IPL– Safe and Beautiful Results

Question:  I have heard so  many horror stories about IPL, but you had great results.  Can you tell me what machine was used and at what settings?

Answer:  I had IPL with Dr Ellen Marmur of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, so I  asked  her to answer this question.  Dr Marmur used the Luminis IPL with two handpieces– the 560nm and the 590nm.   “Both  of them focus on red spots, blood vessels and brown freckles”  she explained.  “The treatment settings vary from patient to patient based on skin color and the amount of the target to be removed.  For example, I use  lower settings for freckles to avoid over-heating the skin.’    Dr Marmur also warned against getting IPL when tanned ”   You need to avoid the sun for at least wo weeks prior to IPL treament ” she warned.

IPL Road Rules

IPL or Intense Pulsed Light is a form of light that is related to laser technology, but  far less invasive.  It operates in the top layers of the skin and can remove unwanted hair, small red lines and spots as well as freckles,brown spots,  and dark patches.    It is practically painless, and leaves the skin a bit red rather than burned and oozy like true lasers.

But there are reports of problems with IPL.  Because the light focuses on pigments in melanin,  women  with darker complexions are most at risk of developing irregular pigmentation.  Even  dark olive complexions  should  proceed cautiously with IPL.

Choosing  the right setting, device and timing of applications is a learned skill.  I met Dr Marmur though a smart, well-connected  friend  and I have found this type of one to one reccomendation is a great  way to getting  someone  you can trust.  I would also check out  a doctors credentials  to be certain that they have the training they need  to  give you healthy,  beautiful results. For more info on IPL you can also check out an earlier post IPL- Five Top Questions.

6 thoughts on “IPL– Safe and Beautiful Results

  1. Hi Deb, Thank you very much for all the info on IPL! You just saved me from making a big mistake. I didn’t know Asians should avoid IPL. As much as I would love to get rid of my hyperpigmentation from sun damage, I now know IPL is not for me. I guess I will have to find another way. Thank you! xoxoxo

  2. Oh, I’m so glad! Thre are a lot of good tools and techniques out there, but there is a lack of info about when they should or should not be used. Some dermatologists suggest trying out IPl on the forarms to see how your skin reacts. Keep in mind that it can take up to a month after IPL for unwanted hyperpigmentation develop. Have you tried Retin A for dark patches for sun damage? Its safer and can show good results within six weeks.

    • It depends on your skin tones. People with lighter skin tone and eyes respond very well. In darker skin tones, IPL may actually increase unwanted dark patches. It needs to be done on the lowest settings by a very experienced operator to avoid problems. Try it on a patch of skin on your hand before aiming it at your face.

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