What is IPL?

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. People sometimes consider this treatment as  laser therapy, and even refer to it as a type of laser. It is not. IPL differs from a laser in that a laser focuses just one wavelength of light at your skin, while IPL releases light of many different wavelengths.

The light from IPL is more scattered and less focused than a laser. IPL penetrates down to the second layer of your skin (dermis) without harming the top layer (epidermis), so it causes less damage to your skin.

Pigment cells in your skin absorb the light energy. The light converts to heat, destroying the areas of unwanted pigment. When treating unwanted areas of pigmentation, targeted areas absorb the light and become hot for an instant. The heat breaks down the pigmentation into tiny particles. The body removes the resulting particles in one of two ways, depending on the treatment area. Either they rise to the skin’s surface as scabs, naturally exfoliated within a week or two, or they filter away through the body’s lymphatic system.

IPL is a preferred treatment protocol because it is a gentle and effective means of reducing sun damage, age spots, freckles, birthmarks and similar pigmentation problems. It also safely and effectively brightens skin and evens pigmentation with no downtime and little risk of side effects. We are able to perform IPL on most parts of the body and patients most frequently have this treatment on the face, neck, chest and hands.



While IPL is an effective treatment for many hyperpigmentation issues, Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation that requires a different approach.

Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation more commonly seen in women. It is triggered by UV exposure and hormonal factors. These hormonal triggers are what differentiate melasma from other hyperpigmentations and are what make it more challenging to treat. Melasma is easy to spot and tell from other dark spots. It appears as symmetric blotchy patches on the face, usually on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and upper lip.

Melasma can also appear on other parts of the body — especially those more often exposed to sunlight – such as the neck and forearms. Patients sometimes report that their melasma worsens in the summer, during pregnancy, or after starting birth control or other hormonal treatments.

IPL is not an effective treatment for melasma. In fact it could actually worsen the condition. Instead, we prefer to use laser therapy to treat melasma. We offer complimentary consultations with our expertly trained staff to help you determine the nature of your condition, listen to your concerns and then recommend the correct treatment plan to help you achieve your goals.