Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for:

  • Freckles
  • Age Spots
  • Brown & Red Spots
  • Sun Damage
  • Spider Veins

What is Intense Pulsed Light?

IPL Treatment, also known as Fotofacial or Photofacial is a secret weapon for reversing many skin pigmentation issues and can also greatly benefit people struggling with acne. Luckily, these symptoms of aging can be treated easily with our Quanta Laser. The name IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light which is a broadband beam of light, unlike laser which is a single beam of light. Dr. Reinertson and Denice Schwind and their staff are some of the most seasoned laser therapists in the Seattle area and our expertise has helped women, men, and teens throughout the city regain their youth and confidence.

What is IPL used for?

Intense Pulsed Light skin rejuvenation successfully treats uneven skin tone, freckles, brown and red spots, broken blood vessels, spider veins, birth marks, as well as discoloration and fine wrinkles caused by sun damage. It is also a valuable tool to help clear up bacteria caused by acne and helps to correct acne prone skin.

Can I get an IPL treatment?

Dr. Jodie Reiertson explains candidacy for the IPL treatment. She will initiate a consultation with a potential candidate to discuss his/her aesthetic goals, any skin concerns, and habits in skincare undergone by the potential candidate. She often recommends IPL to reduce abnormal pigmentation and symptoms of aging. Some requirements for IPL candidacy are: fair skin, no recent sunburns or tanning, no traces of using Retin-A or other sensitizing products. Unfortunately, the laser used in IPL doesn’t distinguish the difference in normal and abnormal pigmentation, so those with darker skin tones are typically not suitable candidates. Don’t fret though. There are other options for patients who aren’t candidates for IPL therapy.

How long does the treatment take?

A typical full-face treatment of IPL last approximately 1 hour.

What does IPL really do?

Our IPL – ELOS (electro-optical synergy) laser uses a unique combination of radiofrequency and light to isolate the treatment area and leave the surrounding skin free from potentially harmful side effects. Using gentle pulses of two targeted energies means you may get better results with lower overall energy output — assuring the highest level of safety and comfort. The laser is attracted to the dark pigmentation of brown discoloration on the skin – and draws it towards the surface of the skin — and eventually out altogether. When treating redness the laser setting is attracted to the hemoglobin and heats up the tiny vessels to the point where they collapse and the blood retreats. This provides a clearer, smoother complexion which will smooth out your skin tone and improve texture.

What is an IPL treatment like?

Often a topical numbing agent is applied for about 15 minutes. Once the numbing solution is washed of the skin, eye protection is put in place and a cool, clear gel is applied to the area to be treated. The laser is then pulsed slowly over the gel and is uniformly pulsed over the entire area. A quiet tone proceeds each laser pulse, and this can help patients anticipate when a pulse is coming so the flash of light is never a surprise. Once the area is treated and cooled, the gel is washed off and finishing lotion and sunscreen are applied.

IPL Results

After a treatment with the ELOS for pigmentation – the brown spots will become darker, sometimes taking on the look of coffee grounds. The laser works by drawing these pigments to the surface, which is why they will be more prominent after treatment. This is a sign that the therapy is working. Most patients may require 3-5 treatments, on a monthly cycle, to see maximum results.

Is IPL Therapy Painful?

Individual experience varies, but most people only feel a slight sensation like tiny pin pricks, or rubber band snaps. For your added safety and peace of mind, we utilize a cooling technique that is unique to Advanced Skin and Body Solutions, to ensure maximum comfort for our patients. We also offer topical numbing as a courtesy for our patients at no additional charge.

What are the IPL common side effects?

Many of our patients enjoy IPL therapy on their lunch break and can easily return to work afterwards. You may experience some slight redness post-treatment but this will dissipate as the day goes on; it is easily covered with makeup if you are prone to flushing. After treating redness or blood vessels, the skin can be slightly pink and some larger vessels may turn dark red or black for a few days and this heals much like a scratch would in just a few days to a few weeks based on your body’s unique healing process.

How to Reduce Side Effects from IPL

Intense Pulsed Light treatments are not ideally suited for the summer months since there is increased exposure to the sun’s UV rays. We want to ensure that you receive the best outcome from treatment and receiving treatment in any area exposed to the sun in summer months is counter-productive to treatment. With that being said, avoid sun exposure 4-6 weeks prior to IPL treatment. This is true of sunless tanning as well. We recommend avoiding tanning beds as well as sunless tanning creams prior to a treatment.