Intense pulsed light (IPL), also known as broadband light, can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions including unwanted pigmented lesions, vascular lesions, acne, hair, and photo damage. A broad-spectrum pulse of light is emitted by the IPL device unique to targeting the problematic parts of the tissue. The light energy causes destruction or, photothermolysis, of the targeted tissue, while leaving surrounding tissue uninjured. Treatments are safe and rapid with minimal discomfort and downtime.
At The Naderi Center, we perform our laser and phototherapy treatments using gold standard equipment. Not all lasers are created equal. There are hundreds of cheaply manufactured lasers that have flooded the medical practices and spas. These lasers are often under-powered and lack effectiveness. These lesser lasers are also often inconsistent in their power delivery so that each pulse or “zap” of the laser delivers inconsistent power, resulting in under-treatment in certain areas and burns in others. There are only a handful of companies out there with the science and reputation to create great lasers. Oftentimes one company may be better known for one type of laser for one type of treatment.
For example, our Sciton Joule is the “Rolls Royce” of IPL (Intense Pulse Light) treatments. It is FDA approved and much stronger, safer, and effective than traditional IPL treatments which is why Sciton re-branded their IPL by calling it BBL (Broadband light). What sets this machine apart from other IPL machines is that the Sciton Joule uses a dual flash lamp design with the power in the large powerful machine rather than putting all of the technology into a small flimsy hand-piece, which ends up allowing for a consistent energy delivery to the skin each and every time with no guess work. Sciton Joule is the absolute gold standard of IPL (BBL) machines out there.
Expected Results after IPL
- Improvement of acne
- Decreased red pigmentation caused by rosacea, freckles, etc.
- Decreased hyperpigmentation
- Improvement in appearance of small vascular lesions
- Removal of unwanted hair
At The Naderi Center, we believe in providing our patients with the absolute best; Whether it’s our surgical procedures, injections, or laser treatments.– Dr. Shervin Naderi, Founder of The Naderi Center
Ideal Candidates for IPL therapy
Good Candidates for IPL Therapy
- Desire to remove unwanted pigmentation (age spots, freckles, sun damage)
- Suffer from rosacea
- Have unwanted small vascular lesions
- Have acne that has been unresponsive to topical treatments
- Desire to brighten and even skin complexion
- Are not tan at the time of desired treatment
- Are not on any photosensitizing medications
IPL modalities for different treatments
Depending on the type of tissue being treated and the desired outcome, our IPL device has specific modalities designed for a range of skin conditions.
Sciton Corrective BBL
IPL has been used for years to treat redness such as rosacea and broken capillaries (or even some bruises) as well as hyperpigmentation such as freckles and sun spots. In fact IPL/BBL is one of the best treatments for rosacea. With the Sciton Corrective BBL we can address both the reds and the browns in the same treatment. Almost all patients see visible improvement in their skin after one treatment, but a series of 3 treatments are necessary for everyone to maintain results, and future booster treatments are recommended. Once redness or hyperpigmentation is improved, Sciton Forever Young BBL protocol can maintain the results. Melasma, however, is a stubborn condition that usually should not be treated with IPL/BBL. Please notify our staff if you suffer from melasma. Treatment for melasma includes persistent at home skincare combined with strict sun avoidance.
Sciton Forever Young BBL
Studies have shown that the light energy from (IPL) BBL can reverse the signs of aging. Packing the skin with light helps produce collagen, and with continued use, it can keep the skin youthful for years to come and even reverse aging skin. Forever Young BBL is a treatment performed at intervals of once every 3, 4, or 6 months to keep the skin tight and youthful by promoting healthy collagen growth and clearing the skin of any hyperpigmentation. Imagine having better, younger looking skin even as you get older. Your skin can be forever young with proper medical treatments, especially when combined with a proper medical grade at home skincare regimen.
Sciton Forever Clear BBL
Blue light technology has been proven to kill acne causing bacteria in the skin. Sciton Forever Clear BBL uses different wavelengths of IPL light to kill bacteria, reduce inflammation, and smooth out existing acne scars. Treatments are performed at weekly or bi-weeky intervals to reduce skin bacteria to help old and new breakouts clear up faster. Sciton’s Blue light treatment is perfect for most skin types (BBL is not recommended with very dark skin), has no downtime and minimal discomfort. When Forever Clear BBL is combined with an at home acne regimen from the ZO line, it will leave your skin clear and radiant and help minimize breakouts. Acne is a chronic condition, but with proper diligence and consistent care, good control is realistic.
Cost of IPL
Sciton Corrective and Sciton Forever Young BBL
For treatment of sun spots, age spots, hyperpigmentation, freckles, rosacea, redness, and broken capillaries.
|Face & Neck||$650|
|Face, Neck & Chest||$900|
|Hands||$350 both hands|
***3-6 treatments recommended with future “boosters”
Sciton Forever Clear BBL
For treatment of Acne (Blue Light Therapy).
***6 treatments recommended at weekly intervals with future booster
Preparation for IPL therapy
In order to optimize your IPL treatment please follow the recommended instructions.
- If you have active acne in the treatment area, call to reschedule, unless you are coming for Blue Light or Forever Clear treatment.
- If you are prone to cold sores, you will be placed on an anti-viral medication. Please take medication as instructed and complete entire course.
- Please arrive with fully cleansed skin: no makeup, moisturizers, perfume, cologne, sunscreen, or any other products on the skin. Bring a wide brim hat to wear on the day of your procedure.
