Intense Pulsed Light (IPL Photofacial)

bblThe Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) System is a powerful light technology that has the ability to deliver precise dosages of energy to specific skin targets with minimal skin damage.  With IPL, an intense flash of light is emitted, similar to the flash of a camera.  IPL passes through the top layer of skin and penetrates to the deeper layers where blood vessels, pigment and collagen are found.
IPL stimulates new collagen to form, reducing fine lines, minimizing pore size and acne scars, and increasing skin elasticity. It also diminishes flushing or redness associated with Rosacea, reduces brown spots, erases broken capillaries, and smoothes roughly textured skin.


The primary goal of the Photofacial treatment is to improve the appearance and feel of your sun damaged skin.  Some of the many beneficial effects of IPL:

  • Reducing freckles, solar lentigines (age spots and sun spots), and melasma (facial darkening from pregnancy or birth control pills)
  • Removing redness (birthmarks, rosacea, poilkioderma) and small blood vessels
  • Photorejuvenation:  stimulation of dermal collagen formation, resulting in smoother skin texture, firmer skin tone, and a decrease in fine wrinkles


One of the advantages of IPL treatment is that there is generally minimal down time.  In most instances, there will be slight redness of the skin for 24-48 hours, which can easily covered with makeup.  Generally, treatments are performed once a month for 3-6 months.  Some conditions require only a few treatments. Treatments usually take from 20-30 minutes.


IPLWhat results can I expect?

After only one treatment, your skin will have a more even tone with a smoother look and feel.  Sun spots will initially become more prominent, many will flake off within 1-2 week.  Patients with rosacea or redness will see a progressive decrease in redness with every treatment.  Fine lines and wrinkles will gradually decrease in size. These improvements will steadily increase with each treatment.


Clinical result may vary in different skin types. Fair skin patients, who tend to sunburn rather than tan, usually obtain good results.  On the other hand, those who tan more easily tend to have more variation in their response. Some patients in this category will experience partial results and some will experience no improvement at all.  It is very important that you avoid any tanning to the skin for 4 weeks prior to treatment.  Tanned skin absorbs more laser energy, resulting in greater risk for blistering and scarring.  If sun exposure is not avoidable, lower energy setting will be used to protect the skin and you will require more treatment sessions.


Does IPL Photo Facial Hurt?

Most patients describe temporary discomfort like a wave of heat with the sensation of a pinprick as the pulses of energy are delivered through the handpiece.  For certain treatments, topical anesthesia can be used to lessen the discomfort.  The discomfort is minimal and disappears immediately.


Are IPL Photo Facial Rejuvenation treatments safe?

Yes. Advanced light systems have been used safely for millions of treatments worldwide. These systems treat only the targeted tissues, leaving the surrounding tissue intact.  Most patients will have mild swelling and redness.  Occasionally, patients may have temporary bruising and discoloration of the skin.  As with any other laser procedures, there is a possibility of rare side effects such as scarring and permanent discoloration.


What will recovery be like?

You could have SWELLING for 2-5 days following the laser treatment.  It could be very minimal and unnoticeable.  But do not be alarmed if you experience puffiness around the eyes and also “chipmunk” swelling in the cheeks.  To minimize swelling, sleep elevated the night after the laser treatment (use an extra pillow under your head) and also use ice packs for 20 minutes on and off for a few hours after leaving the doctor’s office.


How does IPL Photorejuvenation work?

The IPL Photorejuvenation device delivers rapid pulses or flashes of high intensity visible light to selected target tissues in the skin.  Varying the energy settings and wavelengths of the light pulses targets the pigmentation, small blood vessels and the collagen of the skin, which absorb and respond to the Intense Pulsed Light energy. Pigmented brown spots lighten and blend in, dilated, or “broken”, blood vessels decrease, and collagen and elastic tissue increase causing wrinkles to diminish.


How is IPL Photorejuvenation performed?

The IPL Photorejuvenation process requires four to six separate treatment sessions, ideally performed three to four weeks apart. Each treatment requires about 20-30 minutes. Immediately after treatment, the skin surface is smooth and totally intact, with mild puffiness and pinkness. The skin feels stimulated and noticeable, but not uncomfortably, tightened. These after effects of treatment resolve within a few hours. Cleansing, and makeup applications are permitted immediatly after treatment. The treated site should not be shaved for 24 hours, nor waxed for 72 hours. Strict sun protection, of course, is a necessary element of all photorejuvenation and healthy skin care programs.


How is IPL Photorejuvenation different from other laser treatments?

Unlike other laser devices, IPL technology is broad spectrum– meaning it consists of multiple wavelengths rather than limited to a single wavelength of light.  Effective photorejuvenation therapies must target multiple structures in the skin including pigmentation, blood vessels and collagen.  Different treatment wavelengths can be carefully selected to achieve the maximum beneficial effect.  Single wavelength laser technology simply cannot deliver the variable wavelengths of therapeutic energy necessary to most effectively revitalize and rejuvenate the skin. Unlike laser resurfacing, with its potential for prolonged recovery and recuperation, there is no “down time” after IPL Photorejuventation therapy.


How can Intense Pulsed Light photorejuvenation help me?

IPL treatments are ideal for fair complexion, sun-damaged individuals. The signs of sun damage, such as dilated or “broken” small blood vessels, freckels, age spots and wrinkles can all be diminished.  The persistent redness and thickened central facial areas of rosacea can be succesfully treated with IPL technology.  Individuals with darker complexions improve less quickly than fair complected patients, but reductions in blotchy skin discoloration, wrinkles and dilated capillaries can usually be achieved.


Please contact our office at 440-250-2450 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mann to see if IPL is right for you.

Dermatologic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology

615-266-3376(DERM) | Office in Hendersonville, TN

Dermatologic Surgeon Dr. Margaret Mann M.D., and Dermatologist Dr. Daniel Popkin, serving Hendersonville, Nashville, Rivergate, Gallatin, Goodlettsville, and the surrounding Sumner County, Tennessee area at Innova Dermatology