Intense pulsed light therapy is also called Xenon flash lamp therapy. Tures a non-surgical and non-invasive cosmetic treatment for aesthetic and therapeutic purposes. The device emits wavelengths filtered to a specific wavelength for use; the wavelength is 400-600nm. This treatment can be used on dry, oily, and sensitive skin.
How Does Intense Pulsed Light Therapy Act?
The intense pulse light therapy uses light of varying wavelengths that can be altered with the duration of light while treating; the wavelength should be continuously changed from low to high intensity with the duration of time in order to prevent burning due to overheating. The gap between the two wavelength intensities allows the surrounding tissue to cool down. The high wavelength acts on deeper tissue like cysts and glands, while the low wavelength acts on superficial tissues; intermittent wavelength will allow time for cooling. If the first wavelength used is 250 nm, then the second wavelength used is 25nm, giving duration for deeper tissues to cool. The procedure may require at least five to six sitting depending upon the need; some side effects are seen post-procedure showing redness and blistering for a few hours, so to prevent the after-effects ice pack should be applied for cooling.
The light is effective against the removal of hair by using monochromatic coherent laser light. This penetrates through the skin to the hair follicle, which is usually presented near the higher level of melanin pigment concentration; the light destroys the hair follicle papilla preventing further hair growth; this intense light only acts on the active hair follicle; the light is not effective ob inactive hair follicles. The treatment may require eight to ten sitting of the procedure with a gap of three to four weeks for better and more effective results.
What Are the Uses of Intense Pulsed Light Therapy?
Intense pulsed light therapy has multiple uses for treating aging skin, hair removal, vascular lesion, and dry eyes, it is helpful in the treatment of removing acne as the light is absorbed by the sebaceous gland that produces sebum, a natural oil produced by the skin to destroy bacteria and inflammatory cells present in the skin causing lesions.
It helps to remove the pigmentation on the skin like stretch marks, age spots, inflammatory hyperpigmentation due to burn or post inflammation marks, freckles, blemishes, scar marks, acne spots, and melasma by decreasing the production of melanin pigment that is responsible for pigmentation of the skin.
It is also helpful in removing hair from hands, legs, underarms, chest, bikini area, and unwanted hair on the face. The light passed on the hair follicle, causing hair loss and preventing further growth of hair. Intense pulse light therapy is also helpful to rejuvenate the color and texture of the skin and remove dead cells present in the skin. It is also helpful in repairing the damage done due to over-exposure to the sun also called photoaging, by increasing the production of collagen, procollagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, which are helpful in new growth, repairing, and remodeling of cells that will improve skin texture and skin tone also delay the process of aging.
It can be used in blood vessel lesions that cause discoloration of the skin; the intense light helps by destroying the pigment without harming the superficial layer of skin. The vascular lesion like a birthmark, spider vein, port-wine stain, or broken vein can be treated.
It is also used in the treatment of dry eyes; the light is passed around the eyes to the meibomian gland, the gland that lubricates the eyes by producing oil and tears. The intense light breaks down the blockage or any build-up of debris on the gland and also reduces inflammation caused due to bacterial growth.
What Is the Disadvantage of Intense Pulsed Light Therapy?
This light can harm darker skin if not taken care of in adjusting the wavelength of light; the higher wavelength of light can absorb melanin pigment without epidermal cooling, which can cause burning of the skin. One who is planning for the treatment should avoid exposure to the sun, as tanned skin is more prone to burning from this intense artificial light. Tanned skin can absorb more intense pulse light and can cause burning of the skin. If one is undergoing therapy, they should avoid tanning products.
This procedure is contraindicated in pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, people who have skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis, who have a history of skin cancer, also using tanning products and retinoid products can cause damage to the skin, also not indicated in those who have severe scars, and who are sensitive to light.
After the procedure, it may show some side effects like redness, swelling, bleeding, blisters, the skin may become scaly, show pigmentation spots, and in some, there may be pain. In addition, the treatment may be expensive, time-consuming, and require multiple sittings; one has to offer patience for the effective result to be visible.
What Precautions Should Be Taken Pre and Post-procedure?
Avoid direct exposure to the sun before and after treatment, as it may cause skin burning. Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor above 30 when at home to prevent ultraviolet radiation. Avoid makeup for some days as it may irritate the skin. Always moisturize skin with less harsh moisturizer and stay hydrated to maintain the body's cooling.
This procedure does not give permanent results, so avoid overdoing it. It can be harmful; consult with the health care provider and consider any other alternative treatment if it is unsuitable for anyone. There are many alternative treatments like chemical peeling. Laser resurfacing, micro derma roller, microdermabrasion to remove hair, and skin waxing are also good alternatives for removing hair.
The intense pulse light therapy is a good option for removing the pigmentation on the skin and removing hair, and for repairing skin from sun exposure; it is an effective treatment with multiple benefits and some drawbacks. A certified health care provider should always take the therapy to prevent mishaps.