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What is IPL and how does it work?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It developed out of laser technology and soared in popularity during the 1990s as an effective treatment for red veins, skin pigmentation and long-term hair removal, especially for darker hair growing in lighter skin. We specialise entirely in hair removal.

The IPL machine sends a burst of very, very bright light down through a transparent “light guide” which is held against the skin. The light hits the dark pigment in any actively growing hairs and heats them up so that the bit that makes the hair (the follicle) stops working.

Not all follicles are actively making hairs at any one time. This is why you always need a course of about six to ten treatments.
How well does IPL work and is it permanent?
In our clinic, six to ten treatments for the body, at four to eight week intervals, usually achieves 80-90% hair reduction. The face may take longer depending on the reason for the hair growth. We always prefer to over estimate the number of treatment sessions you may require. American clinics do say that the results are permanent. Here in Britain we’re a bit more cautious and we prefer to say "long-term hair removal” or “permanent hair reduction”. A few more years’ research results will tell us when we can say "permanent hair removal".
Is IPL safe?
IPL has an excellent safety record. It has been used successfully on all parts of the body with people of all ages, most hair colours and most skin types.

There is a very minor risk of mild skin blistering. This is extremely rare and heals quickly.

Your eyes are fully protected from the bright light with special eyewear that absolutely guarantees complete safety.

Our level of training, experience and expertise maximizes your safety. Firstly we assess whether IPL really is the right treatment for you; if it is, then we tailor the treatment to your individual needs.
What happens in my first appointment?
Your first appointment consists of a free consultation followed, if appropriate, by a "patch test", usually on the same day, for which there is a nominal charge.

The free consultation lets us decide whether IPL is right for you. The treatment will be fully explained and your individual likely outcome discussed. We’ll need to know the main points of your medical history and also any medication you may be taking as some conditions and drugs can affect skin sensitivity – please bring with you the names of any drugs you may be taking. We will examine the area to be treated. If all is well, and provided you have not been sunbathing in the previous three to four weeks, we can proceed to the patch test.

The patch test is an obligatory extra safety measure which tells us how you react to the treatment and also the correct intensity of light for you as an individual. We allow three to five days after the patch test before starting actual treatment.
What do I do before and after treatment?
Do not pluck, wax, epilate or bleach the treatment area.

Avoid sun exposure to the treatment area for 28 days before and after treatment. Either stay out of the sun or use a high sun protection factor cream (at least SPF 30).

Shave the treatment area two days before.

Remove all cream, make-up, perfume, deodorant etc from the treatment area just before coming into for a treatment.

Following treatment you may experience some redness and a tingling sensation; this is completely normal. Redness will usually subside within a few hours.

An aftersun cream will be applied to the treated area to help protect the skin following treatment. If there is any discomfort treat the area in the same way one would treat sunburn until the skin has settled.

If the treated area should blister following treatment, the blistered area should be left alone to heal naturally, with a safe moisturiser or E45 cream, applied regularly to keep the area moist. Do not burst any blisters that appear, but should they burst themselves then a dressing such as Jelonet or dry gauze with a little Vaseline should be used to cover the dressing. Do not scratch or pick any scab or blister as this could result in scarring.

Avoid hot baths and showers for 12 hours after which time you may wash and bathe as normal. Avoid swimming, saunas, and heat treatments for 24 hours. Make-up may be used, but could cause an irritation if the skin is sensitive after treatment.

Your next appointment will be scheduled for anything between three to eight weeks’ time depending on the area being treated. If, a few days before your re-treatment, you feel that there is no re-growth to be treated please phone the clinic to re-arrange your appointment for a later date.
And in the future?
It is possible that the occasional “Maintenance Treatment” will be necessary to keep the treated area hair free over the very long term. However, IPL technology has been used successfully for many years and has proved the most effective solution to unwanted hair ever to be devised. Many of our clients are so delighted with the results that once one area is cleared they move on to another! It has transformed the lives of thousands, but most important of all, it could change your life – in a flash!
Independent Data

Skin Laser Review Group, 1 (1) Jan 2002- Photo-Epilation using a broad-band intense pulsed light source: Luminette and Lumina. (View)
Skin Laser Review Group, 1 (5) Aug 2002 - Intense Pulsed Light and Laser Systems - A Brief Comparison (View)
Skin Laser Review Group, 1 (2) Feb 2002 - Safety features and operation of the Lumina (View)
© The Specialist - HEALTH & BEAUTY CLINIC