Intense Pulsed Light Hair Removal

What is Intense Pulsed Light?
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) machines are high energy devices utilizing specific wavelengths of visible light and infrared waves to treat a wide variety of skin changes, including sun spots, facial and body blood vessels, rosacea redness, hair removal, photodamage, melasma, acne, and sometimes, pore size.


How is IPL different than laser?
The definition of laser is a focused beam of electromagnetic energy from a single wavelength. In contrast, IPL devices use a broad range of light waves. The high energy levels of the IPL devices yield comparable results to laser devices. An example would be the Palomar ICON Aesthetic System , which successfully removes hair follicles to achieve permanent hair reduction.


Hair Removal on Back and Shoulders

*actual patient case of Dr. Liu©


Which IPL device does Dr. Liu use for hair removal?
Dr. Liu uses the Palomar ICON Aesthetic System in combination with the MaxR and MaxY handpieces to best capture different types of hair follicles.


Does ICON IPL work on ethnic skin types ?
ICON IPL is safe and effective for ethnic skin types, including Asian, Latin, Middle Eastern, and African. See video below of Dr Liu demonstrating hair removal for ingrown hairs on black skin type.

Dr. Liu on the Doctors Show Performing Hair Removal to Relieve Ingrown Hairs Using Palomar ICON


How many sessions will I need?
This depends on many factors, including skin type, body location, hair type, and treatment goals. Estimates are provided during a consultation visit.


Does ICON IPL successfully remove fine, lighter hairs?
In general, fine, light hairs are more difficult to remove with the present available technology. However, the MaxY handpiece is tailored to target these fine, light hairs and in many cases, patients enjoy significant long-term clearance of fine, light hairs.


What can I expect on the day of the treatment?
After reviewing and signing the consent forms, topical numbing cream is usually applied to the treatment area (sometimes numbing is not necessary). Then, protective eye shields or goggles will be gently placed over your eyes. The treatment comprises of quick pulses of energy delivered approximately every 1-2 seconds. You may notice a flash of light even with the eye shields on. This is a normal and is a byproduct of harmless light scatter. After the procedure, a topical cortisone cream, sunscreen, and/or aloe vera gel may be applied.


Does it hurt?
Most people report little to no discomfort.


What can I expect after the treatment?
Mild redness may develop, subsiding within minutes usually. There is typically no downtime with Starlux IPL hair removal.


How do I prepare for the procedure?
Inform Dr. Liu of all topical and oral medicines you use. Certain medications, such as retinoids and antibiotics, may cause sun sensitivity. Dr. Liu will advise you to discontinued any medications prior to treatment. It is recommended to minimize tanning on treatment areas prior to your sessions. Lastly, do not pluck any hairs from the desired treatment area. Shaving and trimming is allowed before and after treatment sessions.


What should I do after the procedure?
Avoid direct sun exposure on the treatment area for at least a week. You can resume your basic skin care immediately unless advised otherwise.


Who performs the procedure?
Dr. Liu almost always performs the procedure. On occasion, he will have a nurse practitioner or physician assistant perform the procedure under his direct guidance.


What should not happen?
You should not experience pain, discomfort, blistering, or sensitivity to touch after the procedure. If you do, please contact Dr. Liu immediately.