Intense pulsed light or IPL is a method of skin treatment and rejuvenation which uses light based energy to improve the appearance of the skin.
It selectively heats and damages specific targets in the skin without disrupting the surface. The treatment is sometimes called a “photofacial”.
The Lumenis One is a fourth generation IPL and laser platform. Quinn Clinics own the only such machine in Bristol.
It is particularly effective in treating the signs of sun-damage and ageing skin.
IPL treatment video
Before & After Photos
What is it used for?
IPL is particularly useful in the treatment of both sun-damage and acne rosacea (redness).
Sundamage presents in numerous ways, including age or ‘liver spots’ and thread veins or telangiectasia. The skin also loses elasticity. IPL helps to remove surface imperfections and also by heating the skin stimulates collagen production which improves the overall appearance of the skin.
Acne Rosacea is a very common condition in the UK. It typically presents with some combination of ‘spots’ and facial redness. Often the first sign is easy flushing. As the condition progresses the redness becomes more persistent and thread veins may appear on the cheeks and nose. Because IPL energy penetrates at different levels of the skin, it is particularly effective at treating these problems.
Dr Quinn has a particularly interest in rosacea, since he suffers from it himself. He also wrote the thesis for his Diploma in Clinical Dermatology on the condition.
What does the treatment involve?
Following skin cleansing, a cool conducting gel is applied to the area to be treated. The treatment is delivered then through a sapphire tipped rectangular block. Some patients liken the experience to that of an elastic band ‘snap’. Immediately after treatment the skin is cooled as it can feel quite warm.
At your initial consultation a test patch is performed to assess the skin’s response. Most patients will have a series of at least three treatments, spaced a minimum of 4 weeks apart.
What are the side effects?
The treatment can be uncomfortable. The skin is often red immediately afterward. This usually settles within a few hours but can last a few days. Less commonly there can be some associated swelling, again usually only for a few hours. Any pigmented age spots tend to darken and fall off.
Crusting and blistering are rare. Scarring, although possible is also very rare. It is to minimise the risk of this that a test patch is performed a week prior to treating the entire face.