Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a device that delivers a bright blast of light at very high energy levels through a hand-held device. IPL targets the lower layers of skin (dermis) without affecting the top layers of skin (epidermis). IPL systems work on the principle that light energy is absorbed into particular target cells with colour (chromophores) in the skin. The light energy is converted to heat energy, which causes damage to the targeted cells.

IPL systems are different than lasers in that they deliver many wavelengths (or colours) in each pulse of light instead of just one wavelength. Most IPL systems use filters to refine the energy output for the treatment of certain areas of coloured pigment while enhancing penetration without having to use excessive energy levels.

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The Palomar ICON 1540 fractional non- ablative resurfacing laser sends an array of controlled micro-beams into the dermis. These micro-beams cause a change in the collagen and elastin below the skin surface. This results in a reduction of sun damage, acne scars, and an improvement in skin texture and tone.

Unlike some resurfacing devices that remove the epidermis and some of the dermis, the ICON 1540 uses the fractional non-ablative approach to deliver an array of high-powered micro-beams into the skin. Each micro-beam creates a narrow column of tissue coagulation that penetrates the epidermis and dermis while sparing the surrounding tissue from damage. The unaffected tissue stimulates collagen re-modeling and initiates a natural healing process that accelerates the formation of new, healthy tissue. This is a well-tolerated procedure.

Because so much of the skin is unaffected by the light pulses, patients enjoy a quick healing process. Mild to moderate redness and swelling is to be expected for a couple of days following treatment.

Before and After Photos:



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Type of Device: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Skin Types: Fitzpatrick I-IV

Discomfort: Minimal

Social Downtime: Usually None

Treatment Time: 15 - 60 Minutes

# of Treatments Required: By Assessment (typically 2 - 4)

Commonly Treated Conditions:

Sun Damage

Laser Hair Removal

Brown Spots

Vascular and Pigmented Lesions