Laser skin treatments are a popular method of rejuvenating the face. They are very effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots, and acne scars, and in producing a glowing, more youthful complexion. However, laser resurfacing can be quite aggressive and has a fairly long recovery period; most people need to take weeks off from work and their usual activities, and facial redness may take months to resolve. Thus, intense pulsed light (IPL) has become increasingly popular in Astoria as an alternative to laser resurfacing.
What is IPL?
Lasers emit light of a single wavelength, while IPL emits light of multiple wavelengths, which can be adjusted to suit each individual patient’s skin color and type. Laser skin treatments literally burn off the outer layer of skin, while IPL penetrates harmlessly through the outer layer of skin to affect the dermis underneath it. Once the IPL light hits the dermis, it is converted into heat that breaks up clumps of pigment that are then removed by the body. The heat also stimulates the skin cells to increase the production of collagen, which acts to plump the skin, smoothing lines and wrinkles. The overall effect is very similar to laser skin treatments: a glowing, smooth, more youthful-looking complexion. However, unlike laser resurfacing, there is no intense discomfort, downtime, or recovery period; there may a minor “blushing” effect for an hour or two after each treatment, but patients in Astoria can typically return to their normal activities and to work immediately after treatment.
Can IPL Treat Any Other Conditions?
In addition to skin rejuvenation, IPL can be used to treat the redness associated with rosacea. IPL seems to be remarkably safe. Unlike laser skin treatments, it does not require sedation or anesthesia, and patients do not need to stop taking medications that affect clotting prior to the procedure. Bandages and cold compresses are required after laser treatment, but they are unnecessary after IPL. Because the outer layer of the skin is damaged during laser treatment, there is a risk of infection and some doctors prescribe antibiotics; because the outer layer of skin is left intact during IPL, there is no risk of infection.