Intense pulsed light (IPL), or often called broadband light (BBL), is a nonsurgical skin treatment. While it is not technically a laser, concentrated light uses certain wavelengths to penetrate the skin and result in various treatment effects, depending on the desired result. For example, one wavelength of IPL laser treatments in San Luis Obispo County is used to target hyperpigmentation, or dark spots, on the face. Another wavelength is used to kill surface bacteria, therefore, improving active acne. A different wavelength can be used to target hair follicles for hair removal. Finally, a different wavelength can be used to treat generalized vascular redness, rosacea, bruising, and small spider veins or dilated blood vessels (telangiectasias).
While IPL in San Luis Obispo County is not technically a laser, it does generate heat and can be uncomfortable if used without numbing. We apply a numbing cream to the face and allow it to sit for about 1 hour prior to your procedure. During the treatment session, the IPL can feel warm, but the discomfort should be minimal. The treatment usually takes about 20 minutes. If treating acne, redness, or brown spots, you may decide that one treatment is enough, depending on results. Hair removal typically requires six to eight sessions.
While there is no “downtime” per se, you may notice your skin is more sensitive, dry, pink, or flaky for the first few days after your San Luis Obispo IPL treatment. We recommend using a neutral emollient such as Aquaphor or Eucerin lotion to help with dryness. We ask that you discontinue retinol products for at least seven to ten days afterward to allow your skin to recuperate. It is important to apply SPF regularly during the recovery period, as your skin will be more sensitive to the sun and will be more susceptible to hyperpigmentation during this time.
This type of skin treatment does not reverse with time, but we cannot control the natural aging process or any additional skin damage you may experience in the future. For example, treatment of certain hyperpigmented spots is usually permanent, but it does not prevent you from developing additional spots in the future. For flawless skin for years to come, we recommend a medical-grade skincare routine and intermittent laser or IPL treatments in San Luis Obispo County to help maintain your results.
All energy-based treatments will carry some risks. These include but are not limited to increased susceptibility to sun damage, burns, blistering, or scarring, prolonged redness or sensitivity, hair loss, pain, unsatisfactory outcome, or the need for additional procedures. Our machines are only operated by our physician and physician assistant to minimize these risks.
All of the above-listed risks are also applicable to at-home IPL treatments, but when operated by a non-professional the negative results can be especially severe. At home units can be powerful enough to inflict permanent disfiguring scars and burns. Our trained medical professionals have extensive experience that minimizes these risks. At-home units are also often made in China and have not been through a rigorous testing phase to ensure their safety. Our medical devices have been FDA-approved to provide effective, safe medical aesthetic treatments without significant risk.
Common carriers of IPL systems include Rohrer Aesthetics (our machine), Elysion-Pro, Spectrum Lumiere Pro, Lumenis, Palomar, Yperion, Syneron, Cynosure, Zemits, and Venus Systems.
IPL laser treatments in San Luis Obispo County are a great way to improve the texture, tone, and appearance of your skin without significant downtime or risk. To schedule yours or to learn more about your options for youthful, vibrant skin, contact our office today.
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