Light Therapy for Skin Care: What is IPL and What Does it Do?

By on February 17, 2022 under IPL

Light therapy is a type of skincare that uses light energy to improve the appearance of your skin. Physicians use it for acne, wrinkles, age spots, and more. Here is a breakdown of what IPL stands for and how it works.

What is IPL?

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. This type of treatment uses light energy to penetrate the skin, stimulate collagen production, and reduce inflammation in your skin’s tissue. It is generally used on brown spots, age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scarring.

In most cases, you will receive multiple treatments for optimal results. You can also receive IPL with other skincare treatments such as prescription creams and chemical peels to give you better overall results.

What IPL Does?

Once the light enters your skin, it will activate a process called photothermolysis. This is where the pigment absorbs heat energy from the light source into your skin’s tissue. The heat destroys the pigment and reduces its appearance on your face or body.

IPL can also reduce inflammation, which makes this treatment suitable for acne-related skincare. It can also reduce the appearance of broken capillaries on your face or body caused by rosacea.

The Difference between IPL and Laser Therapy

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between light therapy and laser therapy. While these treatments both use pulsed lights to penetrate your skin, they are not lasers.

Lasers emit one wavelength of energy that can only be absorbed by specific targets in your body tissue, such as pigment or oil glands, which may cause problems like acne scars. IPL uses multiple wavelengths of light that allow the energy to be absorbed by different targets in your skin’s tissue.

Lasers can only treat certain areas where IPL treatment cannot, such as near your eyes or lips. Therefore, you will need to have more laser treatments to get coverage of the whole face and body. Conversely, light therapy can treat many areas such as your entire face and neck, chest, and hands at once. Thus, IPL allows faster treatment.

Is IPL Safe?

The FDA approved light therapy as a safe treatment for skincare issues in 2002. It has been proven effective without any risk of cancer or other serious side effects associated with laser therapies. You can receive this treatment on your own or with other skin care treatments, and it will not cause any harm to you.

IPL is a safe and effective way to improve the appearance of brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and acne scars without causing pain or side effects caused by laser therapies. The only real issue that may prevent someone from receiving this treatment is whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding at the time.

How To Prepare for IPL

You can prepare for your IPL treatment by wearing sunscreen on the day of your appointment to protect against sun damage. It would be best if you avoided tanning or self-tanners at least two weeks before receiving treatment.

When it comes down to skincare, many different tools can help you improve the way your pores look and feel. IPL is one of these options, but it may not be available everywhere. Therefore, ask about availability before making an appointment with a clinic for this treatment.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are looking to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, or acne scars on your face, body, or hands, schedule an appointment with Dr. David A. Baird, MD. Our board-certified dermatologist Dr. David A. Baird, MD, will handle your concerns with utmost care. Feel free to fill out an online contact form to begin the process.