A Stanford University study showed that use of intense pulse light (IPL) can essentially pause signs of skin aging. In this study, patients were treated with IPL every tree to four months for nine years. IPL treatment works for skin of all ages. The specific wavelength targets each patient’s problem areas, such as brow spots, photoaging, diffuse redness, active acne, atrophic scars from surgery or acne.IPL can also be used for hair reduction. This works best on brown or black hair. Multiple treatments (4-6) will be needed for best results. Maintenance treatment may be needed every couple of years depending on your hair growth patterns. Topical skin treatments that include Retin A, vitamin C and hydroquinone can improve your results and help maintain them. These products should be started 4-6 weeks before the procedure.
- If you have a history of cold sores or “fever blisters”, you should let Dr. Berens know. Laser can cause reactivation of the virus. You will be started on acyclovir 800mg the day before the procedure and then daily for 7 days total to decrease the risk of activation of the herpes virus.
- Sun exposure increases the risk of pigment change and scarring. You should plan on wearing sunblock, and a hat every day for 3 months after your laser treatment if you are out in the sun. Do not tan in any way (creams, beds, sun) for 4 weeks before the procedure.
- Some medications are known to be phototoxic and should not be used within a month before or after laser treatment: amiodarone, minocycline, tetracycline, nitrofurantoin, St. John’s Wort,
- Retin-A or retinol products should be stopped for one week before the procedure and restarted one week later. As you undergo multiple treatment, your retinol products need to be stopped for less and less time as you learn how your skin reacts to the procedure.
- You should not be taking Accutane for 6-12 months prior to any laser treatment.
- Use of blood thinners, aspirin, ibuprofen and supplements such as fish oil can increase risk of bruising associated with the procedure. To minimize the risk, stop these medications 10-14 days prior to the procedure.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding need clearance from their OB.
- Please inform Dr. Berens of any history of hypertrophic or keloid scarring, vitiligo, scleroderma, collagen disorders, radiation treatment, skin cancer, prolonged steroid use, immunosuppressant use and/or psoriasis.
- Do not wear make up the day of your procedure.
- Do not wax or get chemical peels on the area within four weeks.
- If the procedure is being done for hair removal, shave 24 hour before the procedure.
- I have not tanned in the sun, tanning bed or with tanning creams within the last 4 weeks.
- I have not waxed or received a chemical peel and/or other laser treatment in the same area within the last 2 weeks
- I have discussed any history of oral blister/ulcers/cold sores with the practitioner and understand the risk of activation of the herpes virus. If I have a history of cold sores I have been offered acyclovir 800mg the day before the procedure and then daily for 7 days total to decrease the risk of activation of the herpes virus.
- I have not taken Accutane (Isotretinoin) in the last 6 months and/or have discussed the risk with my practitioner.
- I am not currently pregnant or breastfeeding.
- I have discussed any history of hypertrophic or keloid scarring with my practitioner.
- Please arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork, take photos and review the procedure. Those who arrive late may need to reschedule.
- This procedure/treatment involves coating the skin with ultrasound gel and applying energy to the skin using an IPL energy device. The discomfort associated with the procedure is often described as a “rubber band snap”. Numbing medicine is not generally used for this type of procedure. A fan may be used during the procedure to help with some of the heat discomfort.
- The skin will become red, which usually lasts for less than an hour, but can last up to 4-6 hours with appearance similar to a sunburn. If the procedure is being done to target brown spots, then brown spots will become much darker over the next 1-2 weeks before they lighten. If the procedure is done for hair removal, a razor burn type appearance will be present and can be present and often goes away within 24 hours. Large blood vessels can appear bruised prior to lightening. Ice or cold washcloth can be applied to the skin after the procedure for comfort.
- Resume sunblock after the procedure. Makeup is okay after the procedure. Avoid harsh scrubbing for a week after the procedure.
- Depending on the severity of your skin condition, schedule your next treatment in 4 weeks to 6 months.
- Scarring: Abnormal scarring can occur and are more common on non-face skin. Any history of keloids or hypertrophic scarring should be discussed.
- Burns: Laser energy can produce burns to adjacent structures leading to blistering and/or bruising.
- Hyperpigmentation and/or hypopigmentation: prior treatment with hydroquinone and regular sun screen use can reduce the risk.
- Poor Cosmetic Result: Dr. Berens will make every effort to give you an excellent result. An unfavorable cosmetic result is most commonly due to poor communication between you and Dr. Berens about the desired result or limitations of the procedure.
During your consultation, Dr. Berens will analyze your skin and develop a treatment plan to help you accomplish your goals.
Final cost will depend on consultation and number of treatments.