Laser Treatments

Intense Pulsed Light Treatment in Costa Rica

IPL (intense pulsed light) technically isn’t a real laser procedure. Unlike lasers, this technique used white light made up of many frequencies (i.e: colors of light); lasers, on the other hand, used only 1 wavelength type of light. This gives IPL an advantage since it can effectively treat multiple skin problems. It cane make your skin appear younger, brighter and more radiant. IPL rejuvenates the skin, all around the body, by painlessly using white light to penetrate into the skin’s dermis.

Once the light enters the skin, it uses all different wavelengths of IPL that are taken in by the elements within the skin. So, each specific skin problem will absorb a different type of wavelength; broken capillaries will take in a specific type while age-spots and fibroblasts (responsible for making new collagen within the skin) absorb a different kind each. This causes amazing changes in the skin, making it appear younger and rejuvenated.

The main advantage of this technique is that it doesn’t imply any downtime. You do not need any recovery after treatment and will be able to return to your normal activities in around half an hour.

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Adequate Candidates

Patients who are prone to keloids, hyper or hypo pigmentation, have dark-skin or are darkly tanned may not be the ideal candidates for an IPL procedure. An ideal patient for this procedure would be a person with white, decently elastic and non-oily skin. Even so, other types of skin have been treated successfully. Your doctor will be able to determine if this procedure is adequate for your case during your initial consultation.

The Procedure

Your physician will make sure you are comfortable and will apply topical anesthesia if you want it. Intense pulsed light is gentler than most lasers and works for different kinds of treatments. It usually takes around 5 sessions to reach significant improvement. Nonetheless, after each treatment of intense pulsed light, there is little visible healing other than some darkening of the skin or mild redness for a few days to a couple of weeks. These can usually be covered by makeup from the day of treatment. Patients may experience mild discomfort with IPL treatments. Some say it is similar to the snapping of a rubber band. Discomfort during the procedure can be reduced by topical anesthetic cream applied before the session.

One of the big difference that intense pulsed light offers is that the operator controls all aspects of the light pulse, including cutoff wavelength (nm), energy level (Joules/cm2), pulse duration (milliseconds), pulse pattern (single, double, or triple), and delay time between pulses (milliseconds). All this gives the surgeon a precise control of light energy, which in this treatment is used for customization for skin type, procedure progress and other factors.

After The Treatment

There is no real downtime and thus, you may resume your normal activities after an IPL treatment immediately. However, you must protect the affected areas from UV light, be it natural sunlight or tanning beds. It is recommended that you wear sunblock for at least 6 months prior to the procedure. You may be slightly pink or red directly after your treatment as well as have mild swelling. This should subside in a few days and if not you should inform your doctor right away.

Health Issues

As with any type of cosmetic surgery, complications are unusual, but they sometimes do happen. However, they are usually minor and can be reduced by precisely following your doctor’s directions before and after the procedure.

Some of the complications (though extremely rare) that may arise with the use of intense pulsed light include blistering, slight bleeding, hypo/hyper pigmentation. Be aware that some patients may experience permanent skin pigmentation changes. Scarring is possible although it too is a rare occurrence.

Make sure to ask your surgeon concerning any risks you might have to face when undertaking intense pulsed light treatments. However, you must keep in mind that our certified group of doctors works full-time to prevent such scenarios from happening, since we value the health of our patients above anything else.

In order to keep the risks at a bare minimum, please make sure that you follow your doctors instructions at all times.

Linda Bell

Linda Bell is in the fortunate position of being able to combine doing something she loves with spending a lot more time with those she loves. She and her family occupy an unassuming cottage in the midst of splendid chaos AKA ‘the garden’ in England. Somewhere in that garden lurks the family dog and a feline with a penchant for getting into trouble. Linda loves researching and writing about health and fitness, something that is dear to her heart after some years spent working in a fitness center overseas.

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