|Posted on July 5, 2011 at 7:33 AM|
What is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy and what is so special about it?
IPL has been proven to be one of the most effective therapies available for facial rejuvenation. This is especially relevant now as the trend towards the use of non-invasive and non-ablative methods to treat aged or damaged skin is firmly entrenched. Patients now insist on techniques in which there is practically no "downtime" and which enables them to go about his or her normal activities.
There are many other therapies available but IPL can be said to form the backbone of most practitioners' practices.
IPL utilizes high intensity light source which emits "broad-band" non-coherent light in a broad wavelength spectrum of 400-1400nm. It makes use of the Theory of Selective Photothermolysis , i.e. selective heating of the unwanted skin lesions to temperatures high enough to destroy the lesion, without any damage to the surrounding skin.
Different combinations of wavelengths (modified by filters), exposure (pulse width) and energy settings (fluence) are individually chosen to destroy these different targets (chromophores) under the epidermis. It is excellent for collagen stimulation which is integral to any rejuvenation process.
Our IPL device is the Plasmalite from Sweden which has the latest technology based on a unique combination of patented fluorescent filter technology, selected spectra of light emission, unique "micro-pulse" forming and sapphire based skin-cooling system. This new technology is a significant improvement from the earlier original IPL which is still used in non-medical establishments.
Can you give me some examples of skin conditions which can be treated with IPL?
Hyper-pigmentation and improvement of dyschromia resulting in an evenly-coloured skin
Skin texture and fine line improvement through collagen stimulation and collagen shrinking ("non invasive instant facelift")
Vascular lesions (telangiectasiae, haemangioma, spider veins etc)
Acne and scarring improvement
Hair removal (permanent hair removal/reduction)
How many treatments are needed?
The number of treatments required varies depending on the individual and the condition being treated.
Photorejuvenation requires up to 5-6 consecutive treatments spaced about 2-3 weeks apart.
Hair removal typically requires 3-6 treatments, with occasional 'touch-ups'.
Vascular and pigmented lesions normally require between 1-6 treatments, depending on the condition and its severity.
Acne may require up to 8 treatments depending on the type of acne.
Who can be treated?
IPL can be used on almost any subject of either gender, with Fitzpatrick skin type I to V.
Are there any contraindications?
Patients with disorders like active localized or systemic infections, compromised immune system, coagulation disorders and/ or use of aspirin, cortisone, heparin, and elevated photosensitivity as well as pregnant patients should not be treated.
Are there any side effects?
Most people experience mild to moderate discomfort. In most cases, there is no need to a topical anesthesia, but it could be used. Reddening and swelling of the skin are rare and harmless side effects that disappear in 15-30 hours. The skin may feel tight for 1-2 days. In extreme cases slight blistering may occur, which usually heals within a few days.
How long does a typical session take?
A full-face treatment takes 20-30 minutes as the 'cycling time' is rapid - each pulse takes about 1.5 to 2 seconds to 'cycle.
What does the treatment involve?
It is usual to treat the whole face and not only some selected lesions because 'full-face' treatments provide a better overall result.
As your doctors, we will discuss how IPL works and evaluate if it is suitable for you. A test patch may be performed to observe its effect on the patient. A thin layer of optical contact water-based gel is spread over the area to be treated. The waveguide is then applied over the area and a series of short light flashes are passed over each 10x20 mm spot. If no adverse reaction is noted, treatment is commenced.
Is there something the patient should be aware of?
Some people are more sensitive to light than others - it is important that the patient is properly assessed. Test patching is useful to check the patient's suitability for treatment. Please note, however, that the test patch result may not necessarily be the same as the result after the completion of the treatment. The patient should avoid exposure to the sun and sun beds for 4 weeks before and after treatment.
For most skin types, maximum long lasting results are achieved with a total of 5 to 6 treatments, with a 2-3 weeks interval between each treatment. In some cases, the person will notice a 'glow' and smoother complexion as early as after the first treatment.
As IPL leaves the outer skin intact, there are very minimal side-effects. If there are any, they are usually transient and include a mild burning sensation, temporary
reddening, slight bruising and discoloration of skin. Hence there is no downtime and hardly any interruption to the person's routine
Categories: IPL Treatment