Monday, September 6, 2010

Intense pulsed light (IPL)

Intense pulsed light (IPL), is a technology aimed at producing light of high intensity during a very short period of time. It involves specific lamps together with capacitors whose rapid discharge provides the high energy required.

It is most commonly employed by medical practitioners and estheticians, is a method of hair removal from the body. It involves the use of a specially constructed xenon flash lamp and focusing optics.

The Intense Pulsed Light hair removal process has become very popular due to its cheaper and faster procedure compared to laser hair removal. The comparison of effectiveness between Intense Pulsed Light and Laser Epilation is debated by scientists, equipment manufacturers and practitioners, but results are generally accepted to be roughly equivalent. It is also used for the treatment of the skin in a process known as photorejuvenation.

The focused, broad-spectrum light is applied to the surface of the skin by way of either a hand-held wand or an articulated arm. This light travels through the skin until it strikes the hair shafts or the bulb (root) of the hair. The bulb is usually where the highest concentration of melanin is located, as opposed to the rest of the hair shaft. As the light is converted to heat energy, the bulb and most of the hair shaft are instantly vaporized. The intense heat radiated by the hair also destroys the hair-producing papilla or the entire hair follicle. It is also claimed that direct light-heat conversion occurs directly in the darker colored capillaries that bring nourishing blood vessels to the follicle.

IPL technology is also employed in the treatment of medical disorders of the skin including:

* Sun damage induced dyspigmentation and vascular changes
* Poikiloderma of Civatte
* Acne Rosacea
* Broken capillaries/telangiectases
* Vascular and pigmented birth marks

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