Improve the appearance of your skin with IPL at Skin Doctor SA in Semaphore
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 vascular lesions, pigmented and sun-damaged or ageing skin.
How does it 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 from 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 (the skin components that absorb light).
There is a range of IPL machines. Individual machines may be specially designed to focus on certain problem areas but may not be equally effective on others. We use the Chromolite IPL system, which emits a dual band of yellow and green light which is particularly effective for both hair removal and skin rejuvenation.
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 the epidermis are injured to produce a much more noticeable overall outcome. The advantage of IPL therapy is requires minimal downtime – a client can often have the procedure done in their lunch break and return to work immediately afterwards.
IPL therapy has a number of uses such as:
- Vascular lesions: For the treatment of areas of erythema (redness) due to vascular proliferation , such as red nose and cheeks in rosacea and sun damaged necks and chests.
- Pigmented lesions: For the treatment of age spots, freckles, flat pigmented birthmarks and other skin discolouration problems such as melasma/chloasma, and erythromelanosis of the neck (poikiloderma of Civatte). Light pulses targeted at the melanin in the skin’s surface heat and destroy melanin to remove the discolouration.
IPL and skin rejuvenation
The Chromolite IPL used by our team enables us to perform a skin rejuvenation treatment that will help to soften the visible aspects of all factors; softening lines and wrinkles and tightening skin, reducing pigmentation and vascular conditions.
New collagen is formed in response to the body’s perceived injury to ‘heal’ the wound, whether that is by surgical intervention or traumatic injury. The light from Chromolite penetrates deep into the dermal layer of the skin tissue, heating up the dermal microvasulature and triggering off this ‘healing’ response.
What does the procedure involve?
Prior to the procedure your Skin Doctor SA practitioner will explain the process to you and clearly define your expectations of the treatment. They should be able to tell you whether or not the results you are looking for will be achievable using this method. It is important that the correct diagnosis has been made prior to the treatment.
Points to note:
- Avoid sun exposure in the days and weeks before and after treatment
- A topical anaesthetic may be applied to the area but is usually not necessary
- Cold gel is applied to the area being treated
- The smooth glass surface of the IPL treatment head is applied to the skin, delivering precise pulses of light top the area being treated
- Treatment sessions usually last 5-20 minutes, depending on the area to be treated
- A course of 4 -6 sessions may be required to achieve desired results
- Most clients can return to work immediately after treatment
Are there any side affects?
Any potential side effects are minor and can include:
- Pain during treatment (reduced by contact cooling)
- Skin turning pink and a little sore immediately after the procedure
- Sensation of a mild sunburn (redness, peeling, swelling) that may last a few days after treatment
- Rarely, skin pigment may absorb too much light energy and blistering can occur
- Sometimes the pigment cells (melanocytes) can be damaged leaving darker or paler patches of skin. White patches or scars are rarely permanent
- Hair loss may occur