IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Treatments.....What can they do for me?

At Sei Bella we use the Accelawave IPL (intense pulsed light) device. IPL uses multiple wavelengths of light to treat sun damage, brown pigmentation (melasma), age spots, broken blood vessels and spider veins. IPL can be used on the hands, neck, face, chest and legs. It is non-invasive and is tailored to suit each individual's needs. IPL can also be used to permanently reduce hair growth and works best on darker, coarser hair such as in the armpits or on the upper lip.

When the pulses of light hit the skin, you may feel a slight stinging, like a mild rubber band pop. Treatments usually take 20 -30 minutes, and most people need three to six treatments done about 3-4 weeks apart. 8 to 10 treatments may be required to remove hair because of  the growth cycle of the hair follicles.

You can apply makeup after your treatment and return to work if you desire. The skin may be red for 2 hrs up to 2-3 days, depending on your skin type.

It is very important that the area to be treated is not tan or sunburned from either the sun or a tanning bed prior to the IPL treatment.  Sunscreen is essential after the procedure, as well as a good skincare regimen.

With IPL you can turn back the hands of time, but you will need a maintenance treatment once or twice a year after your series of treatments. How often you need a maintenance treatment depends on your skincare regimen, use of sunscreen, and hormone use.

IPL is similar to laser, but they are not the same! IPL's technology utilizes a broad spectrum of light ranging from 500-1200 nm. Filters are used to filter out lower frequencies and narrow this spectrum to target specific structures in the skin. Although lasers are often much more powerful, they can also be more painful and have a longer recovery period.  With IPL a cooling device is used to protect the skin coming in contact with the pulsed light. Lasers use a high-powered, direct beam of intense coherent light on a single wavelength targeting a single condition. Laser treatments are usually more expensive. IPL can not get rid of tattoos. 

IPL is safest and most effective on lighter skin. IPL treatments on dark skinned individuals are not usually recommended because the pulses of light absorb into all melanin containing cells, not just the ones intended for treatment. 

Dermatological conditions that can be treated with IPL include:

  • sun damage resulting in dark spots
  • poikiloderma on the chest  (looks like tiny red hives)
  • rosacea
  • acne
  • overactive sweat glands
  • broken capillaries
  • freckles, birth marks (these will lighten, but will come back)
  • melasma (caused by birth control pills, pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy)
  • actinic keratosis
  • photorejuvenation

You can also enhance your IPL with a couple of things I personally use. First, after a series of IPL treatments you should consider a medical grade facial peel. This treats the outer epidermis of your skin to remove any remaining superficial pigment or unevenness in skin tone as well as diminishing fine lines. Another product I love is Obagi C-Clarifying serum or C-Therapy night cream. They both contain 4% hydroquinone. These products both block tyrosinase which is needed to make melanin which in turn causes the dark spots. These are great maintenance products.

Our special for April 2015 is 4 IPL treatments for $300. Give us a call today! 501-228-6237