Have you noticed changes in facial skin tone, inflammation or overactive blood vessels?

Intense Pulsed Light TherapyYour skin tone and texture may have changed due to sun damage, aging, acne scarring and certain conditions, such as rosacea.

You may have noticed overactive blood vessels, pigmentation, discoloration, age spots/sunspots, broken capillaries, unwanted hair, fine lines or inflammation.

When medications or topical treatments aren’t helping your skin texture and tone, facial light therapy may be a good treatment option.

What is intense pulsed light treatment?

Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments target blood vessels below the skin’s surface and within the deep layers of the skin. Pulses of light stimulate production of collagen and elastic fibers while cauterizing overactive capillaries.

Laser treatments usually target a specific area and depth, while IPL covers a wide area of skin and a deeper range of skin depth, allowing many issues to be treated at once.

Conditions treated by IPL

  • Uneven skin texture, including fine lines
  • Uneven skin tone, such as sunspots, overactive capillaries and pigmentation
  • Unwanted facial hair
  • Chalazions and styes
  • Dry eyes and ocular surface disease
  • Ocular/facial rosacea and dry eye (blepharitis) caused by overactive blood vessels
  • Demodex mites (microscopic bugs that live on the eyelashes)

As ophthalmologists, we’re experts in administering these treatments while protecting the health and safety of your eyes. Treatment can target your entire face, but also the eyelids and the orbital area surrounding the eye.

Learn more about how IPL can treat conditions such as dry eye and rosacea

IPL for facial rejuvenation

Facial treatment includes ResurFX™ lasering, photorejuvenation and photofractional treatments. ResurFX™ treatments use a nonablative laser attachment for IPL technology that targets skin texture. (Nonablative lasers resurface skin texture without harming skin structure.) Photorejuvenation treatment uses IPL technology to target skin tone. Photofractional treatment refers to the use of sequential treatment of IPL and ResurFX™.

ResurFX™ treatment can visibly improve:

  • Fine lines
  • Skin texture
  • Overall skin appearance

Photorejuvenation can visibly improve:

  • Pigmentation
  • Age/sunspots
  • Broken capillaries
  • Overall skin appearance

Photofractional combines ResurFX and IPL technology to visibly improve:

  • Fine lines
  • Skin texture
  • Pigmentation
  • Age/sunspots
  • Broken capillaries
  • Overall skin appearance

How IPL works for facial rejuvenation

Both IPL and ResurFX™ technologies can be used in the same treatment session. Stellar M22™ IPL technology removes both unwanted pigmentation and blood vessels from the skin, while the ResurFX™ fractional laser stimulates the production of new collagen and elastic fibers in the deeper layers of the skin.

To ensure utmost comfort, your physician typically applies a topical numbing cream before treatment and uses air cooling during treatment. Depending on your specific concern, you can expect the session to last between 15 and 30 minutes. You may experience a warm or prickling sensation as the laser is applied to the skin, but the treatment is gentle and shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or painful.

Results of IPL facial treatment

Typically, about three sessions are needed to have visible improvement in the skin texture and fine lines. Optimal results are achieved after three to five sessions in two-to-six-week intervals.

What to expect before and after your facial treatment

What to expect before and after your facial treatment

How IPL works for facial hair removal

IPL hair removal treatment is a noninvasive treatment that permanently reduces facial hair growth, resulting in smooth skin.

Highly controlled pulses of light are applied on the treated area and are selectively absorbed by the hair follicles beneath the skin surface. The absorbed light heats the hair follicles, which damages the regrowth potential of the follicle — all without damaging the surrounding tissue.

Results of IPL for hair removal

The Stellar M22™ IPL hair removal treatment is generally administered in a series of four to six sessions, but your doctor can tell if you might require additional treatments.

Multiple treatments are required in order to target the hair follicles in every stage of growth.

You should start to notice a reduction in unwanted facial hair after the first treatment.

Does insurance cover IPL treatments?

As treatment for a cosmetic condition, IPL is typically not covered by accepted insurance, although there are some exceptions. Please check with your physician or insurance provider for details.

Why choose the Ohio State Oculoplastic Team

Our oculoplastic physicians are the only specialized experts in the care, diagnosis, treatment and surgery for facial eye plastics at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Every member of our Oculoplastic Team is board certified and has completed a two-year fellowship in eye plastics from the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). There are only 750 physicians in the world with this comprehensive training (data as of January 2023).

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