IPL Treatments

Do’s & Don’t’s | An exclusive guide to Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments

When it comes to skincare it can get very confusing. On the one hand, we are being encouraged to embrace our imperfections, but on the other hand, we are also seeing this strong movement where people are spending more money on surgeries and “tweakments”.  

The latest skincare trend being promoted by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson is to incorporate lasers in your skincare regime. But before we hop on the bandwagon let’s unpack laser treatments with Dr Alek Nikolic, aesthetic medicine specialist and owner of Aesthetic Facial Enhancement. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) skin rejuvenation is a non-surgical, non-invasive, and almost painless skin treatment, making it ideal for people wanting to get rid of pigmentation or signs of ageing.

What is IPL?

According to the 2020 Plastic Surgery Report which was released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons named IPL is one of the top five minimally invasive treatments. IPL is a popular treatment that is a form of heat and light therapy.

“Using a computer-controlled device, at my practice we personalise each treatment for my patient’s individual skin conditions and types,” explains Dr Nikolic. The skin then absorbs this light and converts it into heat, which then instils new life in the cellular tissues like elastin and collagen.

Dr Nikolic explains that a laser handpiece is moved across your face to brighten skin tone, smooth skin texture, and minimize pores instantly.

The benefits of IPL treatments

This treatment adds an instant glow to your complexion. IPL treatments have a range of benefits but are commonly used to address hyperpigmentation (except Melasma), improve the skin’s glow and increase collagen and elastin. This treatment also has the ability to improve the appearance of rosacea, broken blood vessels and wrinkles. The ideal age to start IPL treatments is in your thirties.

Even though you might see immediate results after your treatment, the number of treatments required will ultimately be dependent on the skin concern that you want to address. “But to give you an example of the number of treatments needed patients usually start seeing a gradual and cumulative improvement in the skin tone typically between three to five treatment sessions,” adds Dr Nikolic.

Possible side effects of IPL laser treatment

While you can achieve great results with IPL treatments, it’s important to note that there is a risk of hyperpigmentation in dark skin tones. Those with fair to medium skin are the most suitable candidates for this treatment. Please consult your doctor to ensure this is the right option for you.

“This treatment is relatively painless and done quickly. It also comes with hardly any downtime. Patients may however experience some redness that could be mistaken for not wearing sunscreen,” says Dr Nikolic.

Before the treatment, Dr Nikolic advises that patients should avoid the following:

  • Using retinol tropical at least five days before the treatment.
  • Fractional laser treatment three weeks before the treatment.
  • Dermapen or needling treatments four weeks before your treatment.

And lastly, Dr Nikolic also advises his patients to consider getting their treatments done during the colder winter months. This helps avoid additional sun exposure that can lead to increased hyperpigmentation following the treatment.

To book your consultation and for more information please visit dralek.co.za.