Published: Sep 30, 2021
IPL for Rosacea: Efficacy, Side Effects, and Tips
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a highly common treatment used in skincare. In essence, it works by utilizing light rays to target certain areas of the skin. By doing this, many skin issues can be alleviated, leaving you feeling fresher and more rejuvenated. However, the popularity of IPL has led to many misconceptions about the procedure, including using it for procedures that it has not been intended for.
Before partaking in an IPL treatment, you must fully understand how the procedure will work based on your skin texture, tone, and the issue that you are trying to solve. In this article, we will be talking about one of the most popular skin issues, Rosacea, and how IPL can be used when dealing with this problem.
Understanding the IPL Treatment
Before we delve into Rosacea, you must understand exactly what IPL is. This technology works by directing various types of light beams onto the skin to kill or destroy problematic cells. Additionally, the heat from the light helps to stimulate the cells underneath, which causes the growth of fresh and healthy cells. This gifts your skin an even texture and tone, leaving you with a rejuvenated look.
In addition to this, IPL is also adored by many, as the procedure is convenient and quick. The treatment can take as little as half an hour, making it easy to schedule without any major constraints. This procedure also results in a short downtime, which means that you can have the treatment and continue with your routine. It may even skip your mind that you have had the procedure in the first place.
However, the world of IPL is not always roses and there are several drawbacks that you should be aware of. Mostly, these come in the form of side effects which can be problematic. For example, some patients may experience some form of bruising or blistering. Additionally, it is not uncommon to notice redness soon after the procedure.
In What Cases is IPL Treatment Useful?
The several use cases of IPL have made it one of the most sought-after light-based therapy treatments today. Not only can it be used for minor facial issues such as acne, but it can also be used when the problem area is much larger. IPL also has a myriad of advantages that have set it out from other treatments, including:
1. It Can Be Used on Multiple Areas of the Body:
While many other treatments can only be used on the face, IPL goes beyond the barrier. This means that it can be used on almost any part of the body including the back, neck, chest, etc. By treating all areas rather than one, your skin can gain more of a uniform look throughout rather than only on the face.
2. It Can Treat Visible Capillaries:
Intense Pulsed Light can also be used to target the capillaries or veins that are visible on the face or body. There are various reasons why people do not want such veins to show on their body and IPL makes this possible without harming the individual.
Can IPL Be Used By Everybody?
While IPL can be highly effective, we do not recommend that IPL is used for all skin tones. In general, those with tanned skins or darker tones may not benefit from the IPL treatment. This is because the procedure can easily cause discoloration, which is more noticeable in people with darker skin tones.
How Effective is IPL?
The effectiveness of IPL will vary based on several factors. This includes how many sessions you attend, your skin tone, the target area, etc. So, there is no simple answer to how effective IPL will be after you undergo the procedure. However, many people have seen benefits from the procedure, and you will likely notice some improvement in your skin after the treatment.
In any case, it is important to note that this treatment is not a single solution to all your problems. To ensure that your skin continues to look fresh and smooth, you must also continue to use other treatments such as skin care products and sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a fairly common but chronic condition that is mostly noticed as redness in the face. However, this redness may also spread to the neck or chest depending on how severe it is. Unfortunately, the exact causes of Rosacea are currently unknown though some doctors believe that blood vessels and genetics may play a role in the development of Rosacea.
While there is currently also no working cure that can fully remove Rosacea, you must be aware of the things that trigger them and avoid them when they can. These triggers can include alcohol, overexposure to sunlight, stress, hot food, etc.
Treatments for Rosacea
Today, Rosacea remains a big problem for many people as they believe that it harms their appearance, and people with Rosacea feel that their social lives are being disrupted by this condition. In turn, this reduces the quality of their living experience. There are several symptoms of Rosacea that you should be aware of including:
- Burning or stinging in the eye
- Large pores
- Patches of dry or rough skin
- Broken blood vessels around your eyelids.
