IPL vs. Laser Treatments: Knowing the Difference
No matter your gender or age, at some point you will notice age spots, damaged skin, or unwanted body hair. These are the most common reasons why many people seek out a laser treatment or light therapy treatment. A dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute can help you decide if laser or light therapy is the best option for you based on the results you are looking to achieve.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy is a type of light therapy used to treat wrinkles, spots, and unwanted body hair. IPL treatments are used to remove age spots, sun damage, freckles, birthmarks, varicose veins, wrinkle treatment and wrinkle reduction, rosacea, and unwanted body hair.
Prior to an IPL treatment, it is recommended that patients avoid direct sunlight, tanning beds, waxing, and drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Once the procedure begins, the dermatologist will provide you with dark glasses to wear to protect your eyes. Next, they will rub a cool gel on the area being treated and then the light pulses will begin. The procedure will take 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated. It can often take more than one treatment, six weeks apart, to receive the results you are looking for. On average, a patient can expect to pay $700-$1200 per treatment based on the size of the treated area.
Dermal Optical Thermolysis (DOT) therapy, Fraxel, and high frequency treatments are all laser treatments that can be used to get healthy, fresh looking skin. Each are designed for specific needs, so it is best to consult a dermatologist about which is best suited for you. DOT is best for those with scars left behind from acne. It can be performed safely on nearly anyone. DOT utilizes a “dot” pattern to create thousands of microscopic perforations in the skin while leaving the areas around each dot intact. This allows the skin to heal more quickly than with more traditional resurfacing lasers.
Fraxel Repair is an acne scar treatment providing fractional deep dermal ablation via laser technology. This treatment is less intense than a traditional laser treatment and is most ideal for resurfacing soft tissues, improving pigmentation, and eliminating redness and broken blood vessels. On the other hand, Fraxel Re:store laser treatments are specifically designed to treat damaged skin by stimulating the body’s natural production of new collagen and skin cells. This treatment is best for general resurfacing and provides a quick healing time.
Lastly, high frequency laser treatments are specifically developed for the treatment of acne scarring. During this treatment, a glass electrode is applied to the skin, creating a sparking effect. This effect eliminates bacteria and inflammation deep within the pimple and requires minimal downtime for recovery.
Given the variety of laser treatments and the choice of IPL, it is important to consider the benefits of each and which applies best to the results you are looking to achieve. If you are in or around the Bloomington, Illinois area, complete this form to consult with a dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute about whether IPL or other laser treatments are best for you. We look forward to helping you achieve your best-looking skin yet.