Is IPL Right for Me?

Do you have dark spots, age spots, or fine lines you want to eliminate? If so, you may want to consider a series of intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments. 

IPL, also called photorejuvenation and photo facial, helps fade dark spots and other skin imperfections with minimal downtime and discomfort. At Los Gatos Dermatology, we specialize in IPL treatments. 

There’s a reason IPL was one of the top five noninvasive cosmetic procedures last year and the most popular nonsurgical facial procedure. The reason is that people see the results, and they like them. The sessions are quick, and recovery is fast.

What is IPL?

Some people confuse IPL with lasers. IPL is not a laser. It’s a facial procedure that uses light therapy to penetrate your skin without harming the top layer. A laser is a more focused energy, and IPL is more diffuse, affecting a larger segment of your skin. 

The light wavelengths target pigmentation, breaking up age spots, freckles, and other marks. These broken up pigmentations are eventually flushed out of the body. It can be used on your face, neck, decollate, chest, and hands. 

What should I expect from IPL?

Before your treatment, you should stay out of the sun and avoid waxing, chemical peels, aspirin and ibuprofen, and products that contain Retin-A or glycolic. 

During your procedure here at Los Gatos Dermatology, Dr. Bruce Saal or a member of our medical team washes the area to be treated and applies a cooling gel. 

The treatment itself lasts about 20 minutes, depending on which area and how many areas are treated. You may feel a slight stinging sensation, but most of our patients tolerate the procedure without any issue. 

Afterward, your skin may be slightly red, like a sunburn. The redness usually subsides shortly after your treatment. 

The dark spots on your skin usually turn darker and then flake off or lighten after a couple of weeks. Best results are seen within two to four weeks. Depending on your skin goals, Dr. Saal may recommend an additional two to five treatments, spaced three to four weeks apart.

How do I know if IPL is right for me?

If you’re looking for a more even skin tone, want to eliminate or lighten dark spots, and rid yourself of fine lines, IPL may be right for you. While removing dark spots, IPL also gives your skin a healthy, youthful glow.

IPL works on all skin types, but it’s most beneficial for fair skin. Those with darker skin may still benefit from IPL treatments. If you’re considering an IPL treatment and want to know if it can help your skin, call us at Los Gatos Dermatology to make an appointment with Dr. Saal.

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