IPL stands for Intense Pulsed light and is exactly as described¸ using a hand piece waves from the visible light spectrum are pulsed into the skin. This light ‘insults’ collagen and in response stimulates the collagen and the effect is plumper and rejuvenated skin. It also effectively removes veins and pigment in the skin. At Cosmetic doctor we use the Quantum Lumenis for IPL treatments, which is a state of the art IPL machine

Who is IPL suitable for?

IPL is suitable for fair to medium skin types; this is because the Intense Pulsed Light penetrates the skin to a superficial depth. This is where the melanin is in our skin. It is therefore not recommended for dark skinned clients as they have more melanin in the skin, and there could be a risk of burning the client. There are other lasers that we recommend for these patients.

What is IPL and how does it work?

IPL is carried out here at Cosmetic Doctor for photo rejuvenation or for the removal of pigment or spider veins. IPL is attracted to colour, and when aimed at the skin it is attracted to the colour in the pigment or in the vein. The light is absorbed by the tissue and heats up the blood vessel causing the blood vessel to break down, bringing with it the trapped blood. This then causes the vein to vanish. With pigment problems, the laser ‘pulls’ the pigment out of the skin, in fact you will notice the treated area turning completely black before it goes away. Photo rejuvenation is in essence a ‘side effect’ of these treatments, as the collagen is stimulated during treatment. Therefore it is often used as a rejuvenation treatment alone, where a person has their face treated; the result is smoother and plumper skin. With an improvement in areas that are damaged by the sun.

Is it painful?

Most people describe the sensation as a slap of an elastic band against the skin, or a quick splash of fat hitting the skin. When you have your treatment you will be given a fan to cool the skin and make the procedure more comfortable and bearable. The procedure is usually very quick and quite tolerable.

What should I do before a treatment?

You will need to book in for a patch test to discuss your treatment options with a cosmetic Doctor employee. We will then go through your medical history, and we will test settings on an inconspicuous area that you will be having treated. We are testing to see how your skin responds to the settings. As everyone skin is different there is no way to predict how each person will get on, therefore we require each new client to have a patch test prior to treatment.

Is there anything I should avoid before a treatment?

You must have not been in the sun for 6 weeks before a treatment or you must have no chemical tan, both can cause your skin to burn. We also recommend that you avoid treatments on very hot days, essentially IPL is a heat treatment and if you have your treatment during very warm weather you can be at risk of further complications. We also recommend you do not have treatment if you are taking drugs that make your skin more photosensitive, if you are not sure about any medications you are taking then give us a call. We also recommend that you do not take any aspirin or anti-coagulants or anti-inflammatories before your treatment.

How long after my patch test can I have a treatment?

We recommend you leave at least 48 hours between your patch test and treatment as this will give us a good indication of how well you have responded to the test settings.

Are there side effects?

Like all devices there are always side effects, these side effects can be avoiding by choosing to have your treatment done in a centre that has highly trained staff. Don’t be fooled into having a treatment done at a cheap price, this is your skin and therefore it is something you should never gamble with as the result can be permanent.

The risks are:

  • Burning
  • Scarring
  • Pigment damage
  • Blisters
  • Cold sores

These side effects can be avoided if you choose a reputable and well experienced practitioner.

What should I do after my treatment?

We recommend that you avoid hot shower, baths, saunas or steam rooms

  • Avoid extremes of temperature
  • Avoid rubbing the area
  • Avoid washing the skin until the next day
  • Avoid touching the skin or applying any products to the skin.
  • We also recommend you call us if you are worried about anything after your treatment

How long does the treatment take?

It depends on the area you are having treated, photo rejuvenation for the full face takes about 30 minutes, and it usually takes about 30 minutes to treat facial veins or pigment.

How many treatments will I need and how far apart?

We recommend between 2-3 treatments every 4 weeks for the best outcome.

Is it permanent?

Usually the results are long lasting, but unfortunately they aren’t always permanent. In some cases they may be, but in other cases the pigment and veins can be caused by your lifestyle (For example smoking or sun expose or exposure to the wind and cold) and this can cause the veins to return again in the future. With some modifications to your daily routine you can help to prevent them coming back again in the future.

Should you wish to attend for a patch test then call us today on 01 685 3100 for an appointment!