IPL Photo Rejuvenation and RF

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is a non-surgical treatment which uses light to absorb melanin (the dark pigment in your hair and skin) and haemoglobin (the red colour in your blood vessels). This light converts to heat, which damages the target cells without disrupting the skins surface. This is used as a non-invasive treatment for unwanted hair and many skin conditions.

During IPL Photo Rejuvenation specific wavelengths of light are used which heat the desired target (such as sun spots or blood vessels) and subsequently destroys the pigment and vessel producing cells whilst leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.

At Flawless Skin we use the Elis 2 which combines both IPL and RF (Radio Frequency).  The combination IPL RF is designed to both assist in improving IPL hair removal treatment results for thinner, lighter coloured hair as well as to invoke a skin rejuvenating effect.  Unlike IPL, RF is not attracted by melanin. IPL is used to act as a "path creator" for the RF energy allowing it to effectively reach the tissues it is directed at and deliver its warming effects.

When the water molecules in the dermis (underlying layer of the skin, below the top layer called the epidermis) are heated, collagen production is stimulated resulting in tighter, younger looking skin.

A combined use of technologies, such as IPL RF, is a typical approach to modern medaesthetic treatments resulting in more effective treatments which may have a wider range of beneficial effects.

What can IPL/RF treat?

  • Flat, benign pigmented lesions (freckles, sunspots, age spots and general pigmentation)
  • Facial vascular lesions (spider veins, red spots and broken capillaries)
  • Diffuse redness, rosacea and red scarring
  • Poikiloderma (a combination of redness and pigmentation to the neck and/or décolletage)
  • Unwanted dark facial and body hair
  • Uneven skin colouring
  • Mild to moderate inflammatory acne
  • Sun damaged skin
  • Improvement in fine lines and wrinkles
  • Helps stimulate collagen and elastin production for a more refreshed/rejuvenated skin.
  • Skin tightening effects – particularly around the jaw line and neck areas (jowls)

Contraindications (reasons why IPL/RF may not be suitable for you)

  • Recent sunburn
  • Individuals who do not use adequate sun protection
  • Unprotected sun exposure or solarium use 4 weeks prior to treatment
  • Recent fake tan application
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • History of seizures
  • Severe dermatitis or eczema (within the treatment area)
  • Active infections
  • Roaccutane use in the last 6 months
  • Herpes 1 or 2 (within the treatment area)
  • Very dark skin
  • Removing hair by the root e.g. waxing or tweezing 4 weeks prior to treatment (hair removal only)
  • Recent photo sensitising treatments or medications (which can increase the risk of sunburn)

Note:      Please advise if you are prone to cold sores.  The use of an anti-viral medication/cream would be advised pre and post treatment.

Potential Complications

Unfortunately, there are some potential complications with IPL treatments. We recommend test patches to be performed within 3 days of your actual treatment, to allow an accurate evaluation of the skins response. This significantly reduces potential complications, which include:

  • Prolonged redness and swelling lasting up to 4 days may occur.
  • Darker patches of pigment on the skin may occur a couple of weeks after treatment. This can last from 2 weeks up to 1 year. However there is a special cream we can use to reduce the pigment. You are more at risk of this occurring if you have a darker skin type. (this is not the immediate darkening of pigment we expect when treating pigmentation).
  • Whiter patches on the skin can occur. This can last 2 weeks up to 1 year though also has the potential to be permanent. You are more at risk of this occurring if you have a darker skin type.
  • Blistering rarely occurs and will usually settle within 2 hours with application of an ice pack. If you do get a blister, it is important that you don't pick it as it may leave a scar.

How will my skin react after the IPL/RF treatment?

  • Most patients will experience a sunburn like sensation that lasts 2 to 5 hours and is often associated with mild to moderate redness. The treated area is generally sensitive to heat for 2 days following treatment.
  • After hair removal the skin may appear spotty, this is inflammation caused from the heat absorbed in the hair follicle and can last 2 to 24 hours.
  • After treatment of pigmented lesions the lesion will go darker sometimes almost black, then will slough off within 7 to 28 days (depending on the area of the body) or it will just gradually fade.
  • After treatment of vascular lesions they will either disappear immediately or appear grey or purplish in colour. Diffuse redness immediately appears a lot redder then gradually lightens within 2-3 weeks. Vascular treatments generally require 3 weekly treatments for best results.

Pre and Post treatment recommendations:

Pre treatment

  • Discontinue sun exposure 4 weeks prior to your treatment.
  • Do not use fake tan 1-2 weeks prior to your treatment.
  • Use an SPF 30 daily.
  • If having IPL hair removal, do not wax, tweeze or pluck the hair for 4 weeks prior to your treatment.
  • Shaving or depilatory creams are fine and you will need to shave the treatment site before your IPL session.
  • If you have a history of herpes close to the area being treated, it is recommended that you take antiviral medication before the treatment. (This will be available from the chemist).

Post treatment

  • A sunburn-like sensation is expected for about 2-5 hours after the treatment. If this is uncomfortable apply cold compresses or ice to the treated area.
  • Your skin maybe temperature sensitive for the following 2 days, so do not use very hot water in your shower or bath.
  • Avoid heat inducing activities for the following 2 days.
  • Keep sun exposure to a minimum and apply a broad spectrum sunscreen daily.
  • Do not exfoliate the skin for 1 week after the treatment.
  • Your skin may be more sensitive to certain skin care products so please use bland products such as QV or cetaphil for the next few days.
  • Do not pick blisters or skin crusting as this may lead to a scar!
  • If you have had your under arm treated for Hair Reduction, please avoid deodorant for 24 hours.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please call me.


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