Laser skin treatments have come a long way over the last 30 years. I remember using a single beam, cold beam laser when I started out in this field to stimulate cell rejuvenation in pre and post operative skin procedures. The Single Beam wave over laser for rejuvenation is one of the the oldest laser technologies on the market with ongoing adjustments being made regularly through out the years.
IPL is a BBL (broadband laser) or Broad Band Light treatment. It works in the same way as Single Beam Laser treatments but disperses the light frequency over a larger area, converting the light to heat when the light reaches its target chromophore.
The target chromaphore can be either:
Water – in skin rejuvenation treatments which speeds up Collagen, Elastin and Hyaluronic Acid production within the skin.
Pigment – in the hair follicle for hair reduction or the skin for drawing our and removing surface pigmentation.
Hemoglobin – in vascular lesions which breaks up or blasts red pigment, much like tattoo removal, and disperses the debris into the lymph system for removal.
P-acne bacteria – in acne breakouts to kill the bacteria, dry the spots up and clear them quickly.
Medical Grade IPL and ELight are BBL – Broadband Laser treatments that effect the same changes on pigmentation, scarring, vascular lesions and acne as SBL – Single Beam Laser. Single beam laser is the oldest technology with IPL following and ELight (combination of IPL and Radio Frequency) being the latest technology prior to holographic Picosure or Picoway.
Our motto at Soho Skin Rejuvenation is always non-invasive skin correction with client education. In a certified and experienced hand, IPL and E Light pose far less risk on the skin and eye sight than SBL. They are also far more effective due to the fact that the broad beam application ensures all skin in the area is treated and not just the areas that come in contact with a SBL being waved over the skin.
There are some factors to bare in mind when having IPL, ELight or SBL treatments:
- There is no guarantee on the clearance rates with hair and pigment reduction as in both instances hormones are at play and will affect the final outcome adversely. I tell me clients they can expect up to a 75% clearance on these treatment targets.
- Most clients need at least 6 treatments, in regular monthly intervals for pigment, rejuvenation & hair reduction or weekly – fortnightly for vascular lesions and acne, to reach a satisfying outcome.
- E Light is safer on darker skins due to the light reverberation effect of the RF and Fair & Red hair has a greater clearance rate with ELight as the RF turns 1 shot into multiple shots by reverberating the light thru the skin multiple times.
- We only treat the skin Fitzpatrick up to 5 and I advise Elight, for a Fitz 4 – 5 as it is safer for darker skins.
- It is best to have IPL, E Light or SBL treatments in Winter as the damaging effects of the sun and Summer heat will put you at risk of infection, blisters and hyperpigmentation.
- Wear an SPF daily and avoid extended sun exposure whilst having your course of laser treatments.
- Always have a detailed discussion with your therapist and a laser patch test prior to treatment. There are many laser licenced technicians out there that have no skin qualifications at all. It is vitally important your laser therapist understands the function of the skin and the factors that can cause adverse outcomes for patients.
If you have any questions about laser and IPL treatments please feel free to contact me via our firstname.lastname@example.org email address.