What is IPL?
IPL stands for Intense Pulse Light. It is a filtered and controlled light based treatment that transits to heat, heating the hair follicle to make for an effective treatment! In a hair removal treatment, if the hair is connected to the blood supply then it will permanently destroy that hair follicle meaning another hair cannot grow in its place.
How is the treatment carried out?
The Perspex applicator is placed in contact with the skin surface and light pulsed through it onto the skin. The applicator is then moved to the neighbouring area and the process is repeated.
Who can be treated?
Dark hairs are most easily treated due to the large concentration of dark melanin in these which gives maximum absorption and conversion of light energy to heat. Very fair hair has less melanin and consequently less heat is produced making it slightly less certain of permanent destruction of the hair follicles. Grey (white) hair has almost no melanin and cannot be efficiently treated. The upper skin layer of the epidermis also contains melanin and the dark skinned and tanned individuals with less energy to avoid generation of excess heat and pain in the skin. The Pulsar computer has pre- programmed treatment suggestions for different hair and pigment types. Hair removal is also becoming more popular with men areas include the upper cheeks and neck, chest and back.
Is it permanent?
Most authorities would agree that using current laser and light technology is possible to permanently remove hair. In most cases, hair growth is reduced by a minimum of 80% - 90% meaning that any hair that may reappear within a few years will grow more slowly and will be lighter and thinner. Once the treatment is completed, some hair may reappear after 5 to 10 years. However, it will be weak and thin and may easily be removed in just one session.
How many sessions are necessary?
The amount of sessions needed essentially depends on a number of factors such as hair colour and thickness, skin type and type of area to be treated. Only hair in the growth phase can be treated. You can continue removing your hair in between sessions, but always using methods that do not pull the hair out (wax, tweezers, etc.), as with razor blades or hair removal cream. After the first treatment most patients get significant reduction in the hair density also new hairs tend to become finer. This may cause what seems to be re-growth but which is actually the sleeping hairs starting to grow at the same time. Approximately 6-10 sessions are required.
How do I prepare for treatment?
For successful hair removal with our Intense Pulsed Light equipment, hair needs to be 1 to 3 millimetres long, to allow for the emitted light to be absorbed by the hair melanin, conducting the light to the follicle.
Patients should avoid tanning for 1 month ahead and during the entire treatment scenario to avoid excessive discomfort from excessive light absorption in the epidermis. Immediately after the treatment skin is particularly sensitive to the UV light and strong sunlight should be avoided for 4-5 days.
How can you tell if the treatments had worked when the hairs are not removed immediately?
After treatment the hairs are often loose with in the follicle and can easily be pulled out with tweezers. A red ring around each hair follicle is often seen a few minutes after treatment. These two things are good indications that sufficient heating of the follicles has taken place. Unfortunately they are not always seen and we still have many patients with successful treatment results without the post - treatment signs immediately. The hair follicles are killed by the heat but the hairs remain in the skin and often become attached to the epidermis. They will fall out after 1 to 3 weeks as the epidermis is renewed. During the period it will seem that the hairs are growing as they are pushed out by the epidermis.
Can all body areas be treated?
Almost all body areas can be treated with Intense Pulsed Light. The only exception is any area where the light might reach your eyes directly, such as your brow.
How long does each session last?
This will depend on the area to be treated. For instance, legs can take about 40 minutes, underarms around 10 minutes and the area above the lips can take just a few seconds.
Are there any contraindications?
Before beginning the treatment, we will ask you a number of questions to find out any possible contraindications, which may include: diabetes, epilepsy, taking photosensitive drugs, pregnancy, breastfeeding, keloids, tattoos, recently tanned skin, very pigmented or very dark or black skin. Most contraindications can be avoided or temporary.
Does the treatment have any side effects?
On rare occasions, erythema and warmness may appear in the treated area, but these effects will disappear within a few hours. We highly recommend applying aloe vera gel as its soothing, regenerating and hydrating effects are complimentary to your skin after an Intense Pulsed Light treatment.
Is it safe?
Intense Pulsed Light hair removal treatments are safe for the skin as it only works on the hair melanin, thus the skin remains untouched. As it only penetrates some millimetres, it is incapable of causing any damage to other structures.
Is it painful?
No, if you feel anything it will be a warm sensation and a slight flick of the pulse being delivered.