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What is all the fuss over IPL?

What is IPL?

Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a technology used by cosmetic and medical practitioners to perform various skin treatments for aesthetic and therapeutic purposes, including hair removal, photo-rejuvenation (e.g. the treatment of skin discoloration, sun damage, and thread veins) as well as to alleviate dermatologic diseases such as acne, and Rosacea.

What we see IPL is most effective for...

The intense pulsed light (IPL) is a highly popular treatment for age spots (sun spots) as well as spider veins, Rosacea and sometimes acne. IPL stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, plumping up the skin and giving you a younger/fresher, luminescent appearance. Best results are achieved when part of a series of treatments, usually a month apart.

IPL vs. Laser Treatments

IPL generally requires a series of treatments for the best results, perhaps three to six treatments, usually a month apart. IPL, which was first introduced in the 1990s as the photo-facial, is a great choice for a good all-purpose treatment. It is best at reducing brown spots, and has a myriad of benefits for rejuvenating the skin. Lasers use a high-powered, direct beam of intense coherent light on a specific wavelength to target a single condition. Because lasers are targeting one thing (mostly resurfacing) with a higher level of intensity, they're sometimes more effective. If you want to treat age spots and broken capillaries, for instance, that is two different laser treatments, whereas IPL combines it, and typically has very little recovery time.

IPL At Day Spas

Day spas usually have IPL systems because they are less expensive than lasers and one machine can perform different things. By contrast, a Medical Spa with an actual Doctor, Plastic Surgeon, or Dermatologist might have a whole array of machines. Our office has many types of lasers and IPL, so we can address what is the best treatment for your skin. Some types of skin, especially darker skin tones, need special equipment, some types of sun damage also need specific equipment. It is important for an experienced professional to know the difference and to make the best choice of treatment for you.

IPL treatments are usually less expensive than laser treatments. However, this might not meet your goals, so we suggest coming in for a consultation to discuss what is best for your skin type. One size does not fit all, and we are happy to create a plan that meets your needs and treats your specific skin type.

Note that sun spots may or may not lead to Skin Cancer. Remember: frequent skin examinations are the key to early detection and prevention of skin cancers. Our staff at The Medical Spa are trained in how to spot precancerous and skin cancer lesions. They can then refer you to the appropriate medical provider for advice and/or treatment.


Lisa is a Licensed Medical Aesthetician and Certified Laser Specialist. Besides having 20+ years of experience, she was a Free-Lance Make-up Artist to the stars in Hollywood! Lisa has extensive experience in many kinds of Laser Technology to include; Radio Frequency applications, IPL, CO2 Laser, Body fat destruction and contouring machines, Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels, Microneedling, Laser Hair Removal, Acne care, Anti-Aging and medical skin care. She is very skilled at determining the right treatment for the patient's needs.

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