Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Salt Lake City & Park City
What is IPL?
The IPL system, also known as photorejuvenation, is another non-invasive, non-surgical tool used to reverse the signs of photo-aged skin. IPL is not a laser, but a filtered flash lamp system that emits a broad spectrum of light wavelengths. This range allows great variability in selecting individual treatment parameters and in adapting to different skin types and indications. How? By varying the light spectrum, impulse length, impulse sequences, and fluences. The delay allows the skin cells and small structures to cool down between pulses while the heat is retained in larger targets.
Based on the needs of the individual patient, Dr. Saltz and his team will select the wavelength necessary to heat and destroy damaged skin. The treatments should consist of three to six sessions spaced two to three weeks apart. Topical anesthetics can be used to make the treatment more comfortable for patients who feel burning or puncturing sensations during the session.
Are you a good candidate for IPL?
All skin types and skin areas can be treated; however, each case is closely monitored by our team. IPL can be used to treat superficial as well as deeper, localized vascular malformations:
- Essential telangiectases
- Port wine stains
- Red hypertrophic scars
- Facial hypertrichosis
People who are not good candidates for IPL are the following:
- Have abnormal response to sunlight
- Have suspicious legions
- Are taking Accutane or other photosensitizing medication
- Are pregnant
- Are suntanned or artificially tanned
- Are taking blood thinners
What is IPL treatment like?
Before treatment, the skin is cleansed with a mild facial wash and fully dried. A topical anesthetic is applied for 15 to 20 minutes before treatment and is rinsed off completely. The parameters on the machine are set according to the patient’s skin type: the cutoff filter, fluency, number of pulses, and the duration of each pulse and delay.
A coating of ice-clear, water-based gel is applied evenly across the area to be treated to help cool it down when the crystal touches the skin. This “popsicle” is made of ultrasound clear gel blended with distilled water in equal parts. Also, eye protection is essential during IPL treatment.
A patch test will be performed on first-time patients on skin around or behind the ears. The skin’s response to this test allows the team to adjust the parameters by increasing or decreasing the duration of each pulse or delay.
The treatment should include the entire face, neck, decollete, chest, and upper and lower extremities. The crystal of the device’s head is kept very close to the skin, separated only by the gel. The pulses are carefully placed one behind the other to avoid missing areas or overlapping. Spot treatments are not recommended because there is a higher risk of pigmentation changes.
Recovery from IPL
The most common skin reactions after IPL treatment are redness and swelling, which could last up to two days. If high fluences and a short pulse time are administered, there is a greater risk that red/purple discoloration and crusting will occur, mainly in patients with darker or tanned skin. Scarring, necrosis, and permanent changes in pigmentation are rare side effects.
Results of IPL
Patients see noticeable improvement in skin quality after IPL. Patients with hyperpigmentation, brown spots, and/or skin blotchiness can see those discolorations dramatically lightened and largely eliminated after treatment. IPL treatments also deliver smoother skin and a clearer complexion.