What is IPL?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light - a method of treatment where a short but very powerful flash of coloured light is directed at the skin. The light appears coloured because it is filtered to remove certain wavelengths. The wavelengths removed are those which are very likely to cause complications. The wavelengths which are allowed through are carefully chosen to meet the needs of the treatment and may be changed through the use of filters depending on the condition to be treated.The Ellipse Flex is dual filtered, which means that unwanted wavelengths at both ends of the light spectrum are filtered out.
How does IPL work?
The human body contains two natural pigments that are targeted for Ellipse treatment. When these pigments receive a flash of filtered light, they absorb the light and convert light energy to heat energy. This is a process called "Selective Photothermolysis". By carefully filtering the light, selecting the correct amount of energy and how long the flash lasts it is possible to treat specific sites (such as hair or age spots) without damaging the surrounding tissue.
The pigment melanin is targeted when removing hair or treating brown marks. Dark hair, age spots, freckles and similar pigment disorders contain higher levels of the pigment than elsewhere in the skin. When treating pigmented skin the Ellipse IPL targets melanin (for example in age-spots), but also targets another substance, haemoglobin, which is found in blood (and therefore, in blood vessels). This is targeted during treatments for broken capillaries, Port Wine Stain, Rosacea as well as the diffuse redness caused by sun-damage. Ellipse treatment heats up the vessels, causing them to collapse and shrink.
The Nd YAG Q-switched laser provides two wavelengths of laser light - 532 and 1064 nm. These wavelengths are used to target pigmentation and most colours used in tattoos.
The effect of the Q-Switching is to increase the amount of energy discharged by the laser over a shorter pulse time. This means more energy goes where it is required (ie into the pigmented area or the tattoo ink) and less into the surrounding tissues.
The Cynosure Cynergy is the most up-to-date laser for targeting problems related to blood vessels. Visible vessels on the nose and face commonly arise due to sun-damage. Vessels are also common on the legs. The depth of penetration of the laser can effectively deliver energy to deeply seated targets, such as blue and purple vessels while safely avoiding surface skin pigment. The Cynergy laser combines two wavelengths which can be used seperately or in sequence. This allows effective treatment of very light red or pink skin blemishes such as some types of Port Wine Stain.