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    Energy Devices 101: Intense pulsed light (IPL)

     

    One of the issues with IPL use is that a lot of non-physician providers offer treatment with the device. This can lead to poor patient selection, according to Dr. Jegasothy.

    “I definitely would not do IPL on anybody who is more than a skin Fitzpatrick III; maybe a light Fitzpatrick IV,” Dr. Jegasothy says.

    Why? Hyperpigmentation, she says.

    “The problem isn’t usually the laser or laser setting; it’s patient selection,” Dr. Jegasothy says.

    Dr. Kormeili agrees that IPL is best on lighter skin types, I through III, and can cause discoloration on types IV and V.

    Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is especially likely to occur if the skin is tanned prior to or after the treatment, according to Dr. Kormeili.

    To help prevent discoloration and burning, IPL devices have a built-in cooling mechanism on the part of the tip that comes in contact with the skin, Dr. Kormeili says.

    Next: Best IPL Practices

    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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