13 07 ipl skin treatmentsDescription: Effective in treating sun damage, visible blood vessels, fine lines, the redness and flushing associated with rosacea and mild acne scars, this treatment involves the use of a high intensity light source to emit broad spectrum, multi-coloured wavelengths that are delivered in a short period of time (or a "pulse"). Overall the face is rejuvenated, and skin appears radiant, smooth and brighter.

How it's done: Applied with a hand-held device and in a series of half-hour treatments, typically four to three weeks apart, the sensation of an IPL treatment has been described as a quick snapping, like an elastic band against the skin. Patients should also not be taking photosensitizing medications or have taken Accutane six months prior. Prior to treatment skin should be well-hydrated and free of recent sun exposure. Some commonly known IPL brands are The Trios (by Viora), Lumenis and FotoFacial.

Complications: There is a very low risk of bruising, lightening or darkening of skin colour, removal of freckles, crusting, swelling and infection. In very few cases there is also a risk of scarring. Most patients will experience a sunburn-type of reaction. Also note that a side-effect of this treatment is hair removal, which can be an issue if you are a male patient and want to continue to grow facial hair.

Recovery: Temporary redness and sun sensitivity may occur for a few hours after treatment.

Cost: A full face IPL service is approximately $150-300 per treatment.