Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy, aka photofacial, is a way to improve the color and texture of your skin without surgery. It can undo some of the visible damage caused by sun exposure -- called photoaging. You may notice it mostly on your face, neck, hands, or chest.
IPL may help if you have red, brown, or splotchy skin because of a health condition.
IPL uses light energy to target a certain color in your skin.
When the skin is heated, your body gets rid of the unwanted cells, and that gets rid of the thing you’re being treated for. Unlike lasers, an IPL device sends out more than one wavelength of pulsating light. It can treat a range of skin conditions at the same time.
After IPL, you may look younger because your skin tone is more even. And since the light doesn’t hurt other tissue, you can get better quickly.
A board-certified dermatologist should give it. (You might see the letters FAAD -- fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology -- after their name.) In some cases, a nurse or physician assistant might be able to do it. Either way, find someone who’s skilled with IPL.
It works best if you have pale or light brown skin. Talk to your dermatologist if you want to lessen or get rid of:
Talk to your doctor first if you:
IPL isn’t a good idea if you:
On the day of your appointment, avoid using perfume, makeup, and scented products that can irritate your skin.