Intense pulsed light treatment, or IPL, is one of the most popular light therapy treatments at Spectrum Dermatology. It can quickly reverse the signs of aging and sun damage, ensuring skin that’s smoother, brighter, and more youthful. Aging, genetics, and environmental factors can all cause premature aging of the skin. From hyperpigmentation and “brown spots” to old acne scars, smoker’s lines, wrinkles, and deep folds, your skin is one of the first things people notice about you.
IPL is a highly effective treatment that can be used on the face, neck, chest, and hands. The results are immediate and the skin feels tighter, lifted, and youthful. IPL results can last for up to one year and improves skin’s appearance dramatically. Although the face is often one of the most common treatment sites, the neck, chest, and hands can also reveal sun damage and age. IPL is one of the few skin treatments that can be safely used in all these key areas.
During an IPL treatment, a series of light pulses will be directed at the specific area to be treated after having been adjusted for your individual skin color and type. The light will be changed to heat energy after hitting the skin and will affect the vessels or pigment that are responsible for the condition being treated. The treatment usually runs from fifteen to thirty minutes, after which you may resume normal activities. There is usually no discomfort, but redness sometimes occurs for a few hours.
"I would follow Dr. Catherine Chen-Tsai to the moon. Best dermatologist I have encountered. She is thorough, patient-focused, and passionate about her profession. I have followed her to her current practice as she has treated me for ten years."
"The doctor was extremely kind and told me I was misdiagnosed by another doctor!!! I was put on the right treatment for my skin condition and there are already major results 24 hours later. So thankful for spectrum and their doctors, getting closer to having normal skin again!"
"Dr. Kim is the best! Very prompt and professional. Explains the options and what to expect from the treatment she recommends."
"We did not wait longer than ten minutes from the time we checked in with the front desk. Our wait time in the exam room was less than five. Pretty impressive for the later part of the day! We will happily return to Spectrum Dermatology for any future skin issues!"
"The office was spotlessly clean, the waiting area was very nice, the staff was very friendly and helpful, the doctor was professional and knowledgeable. I was given time to ask questions and received easy to understand answers. I will be back!"
"I have been a patient for over a year and would recommend anyone looking for a dermatologist to contact Spectrum Dermatology and ask to meet with Dr. Jeffy."
"I was in today for an appt. with Dr. Thosani, who is a wonderful Doctor. I am 72 and I don't get impressed very easily. She is always very professional and gentle."
"Everyone at the Tatum location has been awesome to work with. They explain the risks, the process, and make it as painless as possible."
"I have taken my wife to Dr. Kim for a few of her appointments. She is without a doubt the best at what she does. Excellent bedside manner, very professional and yet, so down to earth to make you feel at ease."
"My many questions were answered thoroughly and I was not made to feel rushed. I felt very comfortable during the exam due to Dr. Jeffy's demeanor. I highly recommend Spectrum Dermatology."
IPL uses light pulses, and the strength and delivery is customized for your skin color, type, and goals. The light in IPL is varied to affect skin pigment and vessels in a variety of ways. Light therapy gives way to heat energy to maximize results. IPL treatments are fast, lasting between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the amount of skin being treated and the severity of the damage.
There is no downtime associated with IPL, which means clients can immediately return to their usual activities. IPL is also pain-free without any discomfort. However, sometimes redness can occur at the treatment site for a few hours post-treatment. This is normal, and more common in fair and sensitive skin. However, the redness is relatively mild and will not interfere with most activities. Clients may want to avoid scheduling IPL treatments within 72 hours before a special event.
The number of IPL treatments you will need to achieve maximum results will vary, and be discussed during your IPL consultation. Most clients receive between two and five treatments per site, with appointments every three weeks. More severe cases, or clients who want a wide range of areas treated, might require more appointments.
The most common side effect of IPL is temporary redness at the treatment site. Redness usually disappears after one day, and can be immediately covered with makeup or bronzer. There is no risk associated to applying makeup, creams, and lotions immediately after IPL treatment. However, IPL can permanently lighten tattoos. Clients should carefully consider the pros and cons of treating tattooed areas.
In rare occurrences, treated skin can also become slightly darker or peel for up to two weeks. However, these side effects are usually minimal and will be noticed after the first treatment. Spectrum Dermatology has a suite of alternative treatments available to reduce hyperpigmentation and help with peeling or flaking.
Sunblock and protective clothing are important on a daily basis for everyone, but especially for the two weeks after receiving IPL treatment. Sun exposure can inhibit the full effects of IPL treatment, and is a leading cause in the darkening of skin post-treatment.
IPL is most effective on those with fairer skin. However, it may be recommended in some cases to clients with more melanin. Spectrum Dermatology features one of the largest collections of laser skin treatments in the region, and every client receives a customized treatment based on their skin type.
IPL can be used on nearly every part of the body. A desired side effect for many is the permanent lightening and reduction of hair. However, IPL is not a “hair removal” procedure. Spectrum Dermatology does offer hair removal treatments that can be implemented in conjunction with IPL and other laser treatments. A popular option for the face is Dermaplane, which combines facial hair removal with a gentle exfoliation.
Are you interested in learning more about IPL? Spectrum Dermatology is available in four locations around the great Phoenix and Scottsdale area, and has one of the largest suites of laser skin treatments in the area. Schedule your IPL consultation today by calling (480) 948-8400.