Healthcare: Dermatology

Intense Pulsed Light

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Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, is a new and exciting way to improve and rejuvenate the skin. Unlike a laser, which emits one specific wavelength of light, IPL emits a broad spectrum of light with each pulse. The broad spectrum of light in each pulse allows us to treat a variety of skin imperfections at the same time. The state-of-the-art machine we use is the Lumenis One, one of the most advanced IPL units produced. Treatments are quick and effective with very little downtime.

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Results

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Above are before (left side) and after (right side) photographs of a patient treated at Baylor Dermatology for poikiloderma (redness on the neck) with two IPL treatments.
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The most common application of IPL is a skin rejuvenation technique known as FotoFacial (also PhotoFacial). This treatment provides an average of 70 percent improvement in the signs of sun damage (redness, brown spots, etc). There may also be some improvement in wrinkles, pore size and flushing. An entire zone, such as the face, is treated during each treatment. The sessions are scheduled every four weeks. Using a numbing cream immediately before the session may reduce any discomfort. Usually the treated skin stays red for one to three days and there may be a little bruising. Brown spots that have been treated usually flake off within five to seven days. Most people can go back to work right away.

In addition, IPL may be used with different parameters for a variety of other conditions. A consultation will determine if you might be a good candidate for treatment.

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Cost

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We charge $500 per treatment for the face. Patients will generally require two to five treatments. Redness can be stubborn and may in some cases require more treatment. As mentioned, redness is typical and bruising can sometimes occur after treatment. Serious side effects such as scarring or discoloration are extremely rare with the Lumenis One due to numerous safety features.

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Preparation

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Avoid the sun before and after treatment. Having a tan interferes with the treatment. Consider regular use of a daily moisturizing broad-spectrum sunblock with an SPF of 30.

Numbing cream is recommended for the most comfortable experience. Recticare 4 percent or 5 percent cream is sold in our clinic or may be purchased without a prescription at any pharmacy (some require 48 hours to order). For the face it is best applied generously 60 minutes pretreatment, and again as a mask 30 minutes pretreatment.