If you have these symptoms and you have not yet visited your doctor, then you must do so immediately. Your doctor will let you understand the necessary steps that you can take to help alleviate any issues that your Rosacea is causing. They may prescribe several gels or ointments that should help lessen the effects of Rosacea.
We also recommend that you take certain precautions to reduce the number of flareups in your day-to-day life. These include:
To help stop the effect of your Rosacea, we suggest that you stick to a broad-spectrum sunscreen. We also suggest that you stay covered up with a hat when outdoors.
Your Rosacea can be reduced by gently rubbing against your face in a circular motion from your nose to your ears.
IPL For Rosacea
If you have already spoken to your doctor, then they may have recommended that you undergo light-based skin therapies, such as IPL, for your Rosacea. This is extremely common as it is one of the best ways to treat this issue, especially when your Rosacea has caused the blood vessels on your face to become more noticeable.
If you choose to have IPL for your Rosacea, then the light beams will be directed at the problematic blood vessels. During the procedure, the heat and light will cause these vessels to constrict or shrink, which will help to reduce their appearance. This means that you should expect far less redness on your face after the procedure.
Can I Do IPL For Rosacea at Home?
While there are several at-home IPL devices, we generally do not suggest that IPL for Rosacea is carried out at home. Mostly, this is because these devices are tailored for superficial issues such as acne or removing hair from the body. However, the IPL treatment for Rosacea is a more difficult procedure and while it may be more expensive with a professional, it is far less risky as you will not be targeting your blood vessels by yourself.
There are many other advantages to using a professional rather than attempting to treat the Rosacea yourself. Firstly, with a professional, there is little chance of your Rosacea worsening as they will take care to make sure that the issue is treated with optimal care. Before your first session begins, you should expect your skin therapist to examine your skin. This should allow them to understand the type of treatment that you need and how many sessions you will require to reach your goals.
What is the Cost of the Treatment of IPL For Rosacea?
Additionally, IPL sessions are relatively inexpensive and can be as cheap as $400 per session, though this may rise to $600 depending on your location and the practice. However, you must be aware that for an issue such as Rosacea, one session will hardly be enough. To give your skin the best chance to rejuvenate, we recommend that you have at least three sessions over six weeks.
In any case, your skin therapist may recommend a custom treatment schedule depending on the severity of your Rosacea. Once your treatment is over and you have attended all these sessions, you should also continue to visit your therapist at least once a year for maintenance sessions.
How Long Does It Take to See Results From IPL For Rosacea
While one of the major draws of IPL is the quickness of results, this is not always the case. Several factors can mean that your results take a little longer to materialize. You must remember that Rosacea is a complex issue and may appear on several parts of the body. So, there is no simple answer to give on how quickly IPL can clear your Rosacea.
If you notice that your Rosacea has not started to clear after your IPL treatment, do not fret, simply wait a few more days and see if the results materialize. However, if you partake in the procedure and have seen no results within two weeks of your session, then you should contact your practitioner.
What Happens After You Use of IPL For Rosacea
After patients get their Rosacea cleared, they often regress into old patterns, resulting in their Rosacea returning. You can avoid this trap by following the necessary precautions. For example, if your doctor had prescribed gels for your Rosacea, you must keep using them. This is a form of aftercare that will help keep your skin in optimal condition.
Additionally, before you begin your treatment, your skin therapist will likely provide a schedule. This schedule will include the number of IPL sessions that you need to have depending on the level of your Rosacea. For example, you may need 3-4 sessions in 6 weeks. Once you have received this schedule, you must attend all the sessions. By constantly constricting any visible blood vessels, your face will continue looking fresh and rejuvenated.
Keeping track of your progress is also extremely important. We suggest that you keep a personal record of the Rosacea problem area before and after every session. Not only will this help show you the progress that you are making but it will also provide a guide on how your skin is reacting to the treatment. We always recommend that this is done through pictures or videos as a visual format is much easier to compare. However, you can also take notes if you wish. If you are following the aftercare but notice that your Rosacea is not clearing, then you must speak to your skin therapist as the specific treatment being offered may not be beneficial for your skin texture.