Pulsed Light (IPL): what is it and what is it for (waxing, stains, wrinkles…)
La Luz Intense Pulsed, the IPL (del inglés intense pulsed light), is a type of laser treatment, which can be used to remove stains on the skin, fight wrinkles and lines of expression and remove unwanted hair throughout the body, especially on the face, chest, abdomen, arms, armpits , english and legs.
Treatments with intense pulsed light are safe, as several scientific studies have shown that, even months after the treatment sessions, there is no increase in the body’s defense cells, which are related to the presence of cancer diseases and tumors.
It is important that the treatment be carried out by a highly trained professional, such as a dermatologist or a physiotherapist specializing in dermatofunctional therapy, as there are several details that can compromise the results of the treatment.
what is it for
Among the main indications for the use of pulsed light are the following:
1. Permanent hair removal
Pulsed light can be used to remove unwanted hair from the entire body, but it should not be applied in some regions such as the pezones and the year’s surroundings because the skin color of these regions is very variable and stains can appear. or burns on the skin. However, it can be applied to the face, armpits, belly, back, ingles, arms and legs.
The vello can be removed completely, but better results are observed in people who have the skin clear and the vellos bien dark. This occurs because when the dark is dark, more is the amount of melanin that poses and how the laser is attracted by the melanin, when the light is well dark, the incidence of light goes directly to it, destroying the follicle eliminating it as a result. el vello definitely. Generally, about 10 sessions are recommended, with an interval of 1 month between them, this being the necessary time for it to be in the anagen phase, which is when the IPL has more effect.
Contrary to the definitive hair removal that is carried out with a laser, the IPL does not completely remove the hairs, so it cannot be considered as a definitive hair removal. However, this treatment manages to eliminate a large part of the vellos and those that were born after finishing the treatment, suelen being more thin and more clear, so they are much more discreet and more easy to remove with a clamp.
2. Removal of skin stains
This technique is also indicated to remove dark spots on the skin, including melasma and in cases of solar lentigo and melanocytic nevus. The treatment with pulsed light clears the skin, increases the amount of collagen and elastin fibers by 50%, making the skin firmer and less flaccid, in addition to increasing the presence of small vessels in the skin, which improves local blood oxygenation , providing uniformity to the skin, making it more youthful and beautiful.
The treatment sessions must be carried out every 3 to 4 weeks and during the treatment it is recommended to use a daily sunscreen with SPF 30 protection on the face, and to avoid direct sun exposure. After the first sessions, dark spots can appear in the treated region, these spots are called transient post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, but if you maintain the daily care with the skin and apply the soothing lotion under the treatment, they tend to disappear. The use of a lotion to lighten the skin for 1 month before starting the treatment can reduce the risk of stains arising after the treatment.
See other techniques to eliminate skin blemishes.
3. Elimination of wrinkles and lines of expression
The lines of expression can be completely eliminated and the wrinkles can be attenuated with the use of a pulsed light apparatus, because this treatment promotes the increase of collagen and elastin fibers that support the skin, and its production will decrease the As the age increases, from the 30 years of age onwards.
The increase in these cells is progressive, because after each treatment session the cells continue to be produced naturally by the body for 3 months, and because of this, the results are not immediate, but they are maintained for long periods. That’s why a good strategy is to hold 5 annual sessions to completely eliminate wrinkles and expression lines. The interval between sessions must be at least 1 month between sessions.
Sunscreen should be used above SPF 30 rigorously for 7-10 days before and after the treatment with IPL.
4. Fight Rosacea and Telangiectasia
The red skin and the presence of small blood vessels that affect mainly the skin, can indicate a problem of skin called rosacea, and these small vessels in the nose indicate telangiectasia, and both can be solved with a treatment with pulsed light because the light is the energy emitted by the apparatus promotes a better reorganization of cells and distribution of small blood vessels.
If you need between 3 to 4 sessions with an interval of 1 month between them, and in general a reduction of 50% is observed from the second session. This treatment does not cause adverse reactions, the only thing that can be observed is that the treated region turns pink during the first few hours, but scars or spots do not persist.
5. Acne treatment
Treatment with pulsed light also eliminates acne, so the device must use green or red lights. Mientras the green light eliminates the bacteria that is related to acne. what are you propionibacterium acnes, red light fights inflammation, which is important for the complete destruction of this bacteria. 3 to 6 treatment sessions are required, generally 80% of people report that there is a betterment after the third session.
