IPL treatment, or intense pulsed light therapy, is a cosmetic procedure to improve the skin's texture. The goal is to give your skin a clearer and more even, youthful look.
IPL therapy treats a range of skin pigment and blood vessel issues on areas such as your:
These issues may be due to sun damage, hormonal changes, or a genetic vascular condition.
IPL treatment is safe for most people. It's a low-risk, non-invasive way to correct skin or vein issues.
At UPMC, we use IPL therapy to treat:
IPL therapy uses many wavelengths to fix unwanted skin pigment conditions or vein changes.
The light waves pass through the top layer of skin (epidermis) to the targeted lesion, either pigmented or vascular.
In IPL treatment for pigment issues:
In IPL therapy to treat blood vessel problems:
For most skin conditions, you'll need 3 to 6 treatments about a month apart. Spacing out appointments gives your skin time to heal.
Hair removal may take 6 to 12 IPL treatments.
Most people have minimal discomfort and heal quickly after IPL treatment.
You'll likely have some redness, which can last between an hour to a few days. Patients rarely experience swelling.
Other possible, but less common side effects of IPL therapy include:
Results vary based on your skin tone.
IPL treatment has the best results for people who have lighter skin tones. If you have darker skin tones, it may not be the best option for treating your pigment, vein, or other skin issues.
Our highly trained staff will review expected results with you before you have the treatment.
Before you have IPL therapy, you'll meet with one of the experts at UPMC Plastic Surgery who will:
Here's what you'll need to do a few days or weeks before each appointment to prep your skin for treatment:
When you arrive, a licensed aesthetician or physician assistant will:
Next, our highly trained technicians will apply the intense pulse light. Most people say it feels like a sting, much like someone snapping you with a rubber band.
Your therapy will last about 20 to 30 minutes.
Your skin may look red after treatment, but rarely does swelling occur. You can return to your normal routine right away.