Contact Us: 415-570-7352

Laser/IPL Treatments

“IPL” (Intense Pulsed Light Therapy)

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology is a safe, nonsurgical, non-invasive and versatile treatment that uses light energy to rejuvenate the skin. Because IPL is capable of emitting light at various different wavelengths, different types of skin conditions can be treated by using different filters in the machine.

IPL can be used for the treatment of sun damage, abnormal pigmentation of the skin, redness, rosacea, broken capillaries (“telangiectasias”), and vascular or pigmented birthmarks. We have even had success with treating vascular lesions resulting from cancer-related radiation treatments!

The process is ideal for patients with active lifestyles because the procedure requires no downtime and has a low risk of side effects. The gentle, non-ablative treatments use broad spectrum light to treat the face, chest, neck and hands—virtually anywhere that sun damage shows.

We offer state-of-the-art technology with our Lumenis® M22 IPL/Nd:Yag operating system. Lumenis® developed and patented IPL technology first used for cosmetic purposes, and remains a leader in the industry. Our Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner Emily Sespaniak, performs all the IPL/laser treatments in our office and have extensive backgrounds working with IPL and cosmetic laser technology.

Benefits of IPL:

  • IPL treatments are quick, gentle and non-invasive. There is no interruption of routine activities.
  • By helping to remove the age spots (sun-induced freckles) and broken capillaries, the result is overall more even, luminous, younger looking skin.
  • Patients can see dramatic results within a very short time.

The treatment works as light penetrates the tissue and is absorbed by either blood (when treating vascular lesions) or melanin (when treating pigmented lesions). This technology damages the unwanted blood or melanin, while protecting the surrounding healthy tissue. The body’s natural processes then remove the injured tissue, giving the skin a more even tone and youthful appearance. The energy produced by IPL works directly on the top layers of the skin without penetrating deep enough to harm deeper structures.

IPL therapy is recommended as a series of 3-6 treatments which can be done 3-4 weeks apart. IPL photofacials can truly create a marked difference in the patient’s skin over time, since the skin continues to improve for weeks after the actual IPL treatment. Patients can expect mild redness and/or a sensation of warmth during and shortly after the procedure. Freckles, areas of sun damage, and hyperpigmentation may become darker temporarily (similar to the appearance of coffee grounds dusted on the skin), but this will resolve gradually over the next 7-14 days. IPL-generated pulses of light are very short in duration, so discomfort is minor, and no pain medication is necessary for the treatment.

We invite you to come in for a consultation with Emily Sespaniak to see if IPL treatments are right for you, and sign up for our email newsletter for more information about our practice!

Dr. Karen M. Horton, M.D. - Plastic Surgery, Physicians & Surgeons - Medical-M.D., San Francisco, CA