Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

As laser and light treatment technology has advanced, patients have been able to achieve excellent cosmetic results without requiring an invasive procedure. One popular option is IPL facial treatments, which stands for Intense Pulsed Light. This versatile treatment targets unwanted redness and skin imperfections for smoother, more even skin tone and more youthful-looking skin. Dr. Liz Damstettter offers IPL treatment for Reserve Dermatology patients in Glenview, Illinois.


IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, is a light therapy treatment that can be used to reduce signs of aging, blemishes, or even unwanted hair without the need for more invasive or painful procedures. While similar to a laser treatment, the technology used in an IPL treatment is unique. Lasers focus a single wavelength of light to the skin, while IPL utilizes many wavelengths in intense pulses, similar to a photo flash.

Because of this, IPL treatments are capable of penetrating into the lower layer of the skin, known as the dermis, without harming the outer layer, or epidermis. The light targets and heats pigmentation caused by sun damage or other skin discoloration within the dermis, ultimately destroying unwanted pigmentation for a smoother and more youthful look.

Benefits of IPL Photofacial Treatment

IPL has several uses within aesthetic dermatology. IPL can be used to treat:

Because the IPL laser works by targeting unwanted pigment, it is not generally a good option for those who have darker skin tones, as it could cause damage the skin tissue or provide poor results. It is also not typically recommended for patients who are prone to keloid scarring.

During a consultation, Dr. Damstetter can determine whether you are a good candidate for IPL or might be better suited to another treatment option.

IPL for Anti-Aging

The versatility of IPL treatments can hardly be overstated. Because of the numerous, precise wavelengths of light that Dr. Damstetter can utilize, multiple types of aging concerns can be addressed in a single treatment session for a more youthful-looking, healthy skin tone. This not only includes dark skin discoloration like brown spots, but also red, splotchy skin, vascular lesions, or even broken capillaries.

All of these concerns can make you look older than you feel, but IPL therapy can help.

IPL for Acne Scars

It seems unfair that after years of dealing with acne outbreaks, people with acne scars now have lasting damage to constantly remind them of the struggle. With IPL, Dr. Damstetter can target multiple types of acne scars without damaging healthy skin nearby, thanks to the precision wavelengths, power level, and exposure time provided by this procedure.


Before your IPL procedure begins, Dr. Damstetter will first cleanse the skin and apply a cooling gel to the area. She will then direct the IPL handpiece to the treatment area, where it will administer rapid light pulses to the skin.

Throughout this treatment, you will wear dark protective glasses. IPL should not be painful, though you may experience a slight sting or snapping sensation, similar to a snap from a small rubber band. The total time required to complete your treatment will vary depending on the size of the area being treated. On average, you can expect a typical IPL photofacial to take about 20-30 minutes.

Most patients will require multiple IPL treatments for the best possible results, typically between three and six sessions. On average, these treatment sessions are scheduled about one month apart to allow the skin to heal. During your consultation, Dr. Damstetter can explain your treatment plan and what you can expect.

IPL does not require downtime, however, you can expect side effects including redness and sensitivity. Most patients describe this as similar to a sunburn. These effects typically last only a couple of days.


After your IPL treatment, you will see results slowly progress as the skin heals after the first few days and subsequent improvements as you receive further treatment sessions.

On average, patients will see final results from IPL about three to six months after their first treatment session. The skin will be smoother with reduced lines and wrinkles and more even pigmentation. Dr. Damstetter can explain what you can expect during your consultation.


To learn more about IPL treatments and whether your skin concerns can be treated with this advanced non-invasive procedure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Liz Damstetter. Call Reserve Dermatology in Glenview, Illinois or contact us online to find out more today.

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