IPL - intense pulsed light - is a variety of non-laser, light-based treatment. It is one of the few treatments that reliably reduces the appearance of rosacea, broken blood vessels, facial spider veins, and skin redness. It can also tend to acne that's marked by small, red bumps.
What It's Good For
IPL is a primary form of treatment for facial telangiectasias (small blood vessels at the skin's surface).
Who it works for: IPL can be used on patients up to a Fitzpatrick type V, though when applied to darker skin tones, extreme caution is required. In order to treat dark skin types, the pulse widths must be lengthened.
Recommended age range: Vascular lesions, especially those that appear at birth (for example, port wine stains), are treatable with IPL. There are currently no age restrictions associated with the procedure.
When will I see results?: You may need up to six sessions to remove or lessen spider veins and other reddish marks. IPL sessions are scheduled three weeks apart.
How long it lasts: Removal of spider veins is permanent, though new veins can form in time.
Key benefits of IPL vascular treatments: IPL devices feature large spot sizes, making the treatment of vascular lesions efficient. A cooling device makes IPL treatments generally tolerable and avoids overheating.
Licensed uses: IPL treatments were approved by the FDA in 1995. Though each device bears its own label and restrictions, in general, IPL is cleared for vascular lesion removal.