IPL which is short for Intense Pulsed Light uses filtered broadband light technology to selectively heat specific targets (chromophores) in the skin. Depending on the wavelength selected, the target chromophores can be melanin or haemoglobin. In this way, pigmentation, spider veins and hair follicles can be preferentially destroyed without harming the surrounding normal skin.
There are many types of IPL devices around, many with fancy names, but all effectively working via similar principles and technology. The main variances are in the safety and energy delivery.
The more sophisticated IPL devices have undergone stringent research prior to production, and have pre-set programs to ensure patient safety. The doctor just needs to ensure that IPL is safe and suitable for the individual patient, choose the correct skin type and treatment type and the machine safely delivers the correct energy.
Cheaper, less sophisticated devices may depend on the user’s experience to determine the correct settings, increasing the risk of treatment failure or burns. Or the energy output may be insufficient to obtain adequate results.
IPL is a very versatile aesthetic device, being effective for: