Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
- Active acne lesions
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), redness, telangiectasias
- Acne rosacea
- Laser hair removal
How does it work?
IPL therapy is considered a non-ablative resurfacing technique, which means that it targets the lower layers of skin (dermis) without affecting the top layers of skin (epidermis).
It works on the principle of selective photothermolysis. This machine comes with different cutoff filters of different wavelength ranging from 400 to 1200nm.This helps to target specific chromophore. Cut off filters : 515, 550, 560, 570, 590, 615, 645, 690, and 755nm
- In Acne:-
IPL acts by photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the treatment of acne vulgaris.Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) produces the porphyrins during their growth and proliferation in the follicular units.These porphyrins absorb the red [415nm ] & blue light [ 630nm ] of the IPL & helps to destroy P Acne bacteria.
The porphyrins produced during this proliferative phase are protoporphyrin IX and coproporphyrin III. These porphyrins have an absorption spectrum that is in the near ultraviolet (UV) and visible spectrum of light. The major absorption peak for these porphyrins is at 415 nm, known commonly as the Soret band. This absorption peak is in the blue range of the visible light spectrum.
A second major peak, seen at 630 nm, is also visible in the absorption spectrum, which corresponds to red light. Therefore, phototherapy devices have been developed that utilize either blue light or red light PDT for the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris lesions. The PDT process seen in this reaction involves the photoexcitation of the P. acnes porphyrins after exposure to the appropriate light source. This will then form singlet oxygen within the microorganism itself, resulting in the selective destruction of the bacteria.
- In Vascular lesions:
Light pulses targeted at the red-pigment (hemoglobin) in the blood which heats and destroys the pigment without affecting the skin or other tissues.
- For pigmented lesions:
Light pulses targeted at the melanin in the skin’s surface which heats and destroys melanin to remove the discoloration.
- Hair removal:
Light pulses targeted at the hair follicle causing the hair to fall out and prevent further growth. Generally ineffective for light coloured hair.
- Skin rejuvenation:-
Ipl works very good in skin rejuvenation, also called as photo facial in which 530 nm wavelength is used.It helps to stimulate collagen fibers beneath the skin, helps to build elastin fibers in the skin, which helps to give a more youthful appearance to the skin.
In the treatment of Rosacea, it helps to target oxyhemoglobin of blood vessels, capillaries in the skin, which helps to reduce redness, vascularity of skin.Multiple sessions are needed to achieve best possible results.
The advantage of IPL therapy:
- Minimal downtime – a patient can often have the procedure done on their lunch break and return to work immediately afterward..
What things to avoid before the procedure:-
- Avoid sun exposure in the days and weeks before and after treatment.
During the procedure:-
- The smooth, glass surface of the IPL treatment head is applied to the skin, delivering precise pulses of light to the area being treated.
- Treatment sessions usually last about 20 minutes. A course of 4-6 sessions every 3-6 weeks may be needed to achieve desired results.
- Most patients can return to work immediately after treatment.
- This is a non-invasive office hour procedure which doesn’t involve any downtime.
Use of broad-spectrum sunscreen is advised to avoid PIH.