Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)


Get Radiant Skin!

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treats your brown spots, unwanted redness, and blood vessels better than ever before with the latest technology in optimized pulsed light systems provided by the Palomar Icon platform for IPL. You will be amazed at how much younger you look with a more even skin color, once your sun spots and redness are erased!

IPL Technology Improves The Appearance Of:

  • Photo-aged skin
  • Age spots (sun-induced brown spots)
  • Hyper pigmentation of various types
  • Dilated vessels/capillaries (often incorrectly referred to as broken capillaries)

The process uses broad spectrum light to treat the face, chest, neck and hands—virtually anywhere that sun damage shows.

It is important to remember that not all brown spots equal the same diagnosis. Different types of hyperpigmentation (different diagnoses) respond differently to IPL and need to be assessed so that the best treatment option(s) for your condition is/are chosen.

What to Expect after Treatment

After treatment you can expect your brown spots to look darker (sort of charred) for 7-14 days before you see improvement, as well as some redness and swelling that ranges from minimal to more significant depending on your skin. Rosacea patients, obviously are going to typically be more red and puffy after an IPL treatment than a patient without rosacea or sensitive skin that tends to flush easily otherwise. Redness and swelling is usually transient, but in the more heat-sensitive patient can last 1-3 days, but is still usually fairly mild.

The number of treatments needed depends on the severity of your condition. Of course chronic conditions, such as rosacea and melasma, will need maintenance treatment through time. There are of course other treatments for the above conditions and that can be addressed at an in-depth medical dermatology visit with one of our practitioners before proceeding. We want for you to understand all your options.

A little simple science, if we may

The difference between laser and IPL, simply put, is that IPL uses a range of light compared with any particular laser each with its own unique single wavelength of light. However both IPL and lasers work based on the same premise of photothermolysis. There is a target in the skin that we are trying to treat. That target is matched to the wavelength or wavelengths (a range) of light that best coincides with the target’s maximum absorption point(s) within its absorption spectrum in order to destroy the target to create the desired result.

Treatment Results

Not all IPL devices are created equal. Some are like ‘spitting in the wind’ and results are minimal, so if you have had IPL that did not provide results, you were either treated with a substandard IPL or you have spots that are not amenable to treatment with IPL. We have this conversation with patients every day about which spots will respond and which will not, and what else we will have to incorporate for best final outcome.


These treatments are great for treating a variety of skin conditions. The benefits include:

  • Reduces dilated capillaries on the face or around the nose
  • Reduces redness from rosacea
  • Reduces brown spots of the type amenable to IPL
  • Improves skin texture in many patients who repeat treatments through time

It is all about education and partnering with our patients. We have many very satisfied patients, including our own Roanoke, VA dermatologist, Dr. Allison Divers, who herself has rosacea and has had treatment with IPL throughout the years. Could that be one (just one) of the reasons her skin looks so great?