BALBOA MEDICAL CENTER & SPA
AMIR H RAEESY MD
IPL Light Therapy
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It basically lets you know that this is light based treatments and not a true laser. One of the best IPL's on the market is the Sciton BBL as it has one of the broadest ranges of light and most power to achieve great results in less treatments. The IPL is great for redness and brown spots, does very little for wrinkles, but can be used to tighten the skin if the device has a filter for this and has the power to go into the infrared spectrum.
Although it is a great device to have, be wary of those who have nothing else in their office. This can lead to overpromises with this device and attempts to use it for everything from leg veins treatment to acne scars to blond hair removal (no laser or IPL can do this). Ask to see results from the doctor themselves not just the ones the company sends. Lastly, I have seen patients burned by others using this device so don't be fooled into thinking that because it is not a laser it cant burn you...it certainly can if used at the wrong settings.
The primary goal of IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is to make the skin tone or color more even. One of the signs of aging is irregular brown and sometimes red discoloration of the skin. These changes (called dyschromias) are due to sun damage, and are the usual reason women begin to wear foundation type makeup.
The light energy in IPL is absorbed by the colors that we don't like, causing the generation of heat that damages or destroys the structure that holds the color - the sun spot or dilated blood vessel. The body sees the structure as damaged and takes it away. This leaves the skin tone more even and homogeneous.
In addition, IPL brightens the skin and gives it a youthful glow. This is a remarkably consistent result of IPL. For many patients, this alone makes IPL worth the effort.
Another, but more subtle goal of IPL, is to add small amounts of collagen back into the skin near its surface. This will not reduce wrinkles, but it does have an effect on the texture of the skin.
As always, the results are operator dependent.
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