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    Energy Devices 101: Intense pulsed light (IPL)



    The IPL device features a flashlamp that produces non-coherent, polychromatic light. Providers can adjust the light to a variety of wavelengths, fluences and pulse durations, Dr. Pozner writes.

    Like a laser, IPL light results in selective photothermolysis.  

    Doctors and other providers usually apply a gel to the skin as an optical and thermal coupler; then, apply the device’s light topically through a rectangular light guide or crystal. While the crystal allows providers to treat a large area, they also can use adapters for smaller areas, according to Dr. Pozner.

    Next: IPL Precautions, Warnings

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...


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