The London Dermatology Centre, Cambridge clinic offers IPL as a long-lasting laser hair removal treatment. IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. IPL is a safe and effective treatment for reducing unwanted hair, rejuvenating skin and 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. Hair growth is reduced by a series of treatments using controlled light impulses, known as photo depilation. Light is absorbed by the pigment of the hair (this is what gives the hair its colour) causing the hair follicle to heat up and be destroyed without any damage to the surrounding tissue. By removing the hair follicles hair growth is significantly reduced. Here at our Cambridge clinic, we use a state of the art, high energy IPL laser system. There are currently only 7 of these machines in the UK. We chose this particular system because of its range of treatment heads and filters that enables us to provide personalised treatments to almost any area of the body. The price of laser hair removal depends on factors including the area to be covered and the number of treatments required. The effectiveness of the treatment will vary between individuals.
Waxing and shaving are inconvenient methods of hair removal for many people. These methods only remove the hair for the time of the follicular growth cycle and traumatise the skin. Oftentimes this leaves individuals with cuts, irritated skin and ingrown hairs. The IPL hair removal treatments remove the need for regular waxing and shaving. Ingrown hair follicles are a thing of the past and you do not have to put up with those stubbly areas anymore. We treat many hair colours and skin types and have a high percentage of clients that have extensive hair growth as a genetic element of their ethnicity for example those with Arab, Middle Eastern, Asian and Greek heritage. IPL laser hair removal is the treatment of choice for women and men who want to remove hair and feel released from the constant ties of waxing and shaving.
The IPL machine can treat most areas of the body in both women and men. Commonly treated areas are the face, legs, chest, arms, underarms and bikini line. If you are interested in hair removal in a particular area please let your aesthetic practitioner at the Cambridge clinic know and they will be able to advise you on the most appropriate method. The IPL laser hair removal treatment head can treat a larger area of skin per light pulse than other laser hair treatments resulting in faster and cheaper treatment. IPL Laser hair removal can also be beneficial as a treatment for women with hirsutism (excessive hair growth).
Hirsutism is the growth of excess hair on parts of the body such as the face, chest, neck, buttocks, tummy, lower back or thighs, where hair is usually absent. The appearance of this hair is generally dark or coarse. The presence of this hair can be very distressing for women and cause them to suffer from self-esteem issues. Therefore, women with hirsutism may opt for laser hair removal as a way of minimising the signs of excess hair growth.
The treatment head delivers a specific range of wavelengths to the treated area. The energy carried by the wavelengths of light penetrates just below the skin’s surface and gets absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle. Melanin is the brown pigment found in hairs, skin and the iris of the eye. Light is absorbed by this pigment in the hair follicle causing the hair follicle to heat up and be destroyed without any damage to the surrounding tissue. By removing the hair follicles hair growth is significantly reduced.
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 reduce the number of treatments required to achieve hair reduction 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 4 to 6 weeks. Each treatment lasts 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the area to be treated.
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 at our Cambridge clinic and patch test before any treatment takes place to alleviate these risks. 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.
On the day of your procedure, your aesthetic practitioner will go through everything with you and answer any questions you may have. Then, you’ll lie back and relax on one of our treatment beds while the practitioner applies a cooling gel to the area to be treated. You’ll be asked to wear some goggles to protect your eyes from the light of the IPL machine and then your treatment will begin. The aesthetic practitioner will pass the treatment head over the treatment area. You may feel some slight discomfort during the procedure which is often described as a pinging sensation. A series of 4 to 6 treatments is recommended to see significant results, these should be spaced out between 4 to 6 weeks.
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 onto the skin. Before your treatment, you will do a patch test with one of our aesthetic practitioners. The IPL treatment is not painful and does not require any local anaesthetic to be applied before the treatment.
For the best results, we advise you to observe the following recommendations. Please ensure that the treated area is well moisturised 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 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 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 or saunas. Provided that there is no persistent redness, blistering, or crusting present in the treatment area you may resume all normal activities.
IPL, Intense Pulsed Light laser hair removal is an ideal hair removal treatment for unwanted hair. It can be used on a variety of hair types and thickness levels, so it is useful for removing stubborn and ingrown hairs. IPL laser hair removal works by destroying the skin's hair follicles, disrupting hair growth. Traditional hair removal methods like shaving and waxing have extremely temporary results and can cause trauma to the skin. Your aesthetic practitioner at the Cambridge clinic will do a patch test on your skin before treatment to ensure the suitability of laser hair removal. IPL laser hair removal can treat most areas of the body, including the face and may be particularly useful for women with excess hair growth (hirsutism). IPL treatment is safe, with low discomfort levels reported. Furthermore, local anaesthetic is not necessary. Your practitioner at the Cambridge clinic will provide you with thorough instructions for after-treatment care, this will include wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 25 or greater. Several sessions of laser hair removal will be required and results will vary between individuals.
For more information about IPL laser hair removal, please feel free to get in contact with a member of our clinic team.