IPL Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)


Back To Laser & IPL

View before and after images here.

IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, is an excellent treatment that we offer at Pacific Plastic Surgery to correct a variety of skin concerns and to improve the overall appearance of the skin.


Cynosure ICON Intense Puled Light(IPL) – Advance Light Therapy

Intense Pulsed Light is a light-based treatment that uses a filtered pulse of light within a narrow wavelength.  IPL’s ( photofacials) treat sun damage, brown spots, broken capillaries and rosacea. IPL helps to reduce wrinkles by stimulating collagen. Skin conditions on the neck, chest, arms and hands can also benefit from IPL treatments. Discomfort is minimized with topical numbing cream and the ICON chiller.


IPL Treatments

Experienced providers perform skin analysis to determine optimal treatment settings. A conductive liquid may be applied to assist in treatment efficacy. Treated areas may appear  slightly red, and brown spots may begin to darken. Patients can expect up to 1-week for cellular turnover. Darkened brown spots will begin to fade. Minimal if any “down time”, is expected.

The number of recommended sessions is based on severity and condition being treated. Conditions may reuire 3-5 treatments but most patients report seeing  improvement after one treatment.

Optimize results by incorporating a microplane facial or peel between IPL treatments (about 2 weeks after). Facials and peels help to gently exfoliate the skin, revealing a healthy, more youthful appearance. If you are looking for a noninvasive way with maximum results to improve the appearance of your skin, IPL may be a great option to rejuvenate your skin!


IPL with Levlulan -Treatment of Actinic Keratoses 

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is an aggressive light-based treatment performed with a topical photosensitizing agent ,Levulan (5-aminolevulinic acid or ALA). Levulan is a natural product that is activated or “turned on” by a specific wavelength of light. Placed on the face, neck, chest, or hands, and then is activated by IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) to treat actinic keratoses.

Actinic keratoses, which precancerous spots caused by sun exposure. ALA/PDT is easier than the typical treatment options for actinic keratoses, which include topical liquid nitrogen or Efudex (5-FU) cream. It offers an effective treatment option with minimal side effects and downtime. Levulan also offers cosmetic benefits. Sun spots, uneven pigmentation, and early wrinkles are improved with its use. In addition, these treatments can improve the appearance of acne and some acne scars.


IPL Skin Care Essentials

We are committed to helping patients achieve and maintain vibrant and healthy skin. Partnered with SkinCeuticals to provide the highest quality science backed skincare products.  The IPL essentials regimen includes SkinCeuticals 3 step formula to prevent, correct, and protect. Package treatments of 3, 5, and 7 include the regime bundle below.


For more information on photodynamic therapy and how it can remove sun or age spots, contact our cosmetic surgery practice.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is skin revitalization the best for removing age spots and sun damage?
Skin revitalization is a non-surgical approach using powerful light-based technology to target unwanted pigment without harming surrounding skin. In just a few simple treatment sessions, pigment appears lighter and your skin looks clearer and younger. Skin revitalization is a great way to reduce the signs of aging on your hands and face.

What types of pigment can be treated?
Skin revitalization is appropriate for treating age spots, sun damage, and freckles on the face, neck, chest, arms, hands, legs, and feet. The Icon also treats unwanted facial vessels, such as broken capillaries and rosacea.

Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
Skin revitalization works on a variety of skin types. Please contact us to set up a complimentary skin consultation to help you determine which treatments would be best to treat your skin concerns.

What kinds of results can I expect?
Patients generally see improvement after each treatment, and we advise them to continue treatments until they are happy with the pigmentation of their skin. On average, most people do about 3-5 treatments about a month apart, and then a maintenance treatment every 3-6 months. Is is always best to catch the pigment when it first comes back and do one treatment after a series rather than waiting until it is “bad” again to start all over.

How long does it take?

Depending on treatment size, average treatment sessions range from 30-60 minutes.

Does it hurt?

Most people feel minimal discomfort during skin revitalization. In addition to our chill tip on the laser hand piece itself, we also offer topical numbing for any of our patients who desire it.

How many treatments will I need?
Depending on servirty of the condition, multiple treatment may be required. After treatment, the pigment will temporarily darken (similar to coffee grounds in color, yet there is no change in the actual texture of the skin) and then will slough away to reveal your clear skin.

How quickly will I recover?
Most people resume regular activities immediately following the treatment session.

See Intense Pulsed Light patient photos HERE.


Pacific Plastic Surgery
1722 State St., Ste. #102
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Phone: 805-214-6923
Fax: 805-898-0600

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