How Many IPL Treatments Do I Need?
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and try an aesthetic procedure to help rejuvenate your skin! IPL, or Intense Pulse Light, is designed to even out skin tone, correct pigment irregularities, and eliminate reds and browns from the skin. Whether looking for a fotofacial, or seeking ways to brighten your skin, IPL can do some serious damage to the sun damage on your skin.
How many treatments will I need? “This is one of the most common questions I hear,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, dermatologist and cosmetic specialist at Sanova Dermatology. “With IPL, like many medical and cosmetic procedures, the number of treatments can vary based on a number of factors.”
Before diving in to your treatment, it is important to ensure you’re a candidate for the procedure. “Lasers and light treatments tend to work on contrast,” explains Dr. Hanson.”We adjust the settings on the device to target the unwanted pigment in the skin, while preserving the patient’s natural skin tone.”
As such, IPL is ideal for lighter skin types that have a noticeable amount of sun damage. As well, if you have a tan, it’s generally recommended that you let your tan fade before your treatment. This way, the light is better able to target the unwanted pigment in the skin and not pick up the background color.
As far as the number of IPL treatments needed, Dr. Hanson often bases her recommendation on the amount of sun damage a patient has. “The light is drawn to the darker spots on the skin, not always catching those less prominent spots on it’s first pass,” she explains. “After the darker areas are treated, the now more noticeable lighter spots can be targeted.” This is the reason why IPL treatments are typically performed in a series for optimal results.
An exciting aspect of Intense Pulsed Light is that you will see results quite quickly. This is also an indicator of how many sessions may be required. “We often suggest that patients plan on a series three treatments to get the full effect,” Dr. Hanson says. “However after each treatment, we re-evaluate and determine if further treatments would be beneficial.”