Why have IPL (intense pulse light) treatment at Academy Facial Plastics?
√ We have two top of the range IPL systems (not all IPL's are created equal).
√ The treatments are performed by qualified Dermal Therapists. A Dermal Therapist has a nationally recognised qualification in advanced skin treatments, including IPL.
√ The Dermal Therapists are also supervised and work under the guidance of doctors.
√ We perform necessary skin test patches - free!
√ We provide you with a comprehensive consultation so you can make an informative decision.
√ Your treatment outcome is important to us.
What is IPL and how does it work? Intense Pulsed Light is a treatment that uses light to absorb melanin (the dark pigment in your hair and skin) and haemoglobin (the red colour in your blood vessels). This light converts to heat, which damages the target cells without disrupting the skins surface. This is used as a non-invasive treatment for unwanted hair and many skin conditions.
What can IPL treat? . Flat, benign pigmented lesions (freckles, sunspots and general pigmentation) . Facial vascular lesions (spider veins, red spots and broken capillaries) . Diffuse redness, rosacea and red scarring . Poikiloderma (redness, pigmentation and a spotty look to the neck and/or décolletage) . Unwanted dark facial and body hair . Uneven skin colouring . Sundamage
Contraindications (reasons why IPL may not be suitable for you) . Recent sunburn . Unprotected sun exposure or solarium use 4 weeks prior to treatment . Pregnancy . History of seizures . Severe dermatitis or eczema (within the treatment area) . Active infections . Roaccutane use in the last 6 months . Herpes 1 or 2 (within the treatment area) . Very dark skin . Removing hair by the root e.g. waxing or tweezing 4 weeks prior to treatment (hair removal only) . Photo sensitising medications are best avoided
Potential Complications: Unfortunately, there are some potential complications with IPL treatments. At Academy Facial Plastics we perform test spots within 3 days of your actual treatment, to allow an accurate evaluation of the skins response. This significantly reduces potential complications, which include:
. Prolonged redness and swelling lasting up to 4 days may occur. . Darker patches of pigment on the skin may occur a couple of weeks after treatment. This can last from 2 weeks up to 1 year. However there is a special cream we can use to reduce the pigment. You are more at risk of this occurring if you have a darker skin type. (this is not the immediate darkening of pigment we expect when treating pigmentation). . Whiter patches on the skin can occur. This can last 2 weeks up to 1 year though also has the potential to be permanent. You are more at risk of this occurring if you have a darker skin type. . Blistering rarely occurs and will usually settle within 2 hours with application of ice. If you do get a blister, it is important that you don't pick it as it may leave a scar.
How will my skin react after the IPL treatment? . Most patients will experience a sunburn like sensation that lasts 2 to 5 hours and is often associated with mild to moderate redness. The treated area is generally sensitive to heat for 2 days following treatment. . After hair removal the skin may appear spotty, this is inflammation caused from the heat absorbed in the hair follicle and can last 2 to 24 hours. . After treatment of pigmented lesions the lesion will go darker sometimes almost black, then will fall off within 7 to 28 days (depending on the area of the body) or it will just gradually fade. . After treatment of vascular lesions they will either disappear immediately or appear grey or purplish in colour. Diffuse redness immediately appears a lot redder then gradually lightens within 2-3 weeks. Vascular treatments generally require 3 weekly treatments for best results.
Pre and Post treatment recommendations: Pre treatment . Discontinue sun exposure 4 weeks prior to your treatment. . Do not use fake tan 1-2 weeks prior to your treatment. . Use an SPF 30 daily. . If having IPL hair removal, do not wax, tweeze or pluck the hair for 4 weeks prior to your treatment. . Shaving or depilatory creams are fine and you will need to shave the treatment site before your IPL session. . If you have a history of herpes close to the area being treated, it is recommended that you take antiviral medication before the treatment. (This will be available from the chemist).
Post treatment . A sunburn-like sensation is expected for about 2-5 hours after the treatment. If this is uncomfortable apply cold compresses or ice to the treated area. . Your skin maybe temperature sensitive for the following 2 days, so do not use very hot water or your shower or bath. . Please protect you skin from the sun! . Do not exfoliate the skin for 1 week after the treatment. . Your skin may be more sensitive to certain skin care products so please use the products provided to you. . Do not pick blisters or skin crusting as this may lead to a scar! . If you have any questions or concerns, please call the practice.
Is your skin suitable for IPL treatment? In order to select the correct skin type for IPL treatment, the table below is used to classify skin according to its melanin (pigment) content and the skins reaction to the sun. The lighter the skin type, the more suitable it is for IPL treatment.
Indication for IPL
Always burns easily and never tans
Best skin for IPL treatment
Burns easily and tans minimally
Good skin for IPL treatment
Sometimes burns and tans gradually
Good skin for IPL treatment
Burns minimally and always tans
Acceptable skin for IPL treatment
Rarely burns, naturally dark skin
Dark Brown +
Not recommended for IPL treatment
Photo-rejuvenation information Treatment of benign pigmented lesions generally requires 1-3 treatments performed approximately every 7-28 days or once all the darkened cells have sloughed off. A 70-90% reduction of pigmentation can be expected. Recommended skin care and strict sun protection help to maintain the results for much longer. Visible improvements are seen with each treatment.
Time Between Sessions
Vascular lesions or diffuse redness generally requires 3-4 treatments at weekly intervals to achieve the best results. This is so we can progressively destroy the vessels without damaging the surrounding skin. Best results are seen 3 weeks after the last treatment.
Photo-rejuvenation treatments will also stimulate the production of collagen. Many patients find that their skin feels firmer, smoother and looks clearer after a course of treatments.