IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Therapy

Procedure: a) Elimination of blemishes, acne scars and a variety of other unwanted skin problems for facial rejuvenation, or b) removal of unwanted hair by non-invasive delivery of intense pulses of light to superficial and deep layers of the skin in 4 to 6 treatment sessions.
Length: Each session takes about 20 minutes to 45 minutes.
Anesthesia: Most patients do not require anesthesia, but a topical anesthetic may be applied.
Place of Treatment: A physician’s office-based facility.
Side Effects: a) Swelling: Patients may experience mild swelling and some redness after IPL treatment that usually subsides within a few days.

b) Blistering: Some patients may have blistering in the treated area after IPL therapy.

c) Hyper/hypo-pigmentation: Hyper/hypo-pigmentation (darkened/lightened skin color) may occur for some patients and last between 3 to 12 months after IPL treatment. Permanent changes in skin pigmentation only happen in rare cases.

Risks: Scarring: Blistering and slight bleeding may occur in some patients. Although rare, blistering and bleeding may lead to permanent scarring in rare cases.
Recovery: Patients are recommended to stay out of direct sun light for 2 weeks and should avoid strenuous activity such as exercising for the first 36 hours after IPL therapy. Most patients can resume normal activity immediately after treatment.
Duration of Results: If patients keep their skin will protected from the sun and receive a full series of treatments, the results of photo rejuvenation can last up to 1 year. IPL therapy for unwanted hair removal is considered a permanent solution.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Therapy

Am I a good candidate for IPL therapy?

Individuals who are prone to keloid scarring, are dark-skinned, are darkly tanned, or are sensitive to burns may not be good candidates for IPL therapy because they are more likely to suffer from unwanted scarring and changes in skin pigmentation. The best candidates are of European descent and have highly elastic, non-oily skin. However, IPL therapy has been successfully performed on individuals with all kinds of skin types and you should not be discouraged to consult with a physician about IPL therapy based on your skin type. Individuals of all ages seeking to eliminate blemishes, acne scars and many other types of skin problems, or would like to permanently remove unwanted hair will benefit from IPL treatment. Individuals using blood-thinning medication, are diabetic, pregnant or have special conditions such blood clotting disorder are not suitable candidates for IPL treatment.

What does IPL therapy involve?

Most patients do not require any anesthesia for IPL therapy; however, some individuals may request a topical anesthetic that is applied 20 minutes prior to treatment. A cold gel is also applied to the area being treated. Once the patient is prepared and wearing laser safety goggles, intense bursts of light are delivered to the skin surface non-invasively using a hand-held device. Patients may experience moderate to no pain, which has been described to feel like a rubber-band pinch. Patients can resume normal activity immediately after surgery.

Each treatment session lasts approximately 20 to 45 minutes and 4 to 6 sessions are usually required. The treatment sessions are usually performed every 3 to 4 weeks.

How do I plan my IPL therapy?

While IPL therapy does not require any pre-treatment tests because of its non-invasiveness, patients should discuss any special conditions with their physician. For example, the safety of IPL therapy has not been tested on patients under 18 years of age, and are pregnant or breastfeeding.

How do I prepare for IPL therapy?

Patients undergoing IPL therapy should avoid taking aspirin and drinking alcohol one week prior to treatment in order to minimize bruising and bleeding at the treatment site and maintain normal blood circulation. Patients should also make sure that the area to be treated is not infected prior to treatment. It is recommended that patients protect their skin from UV exposure before and after IPL therapy.

What results can I expect after IPL therapy?

If patients keep their skin will protected from the sun and receive a full series of treatments, the results of photo rejuvenation can last up to 1 year. Patients usually notice an improvement in the texture, color and tone of their skin, in addition to decreased redness after IPL therapy. IPL therapy for unwanted hair removal is considered a permanent solution. Most patients are extremely satisfied with the results of IPL therapy and are amazed at the short recovery time and absence of pain.

