Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment is also known as “Photofacial” and can be used to help restore the skin’s youthful appearance.
IPL improves the appearance of photo-aged skin, removes sunspots, and helps reduce redness caused by broken capillaries. This procedure requires no “down” time and has a low risk of side effects.
This treatment uses a broad-spectrum light to treat face, neck, chest, and hands anywhere that sun damage is visible.
Treatments are quick and non-invasive. By removing or reducing age spots, (sun spots) and broken capillaries, the result is an overall more even, younger looking skin.
How It Works
IPL treatment for small spider veins destroys capillaries and excess blood that has leaked into the skin. Because the pulses of light are controlled and precise, they can treat the spider veins successfully without affecting surrounding tissue. The pulses of light emit heat that selectively damages or destroys abnormal veins. Eventually, the treated veins are absorbed by the body and disappear.
Unlike laser treatment, IPL treatment is appropriate for treating veins that are slightly deeper in the skin. The results of IPL treatment last for approximately a year or longer. A total of 2 to 4 treatments are typically required in order to achieve optimal results. The number of treatments required depends on the size and quantity of the veins. Generally, people with fair skin have the best results with IPL treatment, while those with darker skin often do no respond well to IPL treatment.
During IPL treatment, you will feel as if you are being pinched or as if a rubber band is being snapped against your skin. A cooling gel or topical anesthetic may be applied to your skin prior to the procedure to ease discomfort. The treatment takes a total of 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area and the severity of the vein problem.
How to Prepare for the Procedure
To prepare for IPL treatment of small spider veins and matting, limit direct exposure to sunlight in the days before the procedure. Avoid getting IPL treatment when your skin is tanned. You should also avoid direct sunlight exposure after treatment.
After the Procedure
After IPL treatment, you may feel a slight bump on your skin, but is should disappear within 2 to 4 hours. There may also be some redness and bruising in the treatment area, but it will fade within a few days. After receiving IPL treatment, there is no downtime, and you can resume your normal daily activities immediately. Just be careful to avoid direct sunlight exposure in order to prevent sunburn. Moreover, you can facilitate healing after the procedure by wearing compression stockings.
The results of IPL treatment are not immediate. First, the veins will look darker, eventually changing to a dark blue color and then to a light red color. It will take 2 to 6 weeks for the veins to finally disappear. Bear in mind that IPL treatment is not a cure for vein problems. Although the treated veins will not return, new veins may reappear in the same area over time.
Candidates for IPL Treatment
To be a candidate for IPL treatment, individuals must be in good physical health, mentally stable, have fair skin, hold realistic expectations, and have no blood vessel disorders or bleeding problems. You are not a candidate for IPL treatment if you have dark skin, are pregnant, have unusual scare formations, or take Accutane or blood thinning medications.
Side effects of IPL treatment include blisters, bruising, redness, and swelling, but they will resolve within a few days of treatment. In order to minimize symptoms, ice packs can be applied to the treatment area.