Skin Rejuvenation using IPL/Photo Rejuvenation
This is a treatment that has enjoyed much controversy over the years and has been the cause of many studies to be conducted in an attempt to find exactly what effect photo rejuvenation by means of IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments has on ageing skin.
One such study is mentioned below:
‘A number of studies have been performed starting in the late 1990’s to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of IPL on wrinkle-removal and rejuvenation of the skin. One such conducted by a group of 4 researchers from the Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University and published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology in 2004 found IPL to be a “non-invasive, non-ablative method for rejuvenating photoaged skin with minimal adverse events”’ ( Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photorejuvenation )
The IPL systems works by means of emitting varied wavelengths of intense, pulsed, broad spectrum light, which can permeate the cuticle of the derma and take effect on abnormalities in the skin, and cause these tissues to break down the abnormal pigment cells, constrict abnormal blood vessels, stimulate the proliferation of collagen and improve the rearrangement of elastin fibers in the skin, which in turn aids in the rejuvenation of the skin.
Varying wavelengths are used for varying skin problems, but they all work on similarly:
- Pigmentation:When the light penetrates the dermal layer, the abnormal pigment in the area is broken down and absorbed via the blood capillary network into the Lymphatic system and broken down.
- Broken Capillaries/Telangiectasia:These occur when the ‘back-flow’ valve of the capillary is damaged, which causes pooling of blood cells in the damage vessel. As the light reaches these damaged vessels, the pool of blood is pushed from the area, which in turn aids in the removal of ‘old’ blood cells that have accumulated in the area and the body can now eliminate these waste materials and bring new, healthy cells to the area.
- Fine Lines and WrinklesAs the light reaches the collagen and elastin fibers it causes microscopic lesions in the fibers, which triggers the body’s autoimmune response and brings healing agents to the area via the bloodstream. This process causes new fibers to synthesize and therefore the skin heals itself, which improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, by ‘plumping’ the skin naturally from the inside
Benefits of IPL Treatments
IPL procedures require no anesthetic and sometimes offer near-instant results, such as in the case of pigmentation and vascular problems. The semi-painless procedure also does not require any downtime, which is why it is known as a ‘lunch-time’ treatment, resuming regular activities within a few minutes after treatment.
IPL treatments can be used to correct and refine skin problems on nearly all skin types, and are effective for treating:
- Ephelides (Freckles)
- Solar Keratosis (Age spots)
- Spider veins
- Sun spots
- Acne scars
- Stretch marks
These are effectively treated because the IPL (Intense pulsed Light) penetrates deep into the skin where various wavelengths are used to target different structures. Shorter wavelengths target small blood vessels and pigmented lesions, and longer wavelengths heat and remodel collagen and elastin fibers. This versatility makes IPL ideal for treating actinically damaged skin.
As with all light treatments, there are bound to be some drawbacks to IPL treatments. Even though there are no long-term problems associated with intense pulse light therapy, but there are some side effects with this treatment. The intensive light can cause slight swelling and redness in the treatment area, especially in areas where the skin is very thin or especially fragile, but subsides within a few minutes and in very sensitive cases hours after treatment.
Hypo-pigmentation, though very rare, is a concern associated with IPL treatments, and is most common in those with darker skin tones, however can be avoided by doing a patch test prior to treatment as well as ensuring that the IPL professional knows what they are doing.