DEVICE SAFETY: Safety tips for intense pulsed light therapy
Eileen Woo BSN, RN
Jitendra Virani MS

February 2012 
Volume 42  Number 2
Pages 20 - 20
  PDF Version Available!

INTENSE PULSED LIGHT (IPL) therapy is indicated for use in surgical, aesthetic, and cosmetic applications.1 IPLs use flashlamps, computer-controlled power supplies, and bandpass filters to generate light pulses of prescribed duration, intensity, and spectral distribution. The light energy is converted to heat energy to treat skin conditions such as age spots, sun-damaged skin, cutaneous lesions (such as warts, scars, and striae), benign pigmented epidermal lesions (such as freckles and melasma), and vascular lesions (such as spider veins).2-4 It's also commonly used to reduce undesired hair growth.This noninvasive and nonablative treatment uses many wavelengths or colors of light. In contrast, lasers use only one wavelength. IPL zeroes in on the dermis without affecting the epidermis.4Although IPL is safe and effective when clinicians follow the manufacturer's instructions for using and properly maintaining the equipment, complications have been reported when these measures weren't taken.

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