Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) For Acne
Acne and pimple treatments have come a long way in recent years, treating acne successfully is easier once it is better understood. Approximately 90% of all adolescents and 25% of all adults experience acne at some point in their lives. Acne, (or pimples) are further affected by eating chocolate, greasy foods or bad hygiene. It is caused by simply growing up — puberty and pimples seem to go hand in hand.
Acne is a common, chronic skin condition caused by inflammation of oil-producing sebaceous glands. Acne problems usually begin between the ages of ten and thirteen, and can persist for five to ten years. Acne and pimple breakouts are very common on the face, but can also occur on the neck, chest, back, shoulders, upper arms and legs, as well as the scalp.
IPL Acne Therapy is an effective new light-based therapeutic therapy is now revolutionizing the treatment of acne. The IPL Acne Therapy destroys the most common bacteria that cause acne — without drugs, without pain and without downtime. The IPL system has FDA clearance for the treatment of acne.
IPL is one of the safest acne treatments available…proven to be extremely effective on moderate inflammatory acne. Its technology uses light that is UV-safe and has no known side effects.
How does it work?
The advantage of IPL is that this technology utilizes a broad spectrum light source that could be used to perform various skin treatments for aesthetic and therapeutic uses (hair removal, acne, rosacea, age spots). Various cutoff filters are commonly used with the universal device handpiece to narrow the wavelengths to target specific penetration depths under the epidermis. For effective acne treatment, three filters are applied – 420 nm (blue light), 560 nm (yellow light) and 590 nm (red light) – each having a distinctive property, i.e. destroying the Proprionibacterium acnes bacteria, treating inflammatory acne lesions and inhibiting overactive sebaceous oil glands, respectively.
IPL Hair Removal Benefit
The bacteria that cause oily skin, travel from the skin’s pores via facial hair, resulting in the oil and bacteria spreading to adjacent pores. Clients with thick, dark hair, usually suffer ingrown hairs that spread bacteria, trapped in the pores, leading to acne flare ups. Eliminating hair, with facial laser hair removal, will signifi- cantly reduce breakouts because there will no longer be any hair available, for the bacteria to cling on to. The sebaceous glands are also likely to produce less oil after a treatment. And with less oil, there’s less acne.
Since acne develops when the skin cells don’t shed properly—meaning they don’t exit your body—unblock- ing these glands will substantially reduce further development of acne as sebum, oils, and bacteria will no longer be trapped within them. The scars that usually accompany current outbreaks of acne, will also get re- duced.
IPL is the most versatile multi-application platform that provides the most popular, non-invasive aesthetic procedures. It is effective in treating vascular lesions that result to spider or telangiectatic veins. These are veins which capillaries have been broken, leading to the appearance of the veins on the surface of the skin. IPL can be used to blast these broken capillaries, destroy them eventually, cut the blood flow into these veins, and let the veins die until they are reabsorbed by the body. However, the actual effects of IPL still depend on the severity, size, and site of the vascular lesions. IPL can also be used to lighten prominent birthmarks by destroying the pigment-producing cells that cause the discolouration.
The technique is also effective in treating skin conditions caused by prolonged or consistent exposure to the sun (photo damage). These include age spots and freckles. It can also treat melasma, acne, and stretch marks. What the technology does is destroy the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that provides colour to the skin. Once these cells are destroyed, the body is forced to generate newer skin cells, which lead to a more even skin tone.
IPL can also be used for removing unwanted hair in the bikini line, face, underarms, legs, and chest by destroying the follicles that produce hair. It is more effective on people with dark hair.
Since the treatment is broad, it usually takes at least three treatments before the desired results are achieved. The sessions are spaced a month apart to give the skin enough time to heal.
Doctor’s Advice & Recommendation
Like laser treatments, IPL is not a regulated procedure, which means anyone who has been trained to operate the machine can perform the procedure. For your safety and peace of mind, however, it’s best if the technician has other certifications or training aside from using the machine. He or she should have a deeper knowledge of skin and the conditions that affect it. One can also look for clinics with professional aestheticians.
Before the treatment, the doctor will evaluate the condition of the skin to confirm if it is suitable for IPL.
For the procedure, the targeted area, such as the face, will be cleansed first, removing any dirt that may reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. A cold gel is then applied to the skin to significantly minimize the burning sensation. The patient is also provided with a protective eyewear, which should be worn throughout the course of the therapy.
The aesthetician controls the intensity or wavelength of the light pulses that come out of the IPL head during the treatment.
After the therapy, the patient can go back to regular activities, as long as exposure to the sun is avoided