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Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy: Everything you need to know

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy: Everything you need to know

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy: Everything you need to know

While intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is experiencing a growth in popularity, the skin treatment has been around for many years.

IPL therapy is a skin treatment that has actually been used by skin doctors for many years, due to its ability to visibly reduce some of the most common signs of ageing and sun exposure.

To learn more about how IPL works and which skin conditions it is used to treat, read on.

What is intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy?

Intense pulsed light therapy is an extensively studied and highly proven cosmetic skin treatment, designed to treat some of the most widely experienced signs of ageing.

IPL uses high intensity light technology to safely treat brown spots and discolouration, usually caused by exposure to the sun. It is also commonly used to treat rosacea, a skin condition that causes red blushing and sometimes visible blood vessels in the face.

The treatment is most commonly administered on the face, neck, chest, hands and arms.

How does IPL work?

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy uses light energy to accurately target and remove pigmented or damaged skin cells, as well as unsightly vessels and redness.

Our qualified nurses and skin doctors use a handheld device to send multiple wavelengths of light into the skin. The light heats cells in the skin, which breaks them down, and then the body naturally removes the damaged tissue.

Unlike lasers, IPL emits more than one wavelength of pulsating light and can treat a range of skin conditions simultaneously.

What skin conditions does IPL treat?

People may choose intense pulsed light therapy as a skin treatment for a range of issues associated with ageing and exposure to the sun, including liver or age spots, freckles, rosacea (a condition that causes redness of the face) and brown sunspots.

IPL can also be used to reduce the appearance of birthmarks, active acne, spider veins, and certain types of scars including acne scars and red atrophic scars.

What can I expect from IPL therapy?

Intense pulsed light therapy usually involves a series of 1-3 treatments over a period of 3-4 weeks.

After that, re-treatment is only required every few years, depending on how well you look after your skin and avoid sun exposure, as well as genetic factors.

Treatment times range from 20-60 minutes, depending on which area or how many areas are being treated.

Patients tell us that the procedure feels like being flicked with an elastic band and their skin may feel slightly hot afterwards. The process may involve some discomfort but is generally not painful.

Following an IPL treatment, the skin will sometimes appear slightly red in the treated area; a little like sunburn. The pigment being treated will darken and then begin to discard over the next couple of weeks. Occasionally, swelling may occur.

In most cases, make-up can routinely be applied the next day.

How should I care for my skin after an IPL treatment?

The effectiveness of IPL can often be enhanced by the use of prescription skincare, in addition to treatment. Topical products can be prescribed by our skin doctors for use both before and after IPL treatment. Using medical-grade skin care and chemical peels are often effective for prolonging your results, and applying sunscreen daily is a must.

Immediately after an IPL skin treatment we apply a soothing and restorative biocellulose face mask, which will help to reduce inflammation

We’ll also apply a phyto-corrective gel to provide hydration, and continued use of the gel is recommended between treatments.

Speak to our skin doctors about IPL

At Bass Coast Skin Doctors we tailor a skin care regimen specifically to your skin type and needs, and this may include IPL.

Intense pulsed light therapy is an advanced skin treatment and should only be performed by qualified nurses or skin doctors. Our doctor-led skin clinic has practitioners that are extensively trained and experienced in delivering IPL.

Get in touch to discuss how IPL therapy can help treat your skin concerns. Call (03) 5618 7007 or book an appointment online.