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April 27, 2021

Why Everyone Needs an IPL Photofacial

*Content provided by our sister practice Cosmetic Laser Dermatology

As warmer weather waltzes in, there’s no better time to revamp your skin for a fresh, healthy look. Spring is the season for renewal, and one versatile cosmetic skin treatment that will refresh your appearance is the IPL photofacial. This procedure helps people of all ages not only achieve better skin tone and texture, but also helps alleviate the symptoms of some skin conditions such as rosacea and melasma.

At West Dermatology, we offer a comprehensive variety of 50+ laser, light, and energy treatments including our most popular IPL photofacial device Lumenis M22 Stellar to suit our patients’ unique skincare needs. Dr. Mitchel Goldman, our Medical Director, pioneered the field of IPL. He has published dozens of medical papers, including a review with colleagues regarding his early experiences with IPL and the development of its use over time. (Almukhtar R, Emily Carr E, Goldman MP: Intense Pulsed Light: The Early Years. Dermatological Reviews 2020;1-10) We are proud to share our research findings with you and offer this skin rejuvenating treatment at our San Diego medical spa.

Based on the review mentioned above, IPL is clearly an effective treatment modality for a wide range of dermatologic lesions, from pigmented to vascular and inflammatory lesions. The flexibility of IPL’s wavelength also allows for it to treat a variety of skin conditions. And in addition to the team’s constant investigative pursuits of IPL, we also have more experience performing IPL treatments than any other practice in the world.

What Can IPL Do For You?

If you enjoy being out in the sun but don’t enjoy the spots or lined and leathery appearance it’s caused, IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, can effectively treat sun damage (age spots), other signs of aging, as well as pigmentation issues and other dermatologic diseases just in time for spring.

The review authored by Dr. Goldman, Dr. Rawaa Almukhtar, and Dr. Emily Carr highlights the safety, efficacy, and versatility of IPL, which can treat the following issues:

How Does IPL Work?

Now that you’re ready to get that healthy, younger looking skin this spring, it is good to first understand how IPL works and why it is effective.

The published review explains that IPL utilizes light with a broad spectrum of wavelengths (ranging between 400 and 1200 nm), which allows the device to target melanin within the skin. With the device’s cooling system, IPL can safely penetrate down to the dermis (second layer of your skin) without damaging the epidermis (top layer). Pigment in the skin then absorbs the light energy, heating the photodamaged cells in the skin and breaking them down. The body then naturally removes the damaged tissue and unwanted pigment, helping you achieve a more even skin tone. 
Some IPL devices have a single pulse, whereas our Lumenis IPLs have multiple sequential pulsing. Furthermore, some devices will vary depending on the pulse duration, the energy fluence, or both in each pulse. Other variables include the size of the delivered light, power outputs, and cooling system, meaning that not all IPLs are the same. The devices available at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology are some of the most powerful IPL machines available today, offering superior results for our patients no matter what their skin concerns might be. 

Pigment Issues IPL Can Treat for Your Spring Refresh


Other Concerns IPL Can Address


Low Risk, Multiple Benefits

We understand that renewing your skin this spring and achieving that coveted glow shouldn’t come with a dangerous price. The good news is that studies have found IPL to be well-tolerated for most patients. Minimal side effects include mild discomfort, erythema, purpura, edema, blistering, and crusting. These issues typically resolve within 48 hours, although some patients find they can persist for up to one week. Post treatment hyperpigmentation and hyperpigmentation are also possible very rare adverse effects of IPL. 
In addition to its low risk, benefits of IPL include:


To schedule your IPL Photofacial, request your appointment here: https://www.westdermatology.com/request-appointment