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Intense pulsed light is a technology used by cosmetic and medical practitioners to perform various skin treatments for aesthetic and therapeutic purposes, including hair removal, photo-rejuvenation as well as to alleviate dermatologic diseases such as acne

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1. What is IPL Treatment?

The light penetrates the epidermis (top skin layer) down to the dermis (second skin layer) where the skin cell pigments absorb the light to elicit treatment of the skin condition it is targeted at.



2. How IPL Treatment Works

Most IPL treatments target the melanin. A handheld flashgun is held across the skin delivering a spectrum of light, adjusted to a particular wavelength, down the skin layers.

The light spectrum travels until it hits the hair root where melanin concentration is high. As the hair root absorbs the light, the light energy is converted to heat energy, which heats it.

The hair root becomes disintegrated. This prevents the future growth of the targeted hair and makes the dark colour on the skin to fade.



3. When to Try the IPL Treatment

IPL treatment is used for the treatment of a range of skin issues. They include:

  • Keloid scars

  • Stretch marks

  • Scars

  • Freckles 

  • Melasma

  • Hyperpigmentation

  • Rosacea

  • Sunburns


4. Other Uses of the IPL Treatment

IPL, when adjusted to different wavelengths, can be used to accomplish other cosmetic needs.  Apart from the treatment of skin discolouration,  Other skin conditions IPL is used on are wrinkles, birthmark, visible blood vessels and veins, large skin pores, and uneven skin.

5. Safety of IPL Treatment

Compared to laser treatment, intense pulse light treatment is safe to use. Unlike the laser treatment that focuses on just one wavelength of light at the skin, IPL treatment releases different light wavelengths.

This makes penetrable deep into the skin without causing any harm. This treatment does not involve a light spectrum that causes or increases skin cancer. 

However, IPL treatment is not safe for pregnant women and those on blood thinners.


6. Effectiveness of IPL Treatment

How effective IPL treatment depends on skin colour. This procedure works better on light skin than on black skin. Because the light spectrum targets melanin, this may cause skin discolouration for dark-skinned persons.


7. IPL Treatment Recovery

The treated area tends to appear red or pink immediately after the procedure. This colouration may last for between 4 and 8 hours. Patients may experience swelling in the treated areas or mild stinging sensations. Use a cool pack or moist soft cloth to ease the stinging sensation.

During recovery, people should avoid applying lotion or makeup on the treated area until the swelling has gone. People are also advised to moisturize the treated area for at least 3 months and keep up with scheduled maintenance treatments.


8. Duration of the IPL Procedure

IPL treatments take between 15 and 60 minutes depending on the body area. Bikini lines take around 15 minutes while the legs take up to 60 minutes.


9. Areas that can be treated Using IPL

Wrinkles at the face are removed using the procedure.

Also, it is used to remove hair from the lower arms, upper arms, upper legs, bikini line, underarms, buttocks, upper back, lower back, toes, fingers, fingers, hands, shoulder and lower legs.

10. Preparation

Two weeks before the procedure, dermatologists recommend that the following should be avoided:

  • Sunbathing

  • Collagen injections

  • Waxing

  • Avoid make-ups and creams

  • Stay away from ibuprofen and aspirin

  • Avoid alcohol

  • Visit a dermatologist to check for any underlying health issue

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