IPL or Intense Pulsed Light machines are able to perform a number of treatments, including rejuvenating skin that might be showing the effects of ageing, sun damage or that is suffering from a particular skin condition.
Ageing skin; the skin is rejuvenated by the heating of collagen cells which leads to increased collagen production. A series of treatments should result in increased skin elasticity and smoothness and wrinkle reduction.
Sun damaged skin; the appearance of sun damaged skin can be dramatically improved as IPL stimulates the healing properties of collagen and elastin below the skin surface at the same time as resurfacing the skin.
Rosacea and thread veins; IPL can break down the broken capillaries just below the skin surface.
Pigmentation problems; IPL can target a whole range of pigmentation problems from brown or age spots, melasma, hyper or hypo pigmentation, birthmarks and freckles.
In the case of pigmentation problems, rosacea or thread veins, the IPL system targets the pigment in the affected area causing damage to the cells. These cells are then reabsorbed by the body.
Am I suitable?
Dark-skin or sun-tanned skin (including fake tan) cannot be treated. Certain skin or medical conditions, skin treatments and medicines may exclude a person from treatment.
What do I have to do to prepare?
You will be advised not to expose the target area to the sun or use sun beds for at least four weeks prior to treatment as the IPL is attracted to melanin.
What’s the treatment like?
A small hand piece is run over the treatment area. There may be a slight burning or tingling sensation. Procedure times vary depending on what size of area is being treated.
What about after?
There might be a small amount of redness or swelling but it should be possible to return to work straight after treatment. Your practitioner can apply cooling packs or gel to the treatment area to minimise this and you can apply aloe vera gel to soothe the affected area.
It is crucial that you apply a sunscreen to exposed treated areas for at least four weeks post treatment and not sunbathe or use sun beds.
Are there any risks or side effects?
Sometimes there can be an increase or loss of pigmentation and in a small number of cases the skin’s texture may change slightly. IPL very rarely causes scarring.
What will it cost me?
Prices vary depending on the treatment from approximately £50 to £250 per session and a number of sessions are advised to get the best results.