In Skin Care

IPL is short for Intense Pulsed Light, and it’s a versatile skin care procedure. The specialists at Columbia Skin Clinic utilize IPL treatments to reduce the signs of sun damage, the appearance of pigmentation and long-term hair growth.

Also known as a photofacial, this skin rejuvenation treatment is extremely effective for patients, who experience skin discoloration, rosacea, sun spots, broken capillaries and unwanted hair. IPL can also stimulate the skin’s collagen production and help improve the skin’s texture, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and acne scarring.

Patients use IPL on the face, neck, back, shoulders and hands.

How does IPL work?

Often confused with a laser treatment, IPL is actually a broad-spectrum light that is transmitted in pulses from a handheld device directly to the skin in order to treat the skin’s deeper layers. Red blood cells and melanin or pigment in the skin absorb the light, which damages the area. The melanin breaks apart, and the stimulated flow of blood helps the skin reabsorb the melanin while decreasing its appearance on the skin’s surface.

The number of treatments you need will differ depending on what issue you’re correcting. Brown pigments can typically be removed in 1-3 treatments. Facial veins or redness can take up to 3-6 sessions; however, patients with rosacea may need a longer course of treatment. Those looking for long-term hair reduction should anticipate 4-8 treatments. After each treatment, the skin needs to heal, so the next session should take place 4-6 weeks later.

Who can get IPL?

Patients with darker skin types or tanned skin may contain too much melanin to be safely treated. Those who are on medication that creates a light sensitivity are not advised to use IPL either.

To find out if you’re a candidate for this cosmetic procedure or if you’d like to learn more, book a consultation at your nearest Columbia Skin Clinic location.

February Dermatology SpecialsKelly's Before and After photos