Skin Conditions That Can Be Treated with IPL Photo Facial

Skin Conditions That Can Be Treated with IPL Photo Facial
Skin Conditions That Can Be Treated with IPL Photo Facial

You may have seen Intense Pulsed Light treatment (IPL) being offered at your local med spa and wondered if it was a good choice for your skin. IPL is known to help improve acne rosacea, treat irregular pigmentation, dark sun spots, and reduce fine facial lines. Patients should be aware that IPL treatment is not the same as a laser treatment.

IPL is a non-invasive treatment that aids in erasing skin damage without disrupting the skin’s surface, which means no downtime, notes Nina Spadaccino, medical aesthetician and President of the Society of Plastic Surgical Skin Care Specialists “IPL can simultaneously treat a wide range of facial concerns such as broken capillaries, skin discoloration, age spots, sun damage, mottled pigment and symptoms of rosacea both safely and effectively.”

It uses short blasts of a high-intensity light that penetrates just below the skin’s surface. “The heat that is absorbed stimulates collagen production. It rejuvenates the skin by blending its natural colors and making it smoother, vibrant and younger looking,” explains Nina. The number of treatments will vary from patient to patient. Medical aestheticians can personalize a treatment based on a patient’s needs. It is essential for a patient to follow an aesthetician’s post-treatment advice and warnings in order to achieve optimal results.

IPL can be used to treat all areas of the body, but the most common areas are those that receive the most sun exposure, typically the face, neck, and hands. The best candidates for this treatment are patients who have white untanned skin that is still somewhat elastic. “Individuals who are tan or naturally have dark skin run the risk of changes in skin pigmentation from this procedure. African-Americans and people of Italian and Greek descent should discuss alternative treatments with their aesthetician. Patients who are currently taking Accutane to treat acne should avoid IPL treatments for at least six months after stopping the medication. Pregnant women should also postpone treatments until after they give birth,” explains Nina.

What to expect
It’s important to know what you are getting into before any treatment. The IPL treatment may take a few minutes to an hour depending on the size of the area to be treated and the type of procedure performed. Typically the treatments are scheduled four to six weeks apart, explains Nina. “Patients may experience some redness that normally resolves in a few hours. For some pigmented lesions, the treated area will be darker in color followed by fading and flaking of the treated area, normally within 10 to 14 days post-treatment.”

The cost for an IPL treatment can range from $300 and up, depending on the area being treated and if you are having multiple areas treated at the same time. Many practices often offer package pricing which typically adds discounts to the treatments.

Is IPL for you? With package deals to be found and no downtime, but great potential rewards, it just might be! However, before you pay for any package deal, do your homework. Aestheticians provide services under the supervision of a physician. Seek a certified medical skiaesthetician working in a board-certified plastic surgeon’s office.

About the Author

Aly Walansky is a lifestyles writer with over a decade of experience covering beauty, health, and travel for various esteemed publications. Her blog, A Little Alytude ( was launched in 2006 and continues to be a strong voice in the lifestyles arena. Based in the ever-trendy Park Slope area of Brooklyn, she divides her time between her shih tsu Lily, her soap opera addiction, and scouting out fun new martini bars.