- For certain skin types it may be necessary to pre-treat the areas with Retin-A and Hydroquinone for 4-6 weeks prior to the treatment. Your laser technician will discuss this with you and plan ahead.
- Stop all topical products including: Retin-A, retinoids, topical antibiotics, exfoliants, hydroquinone, and benzyl peroxide (3) days prior to the treatment. Use only mild soap and sunscreen. If you have been on antibiotics oral/topical up to 7 days before procedure, please inform our staff.
- Topical numbing cream may be applied pre-treatment. Notify us of any medication allergies, PREGNANCY, OR NURSING.
- NO SUN EXPOSURE, TANNING BEDS, OR SELF TANNING PRODUCTS 3 weeks prior to procedure and for 3 months after procedure. If you are tanned or sunburnt, the procedure may be canceled for your safety.
- Avoid products or treatments that irritate the skin for two weeks prior to treatment: chemical peels, waxing, and chemical depilatories, etc.
- Make sure the skin is shaved and hairless, and do so at least 3 days before. Do not shave the treated area the day of or the day before the procedure to avoid irritation.
Recovery after IPL treatment
To obtain the best results after your IPL treatment, it is important to review and follow our post-procedure instructions. The following is what you can expect in the next week or two after your IPL treatment
It is normal and expected for your skin to feel red, sun-burnt, tight, dry, swollen, and sensitive to the touch. You may also experience some stinging. Drink plenty of water, avoid makeup, and use only your post treatment recovery balm. Stay away from exfoliants or glycolic acids that are present in other cleansers as these can make your skin very dry after the procedure.
You may feel the same as you did on day 1. Skin feels dry, tight, irritated, and the discoloration and freckles may appear darker. Continue using the post-treatment recovery balm. You may use makeup but only water-based powders and be very gentle.
Day 3 – 7
Spots may start to get darker and to flake. Do not pick at the areas. Continue to apply post treatment recovery balm. AVOID SUN EXPOSURE. Wear sunscreen and hats for sun protection.
We may ask you to start using the Hydroquinone &/or steroid creams. Begin using sunscreen. Continue wearing hats for sun protection.
You may return to your normal skincare routine. The skin should be completely healed. Retin – A products are okay to continue. Always wear sunscreen. Continue hydroquinone. Avoid the sun. For best results and efficacy, we recommend a series of 3-5 treatments at 4-6 week intervals and subsequent maintenance or booster treatments for best results at least once a year.
Do’s and Don’ts after IPL Therapy
- NO SUN EXPOSURE for at least 14 days, ideally 30-90 days after the procedure. No tanning for at least 3 months after procedure.
- NO picking or exfoliating the skin. Let the scabs gently fall off on their own.
- NO vitamin A products for 14 days post treatment. (Retin-A, Retinol, Tazorac)
- NO Chemical peels 1 month post treatment.
- DO NOT USE any method of hair removal on the treated area for 14 days post treatment.
- NO Toners or acids or irritants for 14 days post treatment.
- NO Exfoliating medications, chemical products, or devices for at least 14 days post treatment.
- Cool packs, Tylenol, and NSAIDS are okay if you are feeling discomfort or swelling.
- NO DIRECT ICE ON TREATED AREAS. Ice cold wash cloths or cool compresses are OK.
- Some patients will start 4% Hydroquinone 7-14 days post treatment to avoid hyperpigmentation.
- Some patients will need to start steroid creams after treatment to prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- If any excess redness, itching, oozing, or other questions or concerns arise, please let us know immediately.
Risks, safety, and potential complications after IPL
Like any procedure or laser, there are associated risks which we will thoroughly discuss at your consultation. Downtime is minimal and risks are low when patients are selected properly and follow our instructions diligently. Sun avoidance before and after treatment is crucial. Certain medical conditions or medications can increase sensitivity to light based treatments. Skin that has been recently tanned due to sun exposure cannot undergo IPL/BBL until the tan wears off. Please notify our staff of any and all concerns and medical conditions, medications, as well as any recent or near future sun exposure.
IPL Specialist, Dr. Alexandra Snodgrass
At The Naderi Center, our Board Certified dermatologist, Dr. Alexandra Snodgrass as well as our Master Aesthetician Ava are extremely knowledgeable and skilled at Intense Pulsed Light Therapy. Not everyone is a candidate for IPL/BBL treatments due to skin color and type. Many patients will need to be “pre-treated” with 4% hydroquinone and Retin-A for 4-8 weeks prior to IPL/BBL in order to strengthen the skin, reduce Melanocyte activity and ensure that best possible result is achieved at the lowest risk. While many spas and providers are eager to laser or IPL you on the day of your visit, we focus on safety and urge our patients to be patient with the pre-treatment skincare protocol to reduce the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
Schedule your IPL Consultation
Known as a leader in cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, The Naderi Center has been serving patients in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. area for more than 10 years. The Naderi Center is known for being the source of physicians and surgeons that are specialized in their realm and scope of practice. Patients come to The Naderi Center when they want an expert on the procedure or condition they are trying to improve. Contact one of The Naderi Center’s two offices for more information, or to schedule your laser resurfacing consultation. A patient coordinator can be reached at our Reston, Virginia office at 703-481-0002 and at our Chevy Chase, Maryland office at 301-222-2020.
IPL Consultation FAQs
If you live in the states of Virginia or Maryland, The Naderi Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology offers IPL consultation among its services. For a full list of services, please visit our Locations page.
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