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What is IPL?

Learn more about the light therapy treatments offered at our Toronto cosmetic surgery practice.

Many Toronto patients interested in skin care treatments and facial rejuvenation ask us about ways to improve tone and texture of skin, and specifically to reduce the appearance of broken or prominent blood vessels, redness and brown spots. IPL is an ideal treatment for these issues.

IPL, otherwise called intense pulsed light is a therapy in which a specific range of wavelengths of light is directed at the skin. Each wavelength targets specific structures, including the hemoglobin in blood vessels and the melanin in brown spots. These will preferentially absorb IPL wavelengths of light energy.

When hemoglobin- and melanin-containing cells absorb light energy it is turned into heat. This damages the blood vessels, which will then involute and die.

The key to effective IPL is administering high energy to the structures one wishes to treat while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. As Chicago Plastic Surgeon Dr. Turowski states on Realself “not all IPL machines are created equal. Currently the Icon by Palomar seems to be the best option.”

Our Palomar Icon machine reduces time required for procedure and improves comfort, with a large “spot size” and a cooling head that makes even high intensity treatment comfortable. The Palomar is known to treat deeper, wider blood vessels than many other IPL machines.

Benefits of IPL

  • Lighten brown spots
  • Reduce redness
  • Eliminate telangectasia, ie clusters of broken blood vessels
  • Reduce flushing
  • Reduce breakouts from Rosacea
  • Reduce oiliness and breakouts from acne
  • Reduce pore size
  • Minimize fine lines
  • Stimulate collagen production

What to Expect

Many of our Mississauga and Toronto patients have already learned that IPL is quite comfortable, takes very little time, and has almost no downtime. A treatment session lasts about 20 minutes. The skin is cleansed, and you will wear protective eyewear. You will experience a mild “zinging” sensation throughout the procedure and there may be redness for a few hours to days afterward. Within days, brown spots will darken and then either fade or crust and flake off. Blood vessels will be red and then fade and become less visible.

Safety

The Palomar Icon IPL machine is the only IPL on the market with a built in safety feature called “skintel”. This allows the machine to “read” your skin, and then provide the settings appropriate just for you. This eliminates any guesswork, ensuring the right energy intensity and pulse length are used for safe but effective treatment. You’ll see results without having to worry about risk of injury to your skin. Our medical aesthetician and registered nurse who administer this powerful therapy have undergone intensive training on the IPL machine, and we patch test your skin before treatment as an added safety measure.

Who Should Not Have IPL

People with pigmented skin, for example Indian or black skin, cannot have IPL. It is also not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding. We suggest discontinuing Retin-A for two weeks prior to treatment.

If you are interested in IPL, call 905-273-3045 for a free consultation.

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