Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a therapy option used by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jessica Krant to perform various skin treatments for aesthetic and therapeutic purposes. IPL may also be referred to as “photorejuvenation” or “the photofacial” because this treatment can improve the appearance of sun damage, acne scars, lines and wrinkles, and other skin imperfections. If you’re tired of wasting your time and money on topical formulations that don’t seem to make any difference with your skin concerns, IPL might be the best option for you. Read on to learn exactly how IPL treatment works and how it can help you to achieve the results you desire.
What is IPL?
Generally speaking, IPL treats the skin with quick and powerful flashes of light. IPL devices are non-laser light sources that make use of a high-powered, handheld, computer-controlled flashgun to deliver an intense, broad-spectrum pulse of light to the treatment area. The device that Dr. Krant utilizes to treat her patients is the Cutera Limelight, which delivers a wavelength range of 520 to 1100 nm. Certain wavelengths of light are absorbed by chromophores inside the skin. A chromophore is the part of a molecule responsible for its color. For example, when treating a benign pigmented lesion a chromophore called melanin absorbs the light. This destroys the pigmented cells. The body will typically eliminate them within 7 to 14 days by either sloughing them off the surface of your skin or through the lymphatic system.
In addition to treating skin pigmentation, IPL treatment can also improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. According to a publication in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, the principle behind tightening of the skin using IPL rests on the theory that heating collagen fibers with high intensity light energy causes them to constrict. Ultimately, this leads to new collagen formation, resulting in skin that looks and feels smooth, firm, and youthful.
What to expect with an IPL treatment
Since IPL is a non-invasive procedure, it allows Dr. Krant to help you achieve cosmetic improvements quickly, conveniently, and with very little risk or discomfort. The length of your IPL treatment depends on the type and severity of your condition, but a typical photorejuvenation facial lasts about 30 minutes. The best part about IPL? This treatment requires little to no downtime afterward. Because IPL uses multiple wavelengths of light it works without causing any deep resurfacing like a typical laser, thus leaving your skin intact and with only some minor redness and swelling.
While you may see noticeable results after one appointment, most women and men achieve maximum results after a series of treatment sessions. If you’re interested in learning more about how IPL treatment can benefit you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jessica Krant at her New York City office.