You may have come across the term “IPL skin rejuvenation” while researching laser treatments. There are so many different laser treatments available that it may seem overwhelming at first, but once you get past the scary jargon, it becomes much easier to understand.
Simply put “IPL” stands for “intense pulsed light”, and this treatment is used to remedy and improve a number of skin conditions. From removing hair to reducing the appearance of blotchy skin caused by visible spider veins, IPL skin rejuvenation is considered a versatile cosmetic treatment. Keep reading to learn the basics of IPL skin treatment as well as how our team at NuSkinnovation can help you look and feel your best with our reliable treatments!
How Does IPL Skin Rejuvenation Work?
IPL systems work on the same principle as lasers by absorbing light energy from specific coloured target cells in the skin. These coloured cells are called chromophores. Light energy is converted into thermal energy that damages a specific target area. IPL systems differ from lasers in that they provide not just one wavelength, but many wavelengths (or colours) in each pulse of light.
Most IPL systems use filters to improve energy delivery to treat specific areas. This allows for better penetration and targeting of specific areas without using excessive energy levels. IPL therapy is considered a non-ablative resurfacing technique, meaning it targets the lower layer of skin (dermis) without affecting the upper layer of skin (epidermis).
The results are less dramatic than ablative resurfacing, which involves damaging both the dermis and epidermis for a much more impressive overall result. The advantage of IPL therapy is that downtime is minimised. Patients can often have treatment during their lunch break and then return to work immediately.
What Is The Difference Between IPL And Laser Treatments?
IPL is similar to laser treatment but is important to remember that there are key differences between the two. The laser only hits the skin with one wavelength of light, whereas the IPL emits different wavelengths of light, more like a photoflash.
Light from an IPL is more scattered and less focused than that of a laser. IPL penetrates down to the second layer of the skin (dermis) without damaging the top layer of the skin (epidermis), so there is less damage to the skin.
Pigment cells in the skin absorb light energy and convert it into heat. Heat destroys unwanted pigments to remove freckles and other surface blemishes. Alternatively, it can also be used to destroy the follicle and prevent the hair from growing back. You can use IPL anywhere on your body, but it may not work well on uneven areas. It is not recommended for those who are prone to thick, raised keloid scarring or those with dark skin. It is also not as effective on light hair as it is on dark hair.
NuSkinnovation provides both IPL and laser skin treatments. If you are interested in non-invasive cosmetic treatments, chat with us about the available options and what best suits your needs.
What Does IPL Skin Rejuvenation Treat?
You can use IPL to minimise or remove:
- Age spots
- Sun damage on the skin
- The appearance of varicose veins
- The appearance of broken blood vessels, especially on the face
- Rosacea and dermatitis
- Hair on areas such as the face, neck, underarms, bikini line and back
What To Expect From A Session
Before the procedure, the treatment specialist should explain the procedure and clearly define the expectations of IPL. They should be able to tell you if this method will give you the desired results. It is important that your specialist makes the correct diagnosis before starting treatment.
IPL skin rejuvenation is usually not complicated. Make sure the technician is properly trained and experienced in IPL therapy. You can do so by checking the credentials of the clinic where the treatment is being performed, as well as the license of your specific treatment specialist. Avoid sun exposure for days and weeks before and after treatment, as this can cause complications during the treatment. A local anaesthetic can be applied to the area but is usually not necessary.
The smooth glass surface of the IPL treatment head is applied to the skin, sending precise pulses of light to the area to be treated. A treatment session usually lasts about 20 minutes. There will be gaps of three to six weeks between treatments, and a recommended four to six sessions are typically required for optimal results. Most patients can return to work immediately after treatment.
Patients should wear safety goggles throughout the treatment session. IPL treatment is relatively painless compared to other facial rejuvenation techniques. This sensation has been compared to a minor pinch or the snap of a rubber band, but some people find it painful.
What Is The Downtime Following An IPL Treatment?
Immediately after the treatment, the treated area may become red or pink. This usually takes 4-8 hours. You may also notice a stinging sensation four to six hours after IPL rejuvenation treatment. This sensation resembles a mild sunburn. A damp cloth or ice pack can help relieve pain. Swelling is also common and usually persists for several days after the treatment.
During the recovery period, do not apply makeup or lotion to the treatment area for 24 hours after treatment or until the swelling has completely healed. Afterwards, the treated area should be moisturised at least twice a day for at least three months to ensure the skin is protected and heals well.
How Do I Prepare For My IPL Skin Treatment?
