Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy uses short bursts of high energy light to penetrate into the skin and correct a variety of skin imperfections. 

This laser therapy is used to effectively treat:
  • Redness associated with rosacea
  • Broken facial vessels
  • Brown spots associated with sun damage

IPL is similar to other laser therapies in that it uses a beam of light to reduce pigmentation and red areas. However instead of just using one color or wavelength of light, IPL uses a range of wavelengths. This give us the ability to adjust how deep into the skin the light passes and what structures it targets. Because different structures in the skin absorb specific wavelenths of light more efficiently, we can use just the right amount of energy to target specific imperfections.

Advantages of IPL therapy include:
  • Non-ablative and non-invasive procedure (does not involve destruction or surgery of the skin)
  • Minimal discomfort or pain during the treatment
  • Little to no downtime following the procedure

The IPL procedure typically takes 20-30 minutes and patients can return to their normal routine immediately. We typically advise patients that three to six sessions are necessary for optimum results and visits should be spaced four to six weeks apart.


Frequently Asked Questions

What conditions does IPL treat?

IPL is very versatile and treats a wide range of imperfections, including rosacea, broken capillaries, freckles, sun damage, wrinkles, scars and acne.  IPL is safe for much of the population but people who have lupus, tanned skin, are prone to keloids or excess scarring, or have difficulty staying healthy may not be a candidate for intensed pulse light therapy.

Where can IPL be used?

IPL can be used to treat the face, chest, neck, hands and arms. It is most commonly used on the face.

What should I expect at the IPL session?

IPL sessions can last from 15 to 45 minutes. The duration of IPL therapy depends on the condition and area being treated. An accurate estimate of the time needed will be provided during your consultation. Patients often describe the pulses as a small pinprick or the flicking of an elastic band. A cooling gel is used to increase patient comfort. Any discomfort is temporary and there is no lasting pain.

What are the side effects? Is there any downtime?

Temporary redness, freckling and/or mild swelling can occur. Brown spots can temporarily become darker for a few days prior to peeling. Side effects are minimal and typically fade within 24-48 hours after the procedure. After the treatment, the skin is more sensitive for a couple weeks and we advise patients to avoid prolonged sun exposure and to wear sunscreen in order to see the best results (Healthy Sun Habits).