The average woman spends about $313 every month on her appearance. That can add up to $225,360 over the course of their lifetime.

Regardless of how much you spend on beauty each month, you want to make sure you’re choosing the best products and services. IPL laser treatments can reduce redness, wrinkles, and more.

Before your first treatment, it helps to know what to expect. Keep reading to learn all about Intense Pulse Light therapy and what to expect from IPL laser results. With this guide, you can discover a new, effective way to improve your skin.

Learn more about IPL lasers with this helpful guide!

What is IPL Therapy?

First, let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind: what is IPL laser treatment?

Intense Pulse Light therapy is a form of light therapy. Though it’s primarily used to treat unwanted hair, wrinkles, and skin spots, it’s also used for:

  • Sun damage
  • Rosacea
  • Broken facial blood vessels
  • Varicose veins
  • Birthmarks
  • Age spots
  • Freckles

It can also remove hair from the legs, chest, back, neck, face, underarms, and bikini line.

Sun exposure can cause visible damage to the skin. Also known as photoaging, this damage is primarily on the face, hands, neck, and chest. IPL therapy can help treat the signs of photoaging. It’s also ideal for people who want to reduce the appearance of brown, red, or splotchy skin.

Using an IPL laser results in improved skin color and texture without the need for surgery.

IPL Therapy Sessions

During a treatment session, a technician will direct the IPL device at the target area. The laser will heat your skin to remove unwanted skin cells. By removing the skin cells, you’re also removing the problem area (such as age spots or freckles).

Most lasers only send out a single wavelength of pulsating light. An IPL device, on the other hand, can send more than one wavelength at a time. This makes IPL therapy ideal for treating multiple skin conditions simultaneously.

An IPL therapy session will make your skin tone appear more even. As a result, your smoother-looking skin might also make you appear younger.

The light doesn’t damage other skin tissue, either, allowing for fast healing times.

Before your first session, make sure to look for a board-certified dermatologist. A fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD) will have the necessary experience and training. You can also find a nurse or physician assistant with the proper experience.

Ideal Candidates

Ideal candidates for the best IPL laser results often have pale or light brown skin. You should consider IPL laser therapy if you want to treat any of the conditions mentioned above. However, you should discuss IPL therapy with a doctor first if you:

  • Are taking medications
  • Have a serious skin condition
  • Are currently pregnant

IPL also isn’t ideal for anyone:

  • Who is sensitive to light
  • Might or does have skin cancer
  • Uses retinoid creams
  • Has very dark skin
  • Recently tanned their skin

How well IPL therapy will work often depends on what you’re using it to treat.

For example, light therapy removes broken blood vessels for most people within three sessions. The broken vessels might go away entirely. However, new ones might still appear later on.

You might also decide on ILP as an alternative to laser therapy for treating rosacea. The best candidates for this treatment are under 40. It’s also best if your condition ranges between moderate and severe.

If you have sun damage, IPL therapy could reduce brown spots or redness by 70%.

Patients with light skin and dark hair notice the best IPL laser results regarding hair removal. It might not work if you have blond hair or dark skin.

IPL could also help if you have acne or acne scarring. It’s recommended that you’ll likely need around six sessions before you notice improvements.

Risks

As with any treatment, there are potential risks. Make sure to request a trained and qualified professional for the best results.

Potential risks and side effects include:

  • The flaring of hormonal brown spots
  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Scarring
  • Infections

If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to speak with your practitioner following treatment.

IPL vs Laser for Pigmentation

What’s the difference between IPL and laser for pigmentation?

The two are very similar. However, laser treatment only uses one wavelength of light on your skin. IPL therapy, on the other hand, uses light at multiple wavelengths.

As a result, the light from an IPL device is scattered. Lasers, on the other hand, are more focused.

IPL lasers can penetrate to the skin’s dermis, or second layer, without harming the epidermis, or top layer. As a result, IPL is likely to cause less skin damage.

During an IPL therapy session, your skin’s pigment cells will absorb the light energy before converting it into heat. The heat will destroy freckles, sun spots, or other concerns. It can also destroy hair follicles to prevent future hair growth.

What to Expect

Before your first session, make sure to have your nurse examine your skin. They’ll look for any conditions that could impact your treatment, such as eczema or inflammatory acne. Before your treatment, it’s important to avoid:

  • Certain medications
  • Certain skin products
  • Tanning beds
  • Direct sunlight
  • Collagen injections
  • Chemical peels
  • Waxing
  • Skincare creams that contain vitamin A
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other drugs that increase the risk of bleeding

During your session, the technician will first clear the target area. Then, they’ll rub a cool gel onto the treatment area.

Using the IPL device, they’ll apply light pulses to your skin.

Treatment can take between 20 and 30 minutes depending on the treatment area. For the best results, you’ll likely need three to six treatments. You should separate your treatments a month apart to give your skin time to heal.

IPL Laser Results: What to Expect from Your First Treatment

Now that you know what to expect, what do you think? For the best IPL laser results, make sure to speak with a professional beforehand. They can evaluate your skin and help you determine if IPL is right for you.

Eager to give it a try? Discover a younger you! Contact us today to schedule your first appointment.