IPL for Skin Rejuvenation - Benefits and Drawbacks

Intense pulse light (IPL) treatments continue to be a popular choice for skin rejuvenation and enhancing the skin tone, and have proven to be particularly effective for treating age spots, freckles and acne scars. 

The treatment is used for getting rid of spider veins on the face, reducing the appearance of birthmarks and restoring the skin to a more youthful appearance; they can also be used to remove unwanted hair from sensitive areas of the face. 

How IPL Works

IPL treatments are performed using a handheld device that delivers a broad spectrum of light onto the skin’s surface. The wavelengths of light penetrate deep into the skin tissue to stimulate the cells beneath the skin’s surface, and triggers the body’s ‘purging’ response so that it eliminates injured tissues and dead skin cells that may be stuck deep within the skin’s surface. The IPL skin care treatments are typically conducted as a series of treatments at three week intervals, and the skin begins to take on a more youthful and clear appearance after the first few sessions.

If you’ve been looking for a non-invasive solution for freshening up your skin and enjoying a more even skin tone, consider these benefits and drawbacks of the innovative IPL treatment.

Key Benefits of IPL Treatments

IPL procedures do not require any anesthetic and sometimes offer near-instant results. The painless procedure also does not require any downtime, which means patients can receive their treatment over lunch hour or any other break, resuming regular activities shortly after treatment. IPL treatments can be used to correct and refine nearly all skin types, and are particularly effective for treating:

  • Freckles
  • Age spots
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Rosacea
  • Spider veins
  • Birthmarks
  • Sun spots
  • Acne scars

Other small scars or lesions IPL treatments can also be used to remove unwanted hair; in these cases, the light energy is used to destroy the follicle completely so that the hair does not grow back. A series of IPL treatments for hair removal is necessary to ensure that all follicles are damaged and removed.

Drawbacks of IPL Treatments

While IPL treatments offer several benefits, they also have some drawbacks. There are not any documented long-term problems associated with intense pulse light therapy, but there are some common side effects with this treatment. The intensive light can cause slight swelling and redness in the treatment area, especially in areas where the skin is very thin or especially fragile. However, any redness or soreness typically subsides within a few hours after the procedure. Hypo-pigmentation is another concern associated with IPL treatments, and is most common in those with darker skin tones. Hypo-pigmentation is the lightening of the skin, and can occur within a few hours after treatment.  A licensed physician can recommend the best treatment plan for your particular skin type.

Learn more about IPL treatments and skin rejuvenation in our information guide, or consult with a cosmetic dermatologist in your area to find out if IPL is the best solution for your skin problems.