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INTENSE PULSED LIGHT (IPL)
What is intense pulsed light (IPL)?
IPL is a series of bright flashes of light used to treat various skin conditions, such as photo damaged skin, melasma, brown spots or patches, rosacea, and small facial veins.
How does the treatment work?
The pulses of light are changed to heat energy. When flashed on the skin, they lighten brown discolorations. The light also damages the small blood vessels that cause unwanted facial veins so they disappear.
Will the light cause cancer?
No. The light does not emit harmful UVA or UVB rays that can cause skin cancer. And, the light does not penetrate deep enough to affect anything below the skin.
Will there be any down time?
Most patients will return to normal activities immediately following their treatment, which normally takes less than an hour, depending on the size of the area(s) being treated. You may experience slight redness, bruising or swelling for a day or two following treatment. If brown discolorations are being treated, they usually darken after being treated and can stay that way up to a week before they start flaking off. If you prefer, make-up can be applied immediately after treatment.
What does it feel like?
You may feel a slight sting like the snap of a rubber band. You may also experience a sensation of warmth, almost like a slight sunburn effect. A topical anesthetic cream may be used before the treatment but is seldom required.
How many treatments are required and how often?
You will probably see improvement after the first visit. Depending on the severity of the problem, three to five visits may be required. The treatments are done about every three weeks.
How do I know if this treatment is right for me?
An office visit with the physician will be scheduled so that he can evaluate your skin condition and determine if this treatment could help you. If you are wearing make-up, you will be asked to remove it prior to seeing the physician. You may be treated that day or scheduled for an appointment at a later date.