However, it is not possible to use pulsed light while the person uses Roaccutane (Isotretinoin), corticosteroids, acetylsalicylic acid, non-hormonal anti-inflammatories, photosensitizers or when the skin is bronzed.
See other acne treatment options.
6. Elimination of stretch marks
Pulsed light is also a good treatment for new stretch marks that are reddened, as it stimulates fibroblasts to increase the production of collagen fibers and reorganize them in the stroma. With this technique, it is possible to observe the reduction in the number of stretch marks and also the reduction of its width and depth. However, to obtain the best results, it is recommended that after the session, acids such as tretinoin or glycolic acid are used.
See other ways to eliminate stretch marks.
7. Removal of ojeras
Intense light also has excellent results in eliminating eye problems, achieving excellent results when eye problems are caused by vascular congestion. In the case of hereditary ojeras, the results may not be so significant. To obtain results, you need at least 3 sessions with an interval of 1 month between them. See other treatments indicated to remove the ojeras.
After the pulsed light sessions, reddening may appear, slight inflammation of the treated region and small scars on the treated skin. These backs cannot be removed and you have to wait for the soles to be fitted, which can take between 7 to 14 days.
In addition to these 7 most common indications, the IPL is also indicated in several other situations, such as: for the removal of burn scars, reduction in size and thickness of keloid, lupus pernio, lichen planus, psoriasis and removal of vellosidades in the sacroiliac region due to a pilonidal cyst, among others.
how is it done
The procedure must be carried out by a dermatologist or a dermatofunctional physical therapist and occurs from the application of light on the skin, which is absorbed by the cells and substances present in the skin. Each session lasts approximately 30 minutes, and can vary according to the person’s objective, and there must be a period of 15 days between one session and another.
The IPL is not painful, but it can cause discomfort at the time of application, when you can feel a light sensation of burning or burning that calms down in less than 10 seconds.
Treatment with pulsed light is not recommended for people who are using Roaccutane, corticosteroids, anticoagulants or photosensitizing drugs, as the skin is more sensitive, and can cause burns if this procedure is carried out. Furthermore, the IPL is not suitable for people who have tanned skin, have white skin in the region to be treated, have signs of skin infection or skin cancer.
These contraindications should be taken into account at the time when the patient is evaluated by the professional who will perform the therapy, to avoid complications during the treatment, such as reddening of the treated area, beginning and training of ampoules, which can be indicated. that the skin was burned. In these cases, treatment must be suspended until the skin is fully intact.
Care during and after the sessions
During the session, the therapist and the patient must wear appropriate lenses to protect their eyes from the light emitted by the equipment. If it is necessary to carry out the treatment in regions that have a tattoo, it may be necessary to put a white towel to cover the tattoo, to avoid burns or discoloration.
After the treatment, it is normal for the skin to become red and swollen, and it is necessary to use creams or healing ointments with sunscreen, which protect the skin. The sun exposure must be minimal and after a few days, the skin may peel off and small backs appear, which cannot be pulled off, waiting for the soles to settle. If the skin of the face flakes off, it is not recommended to use makeup, giving preference to the use of moisturizing creams with a refreshing or soothing effect several times a day.
Furthermore, it is not advisable to bathe with very hot water on the same day of treatment and use light clothing that does not rub on the skin.
Each IPL session poses risks as for example:
- Skin burn: This may occur if the equipment is poorly calibrated or its use is incorrect. If, during the application, the burning sensation is late for more than 5 seconds and it resembles a burning sensation with fire, check and verify that the therapist can reduce the graduation of the device so that it is more comfortable and does not cause burns. If the skin is burnt, the treatment must be stopped and a healing ointment for burns must be applied, under the guidance of a dermatologist.
- Light or dark spots on the skin: If in the region where the treatment is performed, it is lighter or a little darker than normal, it is the sign that the team did not have the best wave for the tone of the skin of the person. The risk that spots appear is greater in dark or tanned people, so it is important to adjust the apparatus if there are changes in the person’s skin tone between a session and another.
In case the skin has a lighter stain, gradual sun exposure with sunscreen is recommended, to try to even out the skin tone of the person. If there is a dark spot on the skin, you can use whitening creams such as: Melani D, by the La Roche-Posay brand, RevitaLift whitening by the L’Oréal brand and Whitening fluid by the Eucerin brand.
The devices that have the possibility that they cool down after each flash shot are less likely to cause stains and burns on the skin.
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