Intense pulsed light therapy
Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a non-invasive and non-ablative treatment that uses high-intensity pulses of visible light to improve the appearance of the following skin problems:
Vascular lesions including spider telangiectasia, port wine stains, broken facial veins, rosy cheeks, rosacea and red thread veins of the legs
Freckles and age marks
Facial lines and wrinkles
Removal of unwanted dark hair
The procedure of rejuvenating aged skin is referred to as photorejuvenation and requires a series of IPL treatments.
IPL may also be helpful for mild to moderate acne and stretch marks.
How does intense pulsed light therapy work?
IPL systems work on the same principles as lasers in that light energy is absorbed into particular target cells with colour (chromophores) in the skin. The light energy is converted to heat energy, which causes damage to the specific target area. IPL systems are different to lasers in that they deliver many wavelengths (or colours) in each pulse of light instead of just one wavelength. Most IPL systems use filters to refine the energy output for the treatment of certain areas. This enhances penetration without using excessive energy levels and enables targeting of specific chromophores (these are skin components that absorb light).
IPL therapy is considered a non-ablative resurfacing technique, which means that it targets the lower layers of skin (dermis) without affecting the top layers of skin (epidermis). The results are not as dramatic as ablative resurfacing where both the dermis and epidermis are injured to produce a much more noticeable overall outcome. The advantage of IPL therapy is its minimal downtime; a patient can often have the procedure done in their lunch break and return to work immediately afterwards.
What do the IPL do?
1.Vascular lesions
 For the treatment of spider and thread veins, and some vascular birthmarks.
Light pulses targeted at the red-pigment (hemoglobin) in the blood which heats and destroys the pigment without affecting the skin or other tissues.
2.Pigmented lesions
For the treatment of age spots, freckles, flat pigmented birthmarks and other skin discoloration problems such as melasma and erythromelanosis of the neck (poikiloderma of Civatte).
Light pulses targeted at the melanin in the skin’s surface which heats and destroys melanin to remove the discoloration.
3.Hair removal
For the treatment of unwanted hair.
Light pulses targeted at the hair follicle causing the hair to fall out and prevent further growth. Generally ineffective for light colored hair.
May be used for hair in any location including underarms, bikini line, face, neck, back, chest and legs