Intense Pulsed Light – IPL
IPL, or Intense Pulse Light, is a treatment that uses waves of light to penetrate the skin to address uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation due to sun exposure (Solar Lentigo or “sunspots”) and age spots, and erythema (redness) of the skin due to rosacea, telangiectasia, fine facial capillaries and vessels, cherry angiomas or any other uneven discoloration of the skin that has either been present since birth or has worsened over time.
How IPL works
Unlike lasers, IPL sends out multiple wavelengths of pulsating light, which is received by the melanocytes and superficial blood vessels within the treatment area. Your skin absorbs this energy, which is converted into heat. This heat shrinks the cells that cause the unwanted pigments in our skin, producing a fresher skin tone and reducing the appearance of spots, flushing and discoloration.
What IPL treats
IPL treats a wide range of concerns related to red and brown discolorations of the skin – whether caused by age, sun exposure, hormones, or genetic factors.
Blood Vessels and Rosacea
Rosacea, cherry angiomas, and blood vessels or capillaries (often ‘spider-like’ in appearance) can have their appearance dramatically reduced or even eliminated.
Acne and Scarring
IPL treats both active acne and the remnants of it, including dark spots and scarring, by heating and eliminating the cells that have caused these marks.
Discoloration and Birthmarks
Sunspots, age spots, and birthmarks are common concerns that can be addressed by IPL – however when used with our signature Laser Resurfacing treatment– the best results are seen as old pigmented cells are targeted and destroyed, producing collagen and new cells to also address uneven skin texture and skin tone!
Hair Removal with IPL
While shaving, plucking, tweezing, and waxing provide temporary relief for unwanted hair, laser hair removal offers a longer last solution to Los Angeles patients.
IPL can also be used for hair removal treatments, destroying the root of the hair without damaging the surrounding tissue. This works great for darker hair and a reduction in unwanted hair can be noticed even after one session. We happily treat many areas, including the underarms, legs, face, bikini area, chest, back, and more! Since hair grows in multiple stages, 3-6 treatment sessions is the usual amount required for the desired results.
IPL is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as those who are currently on medications that can cause photosensitivity, such as the antibiotic doxycycline or isotretinoin such as Oratane. To avoid adverse effects, patients should wait 6 months after the completion of these medications to undergo IPL.
At your consultation with Panteha, she will undertake an examination of your skin, and discuss your goals and treatment options with you in order to help look and feel your best.
What to Expect with IPL
Prior to your treatment, you may need to refrain from certain activities that could affect or undermine the results of your treatment, such as tanning, waxing, or receiving chemical peels.
At your treatment appointment in Beverly Hills, Panteha will ensure you are calm and comfortable before commencing and do offer numbing cream prior to the procedure to reduce discomfort. The IPL session takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes, though larger areas can take up to 45 minutes.
Many patients report feeling minimal discomfort, though some describe the feeling of having elastic bands snapped on the face – which can be uncomfortable, but manageable with our use of ice and numbing cream.
As for results – hyperpigmentation and other spots appear darker after treatment and proceed to fade over the following 1-2 weeks. Facial vessels can disappear almost instantaneously! While you may see an improvement after one session, you may require 2-4 sessions in order to achieve your desired results, and these are scheduled 4-6 weeks apart.
Aftercare and Recovery
After treatment, you may feel like you have sunburn – this tends to fade after 4-6 hours, and skin may be red or mildly edematous for a day or two. You can apply a light concealer or foundation to cover any redness. Ice packs or a cool washcloth can help you feel better and don’t forget to wear plenty of sunscreen. It is important to minimize the use of exfoliants and other exfoliating cleaning agents such as scrubs and acids for the first 2-3 days after your IPL treatment to prevent excessive irritation of the treatment areas.
Risks and Side Effects
Like any cosmetic treatment, there are some rare but possible risks and side effects involved. For IPL, this includes swelling, burning, infection, skin sensitivity, rebound pigmentation, or color changes. All possible precautions are taken to reduce the risk of these, and this highlights the importance of choosing an experienced provider such as Panteha to undertake your treatment.
As a leading aesthetic expert in Los Angeles, Panteha Partovi provides a safe and non-judgemental space for a diverse range of clients in her clinic. Contact Santosha Aesthetics today for your IPL consultation.