Anyone planning IPL treatment should consult a dermatologist about potential benefits, side effects, and complications.
It is highly recommended to avoid the following for two weeks before treatment:
- Sunbathing or bed tanning
- Chemical peels or other abrasive skin treatments
- Collagen injections or fillers
The use of perfumes and deodorants on the treatment area should also be avoided immediately before and after treatment. The American College of Dermatologic Surgeons also advises against taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or herbal supplements before the procedure, as these drugs can increase the risk of bleeding during the procedure. As these supplements and drugs are anticoagulants, meaning they thin the blood and prevent it from clotting.
Does IPL Skin Rejuvenation Have Negative Side-Effects?
Side effects of IPL are minor and include some of the following; Mild pain or irritation during treatment (reduced with contact cooling and local anaesthesia if necessary). Immediately after the treatment, the skin will be pink and slightly irritated. After the treatment, you may experience sunburn (redness, peeling, swelling) for several days. Rarely, skin pigment can absorb too much light energy, causing blisters. Sometimes the pigment cells (melanocytes) are damaged, causing the skin to darken or lighten. White spots and scars are rarely permanent.
Safety And Risks
IPL is safe for most people, but not for everyone. For example, pregnant women and people taking blood thinners should avoid IPL skin rejuvenation treatments.
Other factors that make people unsuitable for IPL treatment are:
- Currently or recently taking the acne medication; Accutane
- Having active acne
- Suffering from impaired skin regeneration
- Being prone to keloid scarring
- Severe scarring in the treatment area
- A recent sunburn
Like any medical procedure, IPL has a risk of complications. These include:
- Temporary skin discolouration
- The potential of infection during after-care
The Benefits Of IPL Skin Rejuvenation
IPL skin treatment has been hailed for its non-invasive qualities and quick recovery time. Here are some of the benefits of this revolutionary skin treatment:
- This is one of the most versatile skin treatments available and effectively treats a wide range of skin problems.
- Brightens and removes sunspots, age spots and hyperpigmentation spots on the face, neck, chest, hands and other body areas.
- Brightens and reduces redness, rosacea, and dilated and broken vessels throughout the body.
- Helps control hot flashes, such as those caused by menopause.
- -It also improves skin texture through collagen stimulation, temporarily reducing oiliness and improving pore size.
- A quick and easy procedure that provides significant anti-ageing benefits in just 1-2 treatments. The treatment is non-invasive, and mild with minimal discomfort.
- Daily activities are not interrupted. There is no downtime or time off from work. There are also no stitches, cuts or bleeding to worry about. It is considered a safer cosmetic procedure than laser treatment, with a lower risk of skin damage. The improvement is gradual and looks natural. That way, your friends and family won’t have to know you’re receiving treatment unless you want them to.
- It is less expensive than laser treatments such as laser tightening and resurfacing but has similar effects.
More About NuSkinnovation
NuSkinnovation is an accredited and trusted aesthetic treatment clinic, with branches across South Africa. We have clinics in Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Mpumalanga. We offer a variety of IPL and laser treatments, and our friendly treatment specialists will always make the time to have a thorough chat with you about any aesthetic issues you wish to remedy or treat.
While our most popular treatments are laser hair removal and tattoo removal, we offer a number of other treatments to help any and every skin issue you may have.
Our treatments offered by NuSkinnovation include the following:
- Personal Skin Analysis
- Tattoo Removal
- Pigmented Lesions
- Acne Scars
- Active Acne
- Teen Acne
- Skin Toning
- Photodamaged Skin
- Fine Lines and Wrinkles
- Skin Rejuvenation
- Vascular Lesions
- Diffused Redness
- Nevus of Ota
- Solar Lentigines
- Chemical Peels
- Stretch Marks
- Freckle Removal
- Cherry Angioma
- Tightening of Periocular Region to Reduce Wrinkles
- Lip Plumping
- Fotona 4D Facial Rejuvenation (Non-Surgical Facelift)
- Smooth Eye
- Vascular Treatments
- Hair Removal
- Surgical Scarring
- Leg Vessels
- Poikiloderma of Civatte
- Port Wine Stains
- Venus Lakes
- Anti Wrinkle Injections
- Plasma Pen
Get In Contact
As NuSkinnovation is built on strong, Christian values, we also believe in giving back and supporting those who may need help to do so. Take a look at the “Giving Back” drop-down on our website to learn a little more about our values. If you would like to let us know of an organisation that requires help or donations, kindly reach out to us via the contact form on our website.