IPL Treatment: What is It and How Does it Work?

IPL Treatment: What is It and How Does it Work?

For many years, IPL treatment was just a secret for those "in-the-know." A whisper, if you will, making the rounds among beauty enthusiasts everywhere. Today, that whisper is more of a shout, with people all over the world reaping in the benefits it has to offer. 

But what exactly is it, and how does it work? If you have been looking for a way to combat those pesky unwanted hairs on your upper lip, smooth out the wrinkles at the corner of your eyes, or even- out your sun-kissed skin tone, look no further because we've got you covered! 

Here's everything there's to know about IPL treatment.

What is IPL Treatment?

IPL, or “intense pulsed light,” is a cosmetic procedure dermatologists use to treat many different skin imperfections. Skin pigmentation, sun damage, facial redness, and removing spider veins are just a few examples of what IPL can correct.

How Does IPL Help With Skin Imperfections?

As we mentioned, IPL targets a variety of different skin concerns. 

IPL can help to eliminate:

  • Spider veins
  • Sun damage
  • Age spots
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Freckles
  • Skin texture imperfections
  • Wrinkles and fine lines
  • Rosacea
  • Vascular lesions (broken blood vessels, capillaries)

What Happens During an IPL Treatment?

IPL uses an intense light with filters to block out particular wavelengths. The light energy passes through the device to beneath the skin's surface, damaging the skin pigment or blood vessels. 

When IPL's broad light spectrum is specially filtered, it allows IPL to treat several skin conditions all at once. 

If you just booked your first IPL session, here's what you can expect:

First, a cooling cream or gel is applied to the area you are looking to get treated to protect the surface of your skin. The IPL device settings are then adjusted to match your skin color and the skin condition you are looking to treat.

To ensure that you don't have an adverse reaction, the dermatologist will usually do a spot test first. After a few minutes, your doctor will check to see how your skin reacts and if there is no adverse reaction, you're in the clear to receive IPL treatment. 

Most people report IPL is virtually painless. Others will tell you it feels as if you are getting snapped by an elastic band. 

Immediately after the IPL treatment, you may notice that the treated area may look red or pink. This usually goes away within a few hours. If you happen to have any skin irritation or swelling, an over-the-counter pain reliever and an icepack can help immensely. 

IPL Treatment vs. Laser Treatment

IPL treatment is similar to laser treatment, but the light is less concentrated. Where lasers use a single hyper-focused wavelength, IPL spreads out the light using sever wavelengths. In fact, since IPL uses a diffused light, it gives off less energy and tends to be much gentler than other types of laser treatment. 

Treatments: How Often, How Long

Everyone is different, but two to three treatments are needed about four weeks apart for most people to see results for most conditions. Each session length will vary, depending on the size of the area you are looking to treat, but it'll usually take around 30 minutes for a full facial treatment and twice that if you add your chest and neck. 

Possible Complications

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in the body? It's a sensitive organ and requires careful attention when undergoing any cosmetic procedure. Although complications are rare, they can happen from time to time. Some complications from IPL treatment include redness, burns, blistering, or scarring. Permanent discoloration of the skin can sometimes occur too. These side effects may sound a little scary, but keep in mind, they are very rare. 

Can IPL Effectively Treat Unwanted Hair?

If you've been looking for ways to banish unwanted hair once and for all, IPL treatment can help. However, not to get confused with laser hair removal, IPL technology does not use a laser. As we touched on a little earlier, IPL uses a broad spectrum of light with many wavelengths and is considered a form of light-therapy, not laser therapy.

The laser beams, or in IPL's case, light waves, are absorbed by the pigment melanin found in its highest concentrations at the root of your hair. When that energy hits the dark pigment, it's then converted to heat, which causes damage to the hair follicle. Hair follicles are responsible for producing hair, so causing damage to them prevents hair from being able to sprout. 

Since hair grows in three cycles - anagen, catagen, telogen - and is easily influenced by hormonal changes, six to twelve IPL treatments are typically recommended. 

What are at-home IPL hair removal devices?

Let's face it. Life gets busy. Between teacher-parent conferences, work meetings, and late-night yoga classes, finding the time to get into the clinic for an IPL treatment can be tough. But what if we told you there was a way to get velvety smooth, hair-free skin, all from the comfort of your very own home? If it sounds too good to be true, then we're about to blow your mind.

If you are tired of messing with dull razors, expensive wax appointments, and painful threading sessions, it's time to invest in an at-home IPL laser hair removal device. These powerful handheld devices have become increasingly popular over the years as a safe and effective way to kick unwanted hair to the curb leaving behind beautiful, oh-so-smooth skin. 

There are a ton of different IPL devices available on the market today, so when looking to purchase your new beauty ally, there are a few things that you should consider:

Skin color. If you have dark skin, then IPL is usually not going to be the best treatment for you as the light could damage or mildly burn your skin. All IPL devices will either come with a skin color chart to tell you what intensity setting to use, or a built-in skin sensor that will automatically set the intensity for you. 

Hair color. For those trying to treat red, white, gray, or light blond hair, the IPL light will not be absorbed into the hair follicle, meaning it won't be very effective.

Treatment area size. If you are looking to treat a small area such as your bikini line, face, or maybe even your arms, then it won't take too long to do each session. However, if you treat larger areas such as your chest, back, or legs, this can take significantly longer. 

Usage time. Some of the battery-powered devices might not keep their charge long enough to complete the session in one go. Of course, this is not the end of the world as they only take about an hour or two to recharge, but it can definitely be a bit of an inconvenience. 

So with that in mind, if you know you are going to want to treat unwanted hair in a larger area, be sure to purchase a device with a mains powered IPL system or 12v power supply like the KENZZI IPL Hair Removal Handset. KENZZI is an incredible company that offers the world's # 1 at-home IPL handset that can effectively eliminate undesirable hair in as little as three treatments. 

If you want baby-soft, hair-free skin, the KENZZI IPL Hair Removal Handset is the way to go!

Sources:

WebMD

Medical News Today

Medical.net


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