Intense pulse light (IPL)
INTENSE PULSED LIGHT (IPL), OR FLASHLAMP THERAPY
It is a non-invasive and non-ablative treatment that uses high intensity pulses of visible light to improve the appearance of the following skin problems: Hair Removal, Skin Tightening, Acne Treatments, Skin Rejuvenation and Rosacea.
WHAT CAN PULSED LIGHT TREAT?
Pulsed Light has been used to successfully treat:
- Unwanted hair – in all skin and hair colors (except for white hair) on all body parts
- Ingrown hair, razor bumps – as well as the associated skin darkening and pimples
- Facial blood vessels including port wine stains & hemangiomas
- Freckles and skin darkening
- Sun damage
Laser light starts with Pulsed Light but eliminates all but one wavelength (or color) of light. Laser can deliver only one color (or wavelength) of light at a time.
Pulsed Light can deliver hundreds or thousands of colors of light at a time. Pulsed Light machines use “cut off” filters to selectively deliver the desired wavelengths. These wavelengths can be customized to reach the specific hair, blood vessels, or skin component being treated; and can be modified with each pulse.
Pulsed Light begins with all wavelengths of light from 500 to 1200 nanometers (nm) – including green, yellow, red and infrared light. Various lower range cut off filters (ranging from 515 – 755) block light shorter than the wavelength of the cut off filter.
For example: a 550 nm cut off filter blocks light from 500-550 nm, and only allows wavelengths from 551 to 1200 nm to reach the target.
WHY IS THE ABILITY TO USE DIFFERENT WAVELENGTHS, PULSED DURATIONS, AND DELAYS BETTER?
Since longer (higher numbered) wavelengths penetrate deeper into the target, longer wavelengths are used to treat deeper targets, and to avoid and protect superficial parts of the skin. Shorter wavelengths are used to treat more superficial targets and avoid damaging deeper skin parts. This capability allows the experienced Pulsed Light Physician to vary the light delivered in order to match the depth of the target and avoid the areas that are not to be treated.
Pulsed Light can also be delivered in pulses or bursts of light varying from 1 to 5 pulses at a time. The “duration” of each pulse and the “delay” time between pulses can be modified with each treatment site. Longer durations are generally better for treating larger targets. Shorter pulse durations are generally better for treating smaller structures.
Limited treatment setting in Laser or in “simpler” Pulsed Light machines offer the experienced physician operator fewer choices. Even though fewer choices may be “simpler” or “easier”, the restriction in operator flexibility caused by less customizable settings can produce suboptimal results and more undesirable side effects.
CAN PULSED LIGHT TREATMENT BE CUSTOMIZED FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL PATIENT?
Yes. The experienced physician operator of a pulsed light device can customize settings to select the wavelengths, number of pulses, duration of pulses, delay between pulses, and power delivered to best match the relative depth, size, and absorption characteristics of the intended target, and avoid the settings that would cause damage to the areas that need to be preserved.
This flexibility and variability allows the knowledgeable physician to maximize results and minimize side effects.
The wider range of possible settings and spectrum of light delivered by Pulsed Light enable the operator a much broader range of possible settings than available in any single or even in many combinations of Laser. These capabilities, when expertly utilized, translate into better and safer treatments and more effective results.
Examples of Pulsed Light machine flexibility include:
- Pulsed Light delivers wavelengths from 500 to 1200 nm while Laser can deliver only 1 wavelength at a time.
- Pulsed Light can deliver total pulse durations up to 25 msec or 1235 msec while most Laser can deliver pulse durations up to 40-100msec (and 1 machine can deliver 1000 msec but at only 800nm)
- Pulsed Light’s larger light beam size allows for faster treatment and deeper light penetration.
These enhanced capabilities can thereby be used to target the larger and deeper hair follicles, and spare the superficial melanin in darker skin types by utilizing longer wavelengths, and larger beams for deeper penetration; combined with longer pulse durations for avoiding the epidermis and targeting the larger hair follicles.
*Our patients report that advanced Pulsed Light is far less painful than Lasers, electrolysis, or waxing”.cloudRequest Consultation