Intense pulsed light was first introduced to the medical community in 1996 to treat treatment-resistant facial port-wine stains in Germany. In the 24 years since, technology has continued to improve where now IPL produces results equal to those of lasers, with a wider range of applications. At Dr. Barrera’s, we utilize IPL to treat age spots, rosacea, uneven skin tone, spider veins, and other skin conditions.
Because it is able to target skin conditions that respond to certain wavelengths of light energy, IPL has shown to be very effective without harming adjacent healthy skin. Our patients from Houston and the surrounding areas love their results after photorejuvenation.
How IPL works
Intense Pulsed Light is not a laser, but high-intensity light sources that make use of a high-output flashlamp to produce a broad wavelength output of light in the 500 to 1200nm range. Light pulses generated are produced by bursts of electrical current passing through a xenon gas-filled chamber. The lamp output is then sent to the handpiece, which directs it onto the surface of the skin through a quartz block.
IPL has great flexibility in wavelengths and is especially well suited to be absorbed by red and browns on the facial skin. Hence the name “photofacial.”
How do we use IPL?
At Dr. Barrera’s, we use IPL for age spots, sun spots, broken facial capillaries, spider veins, and various pigmentation problems.
- Age spots and sun spots — We set the IPL wavelength to match the melanin in your age spots and sun spots. The short pulses of light energy are then delivered down onto the target areas. The IPL penetrates the outer epidermis and is absorbed by the melanin in the unwanted spots. The light energy then converts to heat, and the heat destroys the unwanted pigment to clear these spots. Initially they darken in the first couple of days after your treatment, and then they begin to peel away and lighten.
- Spider vein treatment and broken capillaries — IPL effectively targets the red and blue colors with different wavelengths, 532nm and 1064nm. This damages the walls of the veins, causing them to close off and eventually fade away. Broken capillaries vanish immediately.
Want to get intense with your skin issues? Call Dr. Barrera at (713) 468-5200 and ask about our IPL treatments.