Where will my IPL therapy be performed?

IPL therapy is usually performed at a physician’s office-based facility. Therefore, it is extremely important for patients to make sure that the office facility is accredited by a surgical accreditation body such as AAAASF

What type of anesthesia will be used for my IPL therapy?

Since IPL therapy is expected to cause little or no pain, most patients do not receive any anesthesia. In some cases, patients may opt for a topical anesthetic cream that is applied 20 minutes prior to treatment.

What should I expect after IPL therapy?

Since IPL therapy is a non-invasive procedure, you can resume most normal activities immediately after surgery. However, patients should avoid touching and washing the treated area within 6 hours after IPL therapy. Patients may experience some redness and mild swelling after treatment that usually disappears within a few hours to a few days. Due to the increased sensitivity of your skin after treatment, patients should protect the treated area from UV exposure for 2 weeks. Patients should wear a high factor broad spectrum sunscreen at all times. It is also recommended that patients avoid strenuous activities for the first 36 hours after IPL therapy.

When will I be able to return to work following IPL therapy?

Patients can return to work immediately after surgery. However, patients with jobs that entail sun exposure to the treated area may require longer work restrictions because patients should avoid UV exposure for the first 2 weeks after IPL therapy.

Are there any side effects associated with IPL therapy?

a) Swelling: Patients may experience mild swelling and some redness after IPL treatment that usually subsides within a few days.

b) Blistering: Some patients may have blistering in the treated area after IPL therapy.

c) Hyper/hypo-pigmentation: Hyper/hypo-pigmentation (darkened/lightened skin color) may occur for some patients and last between 3 to 12 months after IPL treatment. Permanent changes in skin pigmentation only happen in rare cases.

Are there any risks associated with IPL therapy?

Scarring: Blistering and slight bleeding may occur in some patients. Although rare, blistering and bleeding may lead to permanent scarring in some cases.

Frequently Asked Questions: IPL Therapy

What is Intense Pulse Light (IPL)?

Intense Pulse Light therapy uses non-invasive laser technology to safely and effectively improve facial acne or pores, facial redness, facial blemishes, surgical scar redness, and overall skin texture. In addition, Intense Pulse Light therapy provides an effective way of eliminating unwanted body hair. You can expect consistent results with minimal side effects such as skin irritation or bruising. Treatments can be performed in a relaxed and comfortable manner.

What areas can be treated?

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) patients report excellent results over their entire face and neck areas. Additionally, IPL diminishes recent scars on other parts of the body.

What is diffuse redness?

Diffuse redness is a general appearance of facial redness, such as rosy cheeks. This condition is caused by dilated capillaries, resulting in an appearance of general redness, not discrete, well-defined vessels. The most commonly affected areas are the nose, forehead and cheeks. Diffuse redness is often associated with a condition called Rosacea and it can be hereditary. Intense Pulse Light will help your appearance by gently treating and reducing this condition.

What does the procedure feel like?

Patients often describe the treatment as relaxing and therapeutic. You will experience a gentle warming of your skin’s surface during the procedure as the laser hand piece is moved back and forth about ½ inch above your skin. You can immediately return to normal activities, and even participating in outdoor activities. If you are going to be outdoors, a high SPF sunscreen greater than SPF 20 is recommended.

What are IPL’s advantages?

IPL is a non-invasive procedure that does not damage the skin surface, unlike alternative procedures such as dermabrasion and laser resurfacing. Patients undergoing IPL therapy can eliminate a variety of unwanted skin/hair problems all at once and resume normal activities immediately after treatment. There is also minimal pain associated with IPL therapy, and large surface areas can be treated in one session.

How does Intense Pulse Light work?

IPL works by gently heating the upper dermis well below your skin’s surface. Intense Pulse Light can stimulate collagen re-growth and thus improves facial acne scars and overall facial texture. Additionally, heat is generated in dilated capillaries which clots the vessels and reduces redness. Finally the IPL light beam is absorbed by brown and black pigments resulting in elimination of facial blemishes as well as elimination of hair follicles.

