Light can harm skin or help skin. Sunlight, for example, bombards the skin with ultraviolet radiation, which can cause numerous medical and cosmetic problems, including pigmentation irregularities. Intense pulsed light (IPL) at the Denver area’s AboutSkin Dermatology, on the other hand, can help to even the skin tone. The treatment is ideal for addressing pigment problems on the face, hands, neck, chest, and virtually anywhere they may develop.
When it comes to the skin, darker-pigmented cells more readily absorb light energy than lighter cells, converting it to heat that can increase significantly in a short amount of time. IPL takes advantage of this by specifically targeting dark lesions and regions, including sun spots (lentigos), brown spots from a skin condition known as melasma, freckles, visible or broken vessels, and more.
The IPL device is not a laser, but a specialized tool that produces broadspectrum light in numerous scattered wavelengths. This light enters the skin and is absorbed by melanin-producing cells that cause dark-colored spots and hemoglobin in blood vessels.
As these cells or proteins heat up, they are damaged or killed. In the case of brown lesions, this leads to spots gradually flaking away to reveal skin with a clearer tone. In the case of visible or broken blood vessels, this leads to collapse. Damaged and unused vessels are then absorbed by the body without negatively impacting the circulatory system. The ultimate result is skin not marked by fine lines or general redness.
Intense pulsed light passes through the surface of the skin, so it is not considered an “ablative” treatment, which removes all or portions of the outermost layers in the targeted area. Because of this, IPL is not known for causing significant downtime after a session. Patients who are concerned about the side effects after an IPL treatment can discuss this during an initial consultation.
Minor downtime is required following an IPL treatment. The affected skin should be protected from ultraviolet radiation by applying sunscreen or staying out of sunlight.
The treated skin will appear red and swollen in the hours and days after an IPL session, after which the targeted lesions gradually improve in appearance over the course of days or weeks. Up to three or more sessions can be needed to generate the desired results.
AboutSkin Dermatology uses photodynamic therapy to treat precancerous lesions and acne, as well as lasers for many skin treatments, including laser hair removal and laser skin resurfacing. Fractional laser treatments, which may be ablative or non-ablative, can address numerous skin conditions.
Women and men are invited to call the AboutSkin Dermatology team to discuss their specific medical or cosmetic dermatology needs. Our Board-Certified Dermatologists, aestheticians, and more can create a plan designed to generate effective results.
As director of AboutSkin Dermatology, the nationally renowned Dr. Cohen oversees the practice.READ MORE
Dr. Stoler has provided medical and surgical services at AboutSkin Dermatology since 2011.READ MORE
Dr. Ho joined AboutSkin Dermatology in 2012, and provides medical and surgical services.READ MORE
Dr. Fettig came to AboutSkin in 2019 after completing her Boston University residency.READ MORE