Intense Pulsed Light Treatments (IPL)

IPLHow Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Treatment works

Eastern Suburbs Dermatology uses an intense pulsed light hand piece to offer non-invasive treatments to address skin redness, fine broken capillaries, brown spots and sun damage. This treatment is appropriate for any part of your face, neck and décolletage area. It can also be used in combination with non-ablative laser resurfacing treatments. This handpiece has three different program settings, the program selected for you will be determined by your skin type and the problem area to be addressed.

In particular, this intense pulsed light hand piece can treat low contrast pigmentation and can be used on other areas of the body to treat pigmentation and freckles.

How does this treatment feel?

Like most laser treatments the sensation of intense pulsed light is a flicking or stinging sensation in association with a bright light (your eyes are protected by appropriate eye shields or glasses depending on area). Anaesthetic cream or pain relief medications are not generally required.

What to expect following intense pulsed light treatment

intense pulsed light treatmentSome or all symptons can be expected following treatment:

  • Some redness of the treated area – usually subsides within 24 hours of an intense pulsed light treatment.
  • Swelling – usually subsides within 24 hours.
  • Hypopigmentation (lightening of the treated area) – may be temporary or permanent.
  • Hyperpigmentation (darkening of the treated area) –  usually temporary. This is more likely in people with olive or darker skin, or people who have excessive sun exposure. within three months of treatment.
  • Cross hatching or zebra lines – more common in bronzed skins, this is usually corrected following a second treatment.
  • Bruising – unusual but may occur. Usually subsides within one week. This is more likely to occur in patients with very sun damaged skin and/or patients taking blood thinning medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or large amounts of vitamin E.
  • Blistering/Crusting – usually subsides within one week. Some crusting typically occurs after an IPL treatment where the pigmented areas initially darken then flake off gradually.
  • Infection/Scarring – rare.

2-3 treatments are normal for intense pulsed light therapy to achieve good results.

IPLAfter intense pulsed light treatment

  • Avoid excessive sun for six weeks after a course of treatment. Use a broad spectrum 50+ sunscreen whenever the treated areas are likely to be exposed to the sun. After facial treatments we recommend wearing a hat in addition to sunscreen when sun exposure is unavoidable.
  • There may be some redness and swelling to the treated area. Vaseline or aloe vera gel/after-sun lotion can be applied to the area after treatment for a soothing effect. Applying an ice pack will also soothe the area.
  • If crusting occurs, an antibiotic ointment or Vaseline should be applied twice daily to keep the area moist. The crust should be allowed to fall off naturally. DO NOT PICK.
  • If there is any indication of infection, please contact our practice.
  • If the area blisters please contact our practice. An antibiotic ointment should be applied twice daily to prevent infection. Treat the area with extreme care.
  • You can bathe as usual after treatment. The treated area should not be rubbed with a face cloth or towel, it should be gently patted dry. Moisturiser may be applied frequently if your skin feels dry or is crusting.
  • Do not shave/wax the area for a few days after treatment as your skin may be sensitive. Do not shave/wax at all if crusting is present.
  • Make-up can be applied after your treatment if desired. However extreme caution should be used when applying or removing make-up as treated areas are very delicate. Make-up applied/removed roughly can expose the treated area, increasing the chance of infection and scarring.
  • Avoid swimming, sports and strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours after treatment.

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