It is a device that stimulates atoms or molecules to emit light at particular wavelengths and amplifies that light, typically producing a very narrow beam of energy.
Laser is an acronym for “light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation.”
In skin care therapies, we use different wavelengths of light from the laser device to target different chromophores / targets within the skin that has a specific absorption of these specific wave lights to bring about a desired effect. Eg. melanin /pigment for eliminating sun spots / browns or hair. This is in the form of an IPL as noted below:
Then what is IPL?
IPL is a type of minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that uses high-intensity pulses of light (not laser light) to diminish the appearance of or remove a variety of skin lesions and imperfections.
At what age can IPL be performed?
There is no minimum or maximum age for IPL treatment.
What does a typical IPL consultation entail?
You will meet with the doctor and he or she will determine if you are a good candidate for IPL treatment. The doctor will want to know about your medical history, examine your skin, and discuss why you are considering IPL. Then, the doctor will explain to you what can and cannot be treated with IPL. You may be asked to have a spot test done to see if your skin reacts well to IPL. The doctor will also advise you on about how many treatments will be needed to achieve your goal. You should also ask about the risks associated with IPL, as well as the cost.
How is IPL performed?
The technician or doctor will determine if you need a topical anesthetic on the area to be treated. After the treatment area is numb, a gel will be applied and a glass prism will then be placed over the gel and treatment area. An intense flash of light, or pulse, is beamed through the prism to the treatment area.
IPL treats various conditions from unwanted hair, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, brown spots and changes in skin tone from photo/sun damage skin, small vessel formations on the skin like cherry angiomas and telangiectasia.
What should I expect after my IPL treatment?
Unlike laser resurfacing or other skin resurfacing procedures, there is no real downtime with IPL. Your skin may be slightly pink or red right after your treatment, and you may experience mild swelling that should subside in a few days.
Does IPL hurt?
The sensation during IPL treatment ranges from warmth to something like the sting of a rubber band snapping against your skin.
When will I be able to see the results of IPL?
You should see results after one or two treatments. Your doctor will be able to predict how many treatments you’ll need for best results.
What are the risks of IPL?
Although rare, blistering and/or slight bleeding are possible, as are hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation (lightened or darkened areas of skin, respectively). Scarring is also possible, but rare.
Are the IPL results permanent?
Depending on your habits (sun exposure, skin care, use of sunblock, etc.), hyperpigmentation problems may be permanently eradicated with IPL.
What is fractional, non-ablative laser resurfacing/rejuvenation?
Non-ablative skin rejuvenation uses a laser to improve the appearance of wrinkles, brown spots and minor scars by creating heat in the skin without injuring the surface of the skin. The heat generated by the laser promotes collagen production which causes the skin to tighten and look young and healthy.
Non-ablative lasers are often fractionated to deliver heat into the skin through thousands of tiny, deep columns known as microthermal treatment zones with intervening normal untreated skin. The fractional approach allows the skin to heal much faster than if the entire area was treated. This approach lessens the recovery period and reduces the number of complications that can occur.
What can it treat?
Scars, acne scars
Striae / stretch marks
Wrinkles, fine lines
Sun spots / sun-damaged skin
How do I prepare for a treatment with an IPL device?
Having a consolation before is important as Dr. Govender will go through your medical history to ascertain whether you will need to stop certain skin treatments you may be doing, or prescribe some antiviral or antibiotics if you have or had cold sores.
The use of a broad spectrum sun block with a high SPF ( > 45) is essential, and avoiding direct sun exposure / bathing or tanning procedures 4-6 weeks prior to treatments.
Is it painful?
A topical anesthetic is usually applied to the treatment area to minimize discomfort. Pain is usually minimal.
What are the potential complications of non-ablative laser rejuvenation?
Temporary lightening or darkening of the skin
What can I expect after having had non-ablative laser rejuvenation?
The benefit is that recovery time is minimal as opposed to ablative skin resurfacing. In some cases, a series of treatments may be necessary.
Most patients can return to work immediately after the procedure. Redness caused by the treatment can be camouflaged by makeup without any negative effects. The treatment area should be kept well moisturized.
Patients should avoid sleeping on the treated area to prevent prolonged swelling. Cold compresses can be applied to alleviate pain.
Sun exposure should be avoided after the treatment. Broad spectrum sunscreens of at least SPF 45 should be applied daily.
What are Fillers / Dermal Fillers?
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance found in the body’s connective tissues. Its supply dwindles with advancing age, but injections can increase volume, creating a more youthful appearance.
The filler we use is Belotero, a long-lasting filler for superficial wrinkles and deeper folds for improved skin volume and structure. There are different densities of this filler to help improve different areas that require attention. For example, Belotero Soft is used for lip enhancement or fine lines while Belotero Intense is used for deeper lines.
It has the added benefit, compared to other dermal fillers, of having a local numbing agent in it to help reduce the discomfit sometimes felt with injections.
If you are unhappy with the results, any hyaluronic acid fillers, injections of an enzyme called hyaluronidase, can dissolve it.
Filler Injections: Are You a Candidate?
There is no one-size-fits-all filler. The best way to determine which filler or fillers are right for you.
Injections take 15 to 30 minutes and may involve some minor discomfort. Expect some redness, swelling and bruising that will typically resolve in a week. The results are immediate. The results last six to 12 months.
This will vary based on the number of injections required based on the type, quantity and location of wrinkles or folds.
NEUROMODULATORS: What Are They?
They are botulinum toxins type A, which paralyzes the muscles.
These are used to paralyze the muscles that cause wrinkles, there by improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
We use Xeomin which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to improve moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows (also known as glabellar lines) in adults. Xeomin is manufactured by Merz Pharmaceuticals.
The wrinkle-smoothing results seen with Xeomin typically last up to six months. Results are visible within one week.
Xeomin side effects or injection complications may include bleeding or bruising.
Like all other botulinum products, Xeomin poses a rare risk for spreading outside of the injection site. If this occurs, life-threatening swallowing and breathing problems may result. Of note, this side effect has NOT been seen in people receiving neurotoxins for cosmetic reasons.
Why is Xeomin different to other Botulinum toxin A’s?
There are no additives, making an allergic reaction less likely. It also does not have to be refrigerated.