What can I expect before the treatment?

You will not need gel, anesthetic cream or ice prior to treatment. Before the actual Intense Pulse Light treatment, you will be asked to remove you make-up or moisturizers and, in some cases, you may be asked to shave the area to be treated. Your physician will review and assist with all pre-treatment requirements.

What should I do before my treatment?

You should avoid any sun tanning at a tanning booth or outdoors for 4 weeks prior to your treatment.

What are IPL’s disadvantages?

Because IPL therapy is gentle to the skin surface, it typically requires 4 to 6 treatment sessions to achieve the full benefits of IPL therapy. Procedures are performed every 3 to 4 weeks and extend over several months. In addition to the long overall treatment time, IPL therapy can permanently alter skin pigmentation in some patients. IPL therapy works best on light-skin patients with firm, elastic skin, while alternative procedures such as dermabrasion are equally effective for all skin types and colors.

Why are multiple treatments necessary?

The number of treatment sessions varies from 4 to 6 depending on the severity of treatment a patient requires. IPL therapy is performed over many sessions in order to minimize the recovery time after treatment and eliminate significant risks by making skin improvements/hair removal at a gradual pace. By dividing IPL therapy into several treatment sessions, patients can resume normal activities immediately after surgery.

Furthermore, hair removal by IPL therapy requires many sessions because hairs are most susceptible to treatment during the early-anagen phase of hair growth. The gradual treatment plan allows each hair to be eliminated as it enters the early-anagen phase of hair growth.

How safe is IPL therapy?

Lumenis IPL has been approved by the FDA since 1995, and has become a popular procedure due to its non-invasiveness and numerous applications. However, the safety of IPL therapy has not been tested for individuals under 18 years of age, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Can IPL therapy be customized for each patient?

Yes, a trained physician is able to appropriately adjust the wavelength, number of pulses, duration of pulse, delay between pulses, and power of the light that is delivered to achieve the greatest results and minimize side effects. The variety of settings that can be adjusted to match the needs of each patient makes IPL treatment a safer and more effective treatment method.

What are the possible side effects?

Although most patients repost few if any side effects, the most common is a slight redness that disappears within a few hours after treatment. Consult your physician for complete information about the benefits and risks of treatment.

What kind of textural improvements can you expect with Intense Pulse Light skin therapy?

Over the course of 4 to 5 treatments, Intense Pulse Light can help restore the skin’s youthful glow and appearance by smoothing out uneven textures caused by aging, sun damage or scars. You will see a more creamy, healthy complexion as large pores are reduced in size, and minor imperfections are diminished. The individual treatment results are subtle, but the overall effect of multiple treatments can be quite dramatic.

How our patients feel about us:

He made me feel very comfortable... I am so pleased with the work I had done with Doctor Mowlavi. He mad me feel very comfortable with my decision to have a breast reduction. Its only been two weeks and I am feeling really good. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a plastic surgeon.

Sonia B. Mission Viejo, CA

I am so happy with my results... I had my procedure with Dr. Mowlavi in March of this year. I am so happy with my results. He was kind and caring from the beginning to the end. His coordinator Claudia is the sweetest. I felt very welcome each time. The staff was always friendly. The office is beautiful and very high end. I would definitely recommend this surgeon. He is very skilled and knowledgeable. I would recommend him to all my friends!

Kayla S. Laguna Niguel, CA

I think I looked 10 years younger almost immediately... I had a great experience at the Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Institute. I wanted to look a little younger and fresher for my daughters wedding day, so I booked an appointment not quite sure what I needed. Dr. Mowlavi was wonderful he suggested a couple of procedures that I had not even thought of and the were amazing. He plumped up my cheekbones and took away some of my crows feet. I think I looked 10 years younger almost immediately.

Kathy B. Laguna Beach, CA

Print Friendly