Intense pulsed light (IPL), is a technology aimed at producing light of high intensity during a very short period of time. It involves specific lamps together with capacitors whose rapid discharge provides the high energy required.
IPL technology is predominantly used for hair removal. It is also employed in the treatment of medical disorders of the skin including:
- Sun damage induced dyspigmentation and vascular changes
- Poikiloderma of Civatte
- Acne Rosacea
- Broken capillaries / telangiectases
- Vascular and pigmented birth marks
In terms of rosacea, IPL offers one of the few effective treatments to relieve the facial redness associated with the disorder. Such treatment may be administered by a dermatologist or other medical specialist with experience treating skin disorders. This new technology incorporates ‘dual mode filtering’ and other important advances which result in safer and more effective treatment than older systems.
The pulses of light produced by IPL equipment are very short in duration, so discomfort and damage to non-target tissues is minor. Most people who undergo IPL epilation only experience slight irritation similar to that of a minor sunburn though under certain circumstances, blisters may occur. Men undergoing the procedure experience greater discomfort as male body hair is generally thicker than women’s.
Depending on the instrument settings and intensity, treating sensitive areas such as the chest and face can result in pain comparable to waxing the same areas; however this pain dissipates immediately. The light that emanates from the IPL wand is filtered to remove any ultraviolet components, eliminating the possibility of UV skin damage.
IPL’s (Intense Pulsed Light) work more directly on the top layers of the skin and do not penetrate deep enough to damage hair germ cells, without potential damage to the epidermis.