregularities that we often use IPL to treat include:
- Age spots
- Sun damage
IPL is also the perfect solution for unwanted blood vessels on your face including spider veins, broken vessels or rosacea (redness/flushing of the cheeks). In just a few quick treatment sessions, you will see a reduction in the appearance of brown spots and vessels—leaving you with a more even skin tone and beautiful looking skin! IPL can be done alone or incorporated over time into a skin treatment plan with other highly effective treatments, like a HydraFacial or microneedling.
How intense pulsed light works
IPL utilizes optimized pulsed light technology which, unlike lasers, uses many wavelengths of light with special filters that deliver the best wavelengths to treat specific aesthetic conditions. As the handpiece glides over the area being treated, specialized pulses of light are delivered into your skin and target brown spots, sun-damage and vessels without causing harm to the surrounding skin.
Once these targets absorb the energy they are destroyed and will slowly disappear through your body’s natural healing process. You will see your brown spots turn darker in color and flake off over the next few weeks. You may also see an immediate improvement in your vessels with a continued clearance over the next few weeks.
What to expect on the day of treatment
Before the optimized pulsed light handpiece is used, a lotion is applied to your skin where you will receive treatment. You will also be provided eye shields to protect yourself from the light during treatment.
The treatment will begin with the provider guiding the IPL handpiece over the treatment area. You will feel cooling while the handpiece is gliding over the treatment area to provide a comfortable session. You may also feel a slight rubber-band like snapping when the energy is being delivered into your skin which disappears almost immediately however, a warm sensation after the treatment is common. Depending on the size of the area, treatments can take just minutes.
After the treatment, the lotion will be removed and a cooling gel may be applied to your skin.
What do I need to know before my IPL treatment?
Before you schedule your laser skin revitalization appointment, you’ll need to plan for the following:
- Remove all make-up and lotions prior to the treatment.
- At least 4 weeks prior to your appointment, discontinue unprotected sun exposure, tanning beds and tanning creams on the areas receiving treatment.
Post-treatment instructions for skin revitalization
For a few days after your treatment, you may feel like you have a mild sunburn, but can resume your normal day to day activities immediately following treatment. Just protect your skin from the sun and avoid any harsh or irritant products, and know what to expect:
- Immediately after the treatment, it is common to feel a mild sunburn-like sensation around the treatment site, which typically lasts 2-24 hours. Redness and/or swelling may accompany this and usually resolves in 2-3 days.
- Avoid sun exposure on the treated area and use a sunscreen SPF 45 or greater at all times throughout the course of treatment.
- The pigment may initially look raised or darker with a reddened perimeter. The pigment will gradually turn darker over the next few days and begin crusting and eventually flaking off of the skin from day 7-21.
- Any treated blood vessels may undergo immediate graying or blanching, or they may exhibit a slight purple or red color change. The vessels will fully or partially fade in about 10-14 days.
Dr. Claytor discusses IPL facial lightening for RealSelf patient
Schedule your IPL consultation at Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery
Philadelphia board certified plastic surgeon Dr. R. Brannon Claytor and our experienced aesthetic team at Claytor Noone Plastic Surgery are here to help you achieve the skin of your dreams! We serve patients from Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr, Main Line, and the surrounding areas.
To learn if IPL treatment is right for you, schedule your consultation today by calling our Bryn Mawr office at (610) 527-4833 or contacting us online. We look forward to helping you shine in your best skin ever.
Frequently asked questions about IPL laser treatment
What type of pigment can be treated?
IPL is designed to treat age spots, sun damage, and freckles on the face, neck, chest, arms, hands, legs, and feet.
What type of vessels can be treated?
Icon™ is designed to treat spider veins and broken vessels on the face, neck, and some other areas of the body.
Am I a good candidate for skin revitalization?
IPL can be safely used on most skin types. During your consultation, we will determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure based on a variety of factors.
What type of result can I expect?
You can expect to see a decrease in the appearance of brown spots, sun damage, and vessels for a more even skin tone. You will see a continued improvement over the first 12 weeks after your treatment.
How long does the treatment take?
Depending on the size of the area and the condition being treated, the sessions could range anywhere from 5-30 minutes.
What does the treatment feel like?
Most people feel only a slight “snap” like a rubber band followed by warmth of your skin. You will also feel cooling on your skin as the handpiece glides over the treatment area to help in providing a comfortable session.
How many treatments will I need?
Depending on the condition being treated, 1-3 treatment sessions are recommended for desired results.
How far apart are treatment sessions?
Treatment sessions should be scheduled 3-4 weeks apart.
How much does the treatment cost?
Treatment costs vary depending on the size of the area to be treated.
How does IPL work to reduce pigment?
Specialized pulsed of optimized light are used to target brown spots, sun damage, and vessels without harming the surrounding skin. These imperfections absorb the energy delivered to your skin causing them to slowly disappear through your body’s natural healing process.
How quickly will I recover?
You can resume regular daily activities immediately following treatment.
Are there any side effects to IPL?
Immediately after the treatment, it is common to feel a mild sunburn-like sensation around the treatment site, which typically lasts 2-24 hours. Redness and/or swelling may accompany this and usually resolves in 2-3 days. We will discuss any other possible side effects and the necessary post-treatment care with you during the consultation.