The Differences and Similarities Between Laser Treatments and IPL

If you are interested in exploring clinical treatments to reverse wrinkles, sags, and other skin problems, you have probably heard of both IPL and Laser treatments, but you might be thinking that they are the same thing. That isn’t the case at all. It’s important to understand the differences between the two before you decide whether either one is a treatment that you should try.

The Fundamental Similarities Between the Two

There are a few fundamental similarities between the two types of treatments. One is that they both produce a form of light during treatment. However, the term “laser” stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation,” which is not the same thing as IPL treatment. IPL uses a non-laser light source.

Another similarity between the two is that versions of the devices are made for at home use and other, stronger versions of them are produced for clinical use. That means that you have the option of using either one to treat yourself at home or going to a clinic to have a professional technician perform the treatment. But you have to understand that you won’t get quick or consistent results at home that are the same as those you would get in a clinic.

Another good example of how they are similar is in the types of conditions they can treat. Both are commonly used for laser hair removal, but they can also be used to treat a wide variety of other issues associated with aging, including wrinkles and sagging skin.

The Major Difference Between the Two

The major difference between the two types of treatments is that IPL is a mild treatment that is usually used on a larger area of skin at a time. On the other hand, most laser devices are precise machines that penetrate the skin with pinpoint accuracy for very specific results. Laser devices also produce a greater degree of results, in general, because they generate more heat than IPL machines. Granted, there are exceptions on both sides. For example, laser skin resurfacing is generally done on a large area of skin.

No Two Devices Produce Identical Results

You should also keep in mind that no two devices are alike. That goes for both IPL and laser machines. Some are designed to perform specific functions. It’s vital that you only have a treatment that is designed to treat your specific skin concerns. Only go to a provider who has been expertly trained in both the Dermatology and laser technology.

The most obvious example of this is the difference between non-ablative and ablative laser devices. The former type of machine is designed mainly to stimulate cellular repair by encouraging collagen to be produced inside your body. It does that by sending a laser beam deep below the surface of your skin and “stirring the pot” so to speak. By causing a minor disruption your body will send in reinforcing materials like collagen to protect its cells.

Ablative lasers perform equally useful anti-aging treatments, but in a completely different way. They actually strip away some of the outermost layer of skin. So, if you undergo that sort of treatment, fresher skin cells will show through, but you will have more redness and downtime. Of course, you also have the option of undergoing treatments that don’t fall in the IPL or laser categories. The final choice will depend on exactly what kind of skincare help you need.

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One comment

  1. Good post. I also would’ve liked to know which is which. Is IPL ablative or non ablative? And, same for laser-which is which. Also, I would like to know what problems the IPL treat as well as what the lasers treat. And, what the downtime is for each.


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