IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. IPL is a safe and effective treatment for reducing unwanted hair, rejuvenating skin and for treating other conditions such as rosacea, broken thread veins and spider naevi. The IPL treatment is a type of light therapy that utilises a range of wavelengths to target the pigments in blood vessels and hairs. The energy provided by these wavelengths is taken up by the darker pigments in blood vessels and hairs making the IPL treatment suitable for both hair reduction, thread vein removal and rejuvenation. Rejuvenation is the process of reversing the signs of aging and restoring your skin to its previous youthful appearance. Here at The London Dermatology CentreTM we offer a range of rejuvenating treatments to restore your skin to its former glory. The IPL skin rejuvenation treatment is one of our most popular anti-aging treatments due to its gentle nature and the little to no downtime associated with the procedure.
IPL reduces the signs of ageing and the damage caused by sun exposure, trauma, illness and other lifestyle factors. The treatment head delivers a specific range of wavelengths to the treatment area. The energy carried by the wavelengths of light penetrates just below the skin’s surface and gets absorbed by melanin in the skin. Melanin is the brown pigment found in hairs, skin and the iris of the eye. It is responsible for both the colour of hair and skin but also causes the tanning of skin when exposed to UV rays in sunlight. The IPL damages the melanin causing the body’s natural repair mechanisms to kick in and remove it. The IPL system regenerates the skin by stimulating the production of collagen over a period of time. This improves the skin's elasticity, texture and can help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The Lumenis One IPL machine used at The London Dermatology Centre comes with a range of heads and filters that are treatment-specific. This allows our experienced team to deliver an individually tailored treatment according to your skin type.
The number of treatments you will need depends on your skin type, your hair type and your desired results. The high energy levels of our laser reduces the number of treatments required to achieve rejuvenation and also makes the process more cost effective when compared to extended treatments that are required by lower energy lasers. We recommend a series of 4 to 6 treatments to see a significant result. Each treatment should be carried out every 3 to 4 weeks. Each treatment lasts 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the area to be treated. Results are visible by the third session.
When carried out by a trained professional the IPL treatment is very safe. As with all procedures there is a small risk of side effects but these are rare. Side effects can include slight redness and swelling of the treated area, blistering or bruising and hyper or hypopigmentation. Any redness or swelling from the IPL treatment generally disappears within a few hours of treatment, and the remaining side effects are very rare. The London Dermatology Centre's dermatologists and aesthetic physicians will carry out a full assessment and patch test before any treatment takes place to alleviate these risks.
During the procedure you may experience a very slight pinging sensation as the IPL treatment head is passed over your skin. The sensation experienced by patients has been described as feeling like an elastic band being flicked on to the skin. Prior to your treatment you will do a patch test with one of our aesthetic practitioners. This is to ensure that you do not experience any adverse reaction and to check that your skin type is suitable for the IPL treatment. You will also be able to experience what the IPL treatment feels like. The IPL treatment is not painful and does not require any local anaesthetic to be applied prior to the treatment.
The main advantage of the IPL treatment over other rejuvenating treatments is the downtime associated with the procedure. The downtime from IPL is usually very minimal. Most patients return to their daily activities immediately after their appointment. Occasionally patients may experience some mild redness following their treatment. Any redness associated with the treatment usually subsides within a few hours. Patients may experience slight darkening of pigment before it lightens. Another advantage is that the IPL does not require any anaesthetic cream prior to treatment as the procedure itself is almost pain free. There may be a slight pinging sensation but it should not be painful.
For the best results we advise you observe the following recommendations. Please ensure that the treated area is well moisturized with frequent applications of a non-perfumed topical moisturiser, ideally containing an SPF of 25 or greater. Do not irritate the treated area with harsh chemicals such as acne medications or face scrubs for 1 to 2 days after your treatment. Makeup may be applied immediately after treatment. Wash the treated area gently with a mild soap and water. If the treated area is red or irritated, the area should not be rubbed with a face cloth or towel but lightly patted dry.
We recommend that you minimise your sun exposure to prevent further damage and that you avoid tanning beds throughout the course of treatment. A sunscreen with an SPF of 25 or greater should be applied whenever the area is exposed to the sun. If you develop a tan within the proposed treated area, delay further treatments for 2 weeks or until the tan has significantly faded. Avoid excessive heat or friction to the treated area e.g. heavy exercise, saunas. Provided that there is no persistent redness, blistering, or crusting present in the treatment area you may resume all normal activities.
For more information regarding the IPL rejuvenating treatment please contact us on 020 7467 3720.
Written By: Dr Sunil Chopra and Rebecca Perris