What is IPL
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology is a treatment breakthrough that can help Mission Viejo and Orange County patients correct a variety of skin conditions such as facial skin imperfections, the signs of ageing, unsightly small veins, Rosacea, uneven pigmentation and can improve skin texture and other blemishes.
It offers a safe, gently and non-invasive solution that can be tailored to your individual condition and skin type, providing superior cosmetic results and outstanding satisfaction. This procedure is also referred to as photo-rejuvenation, fotofacial or photofacial.
How Does the IPL Work?
Pulses of a specific type of light (mostly infrared) are applied to the skin. This light is then absorbed by the skin creating warmth. Irregularities such as pigment marks, small veins or clusters of veins will naturally absorb more light. The brown and red pigmented cells in the skin then become much warmer than the healthy surrounding skin tissue. This heat process causes these cells to be reabsorbed by the body, in time fading away.
The effect of heating the skin and the deeper layers of collagen is that the skin will also be stimulated to function more efficiently, therefore producing a firmer, fresher complexion, reducing pore size and evening out skin texture, tone and color.
What Skin Problems Will IPL Improve?
Intense Pulsed Light can be used on any part of the face and body, including the hands, chest, back and arms. Sun damage occurs on all areas. Because IPL is not a laser, it is suitable for use on Mission Viejo and Orange County patients whose skin has irregular texture or color. Particular pigmentation conditions of the face may call for a different treatment program such as Cosmelan for melasma or Mixto Laser Resurfacing for more intensive combination skin issues.
Expected Results of Your IPL Treatments:
Elimination or reduction of small capillaries or redness (from sun damage or Rosacea)
Elimination or reduction of pigmentation and discoloration
Improved firmness to the skin
Reduction in pore size
Reduction of fine lines
General improvement of texture and tone of the skin
Treatment is usually recommended as a series of 3 to 6 procedures (depending on your skin condition) approximately 3 or 4 weeks apart. Each treatment takes about 30 minutes.
Why Are Multiple Treatments Necessary?
By dividing the program into several treatments, the procedure provides gradual improvement with very low risk. There is also very little and often no ‘down time’ compared with the recovery time needed after other types of laser treatments. IPL is a light treatment and not a laser.
How Long Will the Results Last?
After completing the recommended treatment course we find that for prominent veins and pigments the results are often permanent – provided you maintain a program of skin care that protects from UV exposure. The more subtle rejuvenating results are very long lasting, however, anyone wishing to obtain the optimum result longer term may wish to have 1 or 2 IPL treatments each year.
What Does an IPL Treatment Feel Like?
A cold gel is applied to the area to be treated. Then, the smooth glass surface of the handpiece (the ‘chill tip’) is placed onto the gel about 1mm off the skin and the pulses of light are applied. You may feel a slight sting, like the snapping of a small elastic band. A mild warm tingling sensation may remain for 1 hour or more after the treatment where a cool pack or other cooling preparation may be used to provide relief. Most Mission Viejo and Orange County patients find they can apply make-up almost immediately after treatment.
Can I Have Other Treatments If I Am Having IPL?
This will depend on the type of treatment you are thinking of having and the overall results you wish to obtain. You will be advised during your consultation which combination of treatments will give you the best results. Often Mission Viejo and Orange County patients include other types of treatments along with IPL treatments to achieve the best overall results.
An example of a multi-treatment program might be IPL for sun damage, BOTOX® Cosmetic for dynamic wrinkles and JUVÉDERM® Injectable Gel or Restylane for wrinkle correction. There are vast arrays of customizable procedure packages that can provide simple to very comprehensive improvements in your appearance.
Before Your IPL Treatment
- If you have recently been in the sun tanning bed or used any self tanners you will need to wait at least 4 to 6 weeks before having IPL treatments.
- A commitment to stay out of the sun during the treatment process is necessary because treating tanned skin increases the possibility of unwanted side effects such as pigment (color) changes. If you are planning a holiday in the sun we can help you plan your treatments around your holiday.
- If you are pregnant it is advisable to wait until after you have had the baby before considering IPL Treatment.
- If you are using or have used Accutane you must have finished this medication for at least 6 months before IPL treatment.
After Your IPL Treatment
- In most Mission Viejo and Orange County patients this treatment has very little or no ‘down time’. Immediately after treatment you may notice a mild warmth and tingling sensation. This is normal and usually subsides after a couple hours. This can be eased by using ice, chilled cold packs or wet wash cloth put in freezer for 2-3 minutes may be applied post-treatment as needed for comfort. Aloe Vera gel can also be used to soothe skin. Localized erythema (redness) may also be present and typically resolves in 24 to 48 hours.
- Treated age spots, freckles or sun damage usually darken after treatment, and light crusting begins to form within a few days. It may look as if you have spilled coffee on your skin. This crusting usually resolves in 1 to 3 weeks. It should be allowed to naturally flake off for best results. If significant crusting occurs beyond the normal flaking of the treated lesions, an antibiotic ointment or lubricating cream may be recommended.
- Mineral make-up can be carefully applied providing the skin is not sensitive. Mineral make up can also serve to protect the skin from sun exposure.
- Skin that has been treated should be cared for gently for a few days. Care should be taken to prevent trauma to the treated area for the first 24-48 hours following treatment. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the skin and avoid exposing it to additional heat or friction such as hot showers, baths, steam rooms, saunas and hairdryers.
- Avoid planning heavy exercise for up to 2 days after treatment, to prevent the skin from sweating and causing undue redness.
Use of a high factor sunblock (SPF 30) for 4 weeks after treatment is recommended with consistent use of at least an SPF 15 sunscreen product that contains one or more of the following: avobenzone (parsol) and oxybenzone, helioplex, or one of the physical sun blocks – titanium oxide or zinc oxide.
- The recommended time interval between treatments is 3 weeks or longer.
- You should avoid sun beds, tanning, or sun exposure without sun protection, in the four weeks following treatment. Unprotected sun exposure will create a new cycle of sun damage, negating the effect of your IPL treatment program.
Your Consultation Visit
You’ll enjoy a relaxing visit to our office where you can ask questions, meet our staff, take a tour of our office and surgical suite and view additional photo results of our Mission Viejo and OC patients.
Your consultation assessment is with Dr. Sikorski, not an impersonal or commissioned sales person. Fees and procedure preparations are discussed with our patient coordinator, who will detail the surgical experience with you.
We look forward to meeting with you and helping you find the simplest solution to achieve the goals you desire. If you want more information on IPL or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sikorski, contact her practice in the Mission Viejo and Orange County area at (949) 448-0487.