Intense Pulse Light (IPL) therapy is a safe and effective way to improve discoloration that may affect your skin’s appearance. Similar to laser therapy, IPL uses a small handheld device that emits light. During treatment, this light penetrates deep into the skin tissues. Intense Pulse Light is a great option for people who may not be good candidates for laser skin treatments. This high-intensity pulse light therapy can be used to effectively diminish or remove a variety of blemishes, including:
- Broken capillaries
- Brown spots (sun or liver spots)
- Facial flushing
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Flat birthmarks
- Hair removal
- Minor sun damage
- Pale spots (hypopigmentation)
- Port-wine stains
- Spider veins (telangiectasia)
- Varicose veins
What to Expect
Sun exposure should be avoided before and after Intense Pulse Light therapy. The treatment sessions typically last about 20 minutes and most patients are able to return to work right after treatment. Cooling gel is applied to the surface of the skin during treatment. Patients will be asked to wear protective eyewear during the session. Most patients find IPL therapy slightly uncomfortable, but relatively painless. When asked about the procedure, many patients compare the pain to that of a rubber band snapping on the skin. Those who are concerned about the pain should talk to our dermatologist.
Risks and Side Effects
Although rare, blistering, bruising, hair loss, slight bleeding, or hypo-/hyper-pigmentation (lightened or darkened areas of skin) can occur after IPL therapy. Scarring is also possible, although this too is rare. Most patients find that their skin turns slightly pink and sore immediately after the procedure. This usually goes away after an hour or two.