IPL – Intense Pulse Light

What does IPL mean?

The term IPL stands for “Intense Pulse Light”.

What is the difference between IPL and Laser?

The IPL treatment differs only slightly from the ⚡laser therapy . The only difference is that IPL uses a whole wavelength range, whereas a laser treatment uses a single fixed wavelength. One could also say that the laser treatment has a more specific effect, while the IPL treatment has a broader effect on the skin, skin vessels and hair.

How does IPL work?

IPL releases various wavelengths that penetrate deep into the skin. The radiation is absorbed by the stronger pigmented skin cells and converted into heat. The heat destroys the melanin in the skin cells. The skin becomes brighter.

Which wavelength ranges are used?

  • By means of filters, the wavelength range is limited within a range between 380 and 1400 nm.
  • The flash time (the pulse) is between 20 and 100 milliseconds.

What are the advantages of IPL treatment?

The IPL treatment is much gentler on tissue compared to laser treatment. This is due to the fact that a lower concentration of energy affects the treated area. Laser treatment uses a higher radiation density.

Where is IPL used?

IPL is used for skin improvement:

  • Pigment disorders (age spots and café au lait spots)
  • Acne (enlarged pores)
  • Signs of skin aging (sagging skin, fine wrinkles)
  • Dilated blood vessels (couperose, spider veins, rosacea)
  • Nail fungus

With an IPL treatment different problems of skin aging can be treated together.

How does hair removal with IPL work?

Another IPL system is mainly used for hair removal and reacts to melanin, which is found in the hair root. Recently, however, there’s the SHR (Super Hair Removal) laser, which achieves better results. I used it myself for hair removal, so I can say that SHR works great!

Is IPL suitable for Melasma?

In my opinion, IPL isn’t suitable for the treatment of melasma, because IPL heats the skin and often leads to slight burns. If you know additionally that heat can be a trigger for melasma, it becomes clear to everyone that IPL treatment can also lead to a worsening of the melasma. And we want to prevent that in any case!

A doctor must be consulted before treatment with IPL. Only age spots may be treated with IPL. All other acquired pigment spots, including melasma, shouldn’t be treated with IPL.

Which pigment spots can be well treated with IPL?

It’s important to know that only age spots and café au lait spots may be treated with IPL. All other acquired pigment spots shouldn’t be treated with IPL. For age spots and Café au Lait spots, the results may be permanent. In the case of hormonally caused pigment spots and freckles, a temporary improvement occurs at best and the pigment spots reappear after a short time.

Age spots can be treated with IPLSource: Wikipedia

What side effects can occur with IPL?

  • Reddening of the skin after the treatment is possible.
  • Slight swelling may also occur.
  • Age and pigment spots may appear darker in the first few days.
    💫 After a few days, fine crusts form and fall off on their own.

How many treatments are necessary?

Normally 4 to 6 treatments are necessary (every 3 to 4 weeks).

What should you look out for in an IPL device?

There are very big differences between the different IPL devices. Ask your cosmetician or doctor about the following points:

  • System with skin cooling, because either systems without skin cooling are painful or ineffective! The cooling system consists of a cooling gel on the skin as well as several effective cooling systems in the IPL device.
  • Burns mustn’t occur! If this happens to you, stop the treatment immediately.

Source: flickr

How much does an IPL treatment cost?

The costs for an IPL treatment depend on the size of the skin area to be treated. For the treatment of the whole face one should expect costs of 300 $ to 600 $. This is the cost of a single session. However, since several sessions are often necessary, many studios offer a discount when booking several IPL sessions. Therefore the IPL treatment is usually cheaper than a laser treatment.

Sources
Youth Connection
Epilation – Wikipedia
Optionen zur Behandlung von Melasma- AdmiremySkin
Junge Haut ohne Äderchen und Pigmenflecken – lasermed.ch
Sommersprossen, Altersflecken und Co. IPL- Behandlung bei Pigmentflecken – Venus & Apoll