WHAT IS INTENSE PULSED LIGHT (IPL)?
Intense pulsed light (IPL) or flashlamp therapy is a non-invasive and non-ablative treatment that uses high-intensity pulses of visible light to improve the appearance of several skin problems.
Also referred to as flash lamp therapy, Intense Pulsed Light or IPL therapy is one technique that is now widely used in the field of aesthetics and dermatology.
Contrary to what some people believe, IPL is not laser and vice versa, although both use light for treatment that is converted into heat energy to destroy cells that produce melanin or broken capillaries that lead to the appearance of spider veins.
The major difference between the two is the type of light they emit. Laser provides a single band of light color (monochromatic) to target a specific area and condition. IPL, on the other hand, provides a broad spectrum of light (polychromatic), which covers a bigger area and produces different wavelengths. In other words, laser has a more targeted approach. Although both provide high intensity, IPL can be more controlled and therefore less likely to be painful than laser. In short, the laser has a specific function, whereas an IPL system can treat a range of skin problems, ranging from pigmentation, vascular problems, hair removal to skin tightening. The range of filters provided in the IPL system helps the doctor to select the appropriate wavelength of light to target a specific issue in the skin without causing a burn to the skin.
IPL is a non-invasive and non-ablative procedure, which means it doesn't require any form of anaesthesia. It is non-ablative since the broad spectrum of light penetrates the deeper layer of the skin without harming or injuring the upper layer or the epidermis. Further, since the wavelengths can be filtered, IPL doesn't have any negative effect on the neighboring cells and tissues of the targeted area.
HOW DOES INTENSE PULSED LIGHT THERAPY WORK?
IPL systems work on the same principles as lasers in that light energy is absorbed into particular target cells with color (chromophores) in the skin. The light energy is converted to heat energy, which causes damage to the specific target area. IPL systems are different from lasers in that they deliver many wavelengths (or colors) in each pulse of light instead of just one wavelength as opposed to lasers.
Most IPL systems use filters to refine the energy output for the treatment of certain areas. This enhances penetration without using excessive energy levels and enables targeting of specific chromophores (skin components that absorb light).
WHAT IS PHOTOREJUVENATION?
Photorejuvenation is a term used to describe the process of reversing or treating the aging changes (eg. wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, excessive facial veins) on the facial skin using IPL, BroadBand™ light or lasers and other light-based devices
WHAT IS BBL?
BroadBand Light™ (BBL) is the trademarked name for an advanced-technology model of IPL, used in the IDS Clinics. BBL uses cutting edge technology to produce younger-looking skin that’s firmer and more even in tone and texture. With little recovery time and no surgery, BBL offers a safe, FDA-cleared option for sun damage, anti-aging, and skin rejuvenation.
There are different wavelengths for different levels or types of penetration. This also explains the versatility of the BBL as the treatment can be customised to suit different skin types (fair to dark) as well as to deliver a myriad of skin perfecting benefits. It is able to remove superficial discoloration from sun spots to age spots, to produce an even complexion with a glow.
HOW DOES BBL WORK?
It works by targeting various components in the skin:
Different wavelengths of the light target the different components in the skin to damage them and the immune system removes them over a period of time. This results in clearer, brighter and firmer skin.
The BBL system in IDS clinic has a chilled sapphire that is applied to the skin before the light energy is discharged onto the skin. This is an added safety feature to prevent burns to the skin and decreases the discomfort of the procedure.
Usually between 6-10 sessions are recommended to achieve the desired results.
WHAT AREAS CAN BE TREATED WITH IPL/BBL?
The common areas treated for rejuvenation are:
The common areas for permanent hair removal are:
It is important to note that tanned-skin should not be treated with BBL. Patients will need to return 4 weeks after to get their treatments. This is to avoid burning the skin with BBL.
WHAT TYPES OF SKIN CONDITIONS CAN BE TREATED WITH IPL / BBL / IPL Photorejuvenation laser skin treatments?
There are many unwanted skin conditions which can be successfully treated with Photorejuvenation laser skin treatments, such as:
WHY SHOULD I GET AN IPL / BBL 'PHOTOFACIAL'?
WHAT DOES AN IPL / BBL TREATMENT FEEL LIKE?
Patients who have undergone the procedure describe it like a ‘rubber-band snapping on the skin’. Most patients tolerate the procedure without any form of anesthesia.
HOW MANY IPL / BBL TREATMENTS ARE REQUIRED?
A series of monthly treatments (6-10 sessions) are planned for our patients to achieve the desired effect. Results on the skin can be seen as early as 1 week after the first treatments.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM AN IPL / BBL TREATMENT?
Immediately post procedure:
1 week later: