IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, and is a light-based technology commonly used in dermatology for hair removal, treat acne, reduce redness, and improve the look of the skin, as well as treat rosacea and reduce telangiectasia (irregular blood vessels on the skin). Research has proven that IPL is also effective for reducing dry eye symptoms. IPL is now being used in eye care to treat meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), styes, blepharitis, demodex mites, and dry eye disease. Removes telangiectsia (commonly seen in patients with rosacea) along eyelid margins (small blood vessels that appear as a result of chronic inflammation secondary to dry eye).
IPL Technology –
With IPL technology, light pulses penetrate the tissue and create heat, targeting the abnormal vessels that are the root cause of the inflammation. The body’s natural reaction to the treatment removes the abnormal vessels and heals the inflammation threatening the skin and eyelid. IPL technology treats your skin and eyelid inflammation while improving overall skin appearance, with maximal safety, comfort, and full customization to your skin type and condition.
Preparation before the Procedure
Direct sunlight exposure and sunless tanning should be avoided a few days before any IPL session. The skin should be clean and free from cosmetics and moisturizers. Eye shields will be used during the procedure to protect your eyes from the bright light administered during treatment.
During the Procedure
You may experience a warm, tingling sensation as the light is applied to your skin. Each session lasts approximately 15 minutes. Depending upon the severity of your condition, other additional in office treatments to remove the buildup of your meibomian glands may be recommended.
For your eyes safety, you will be wearing IPL protective goggles/pads during the whole treatment session. Each session lasts approximately 15 minutes. During the treatment, you might experience a warm sensation as light is applied to the skin, but the treatment is gentle and should not feel uncomfortable. Following the IPL treatment, your physician may perform meibomian gland expression, which is an optional procedure to accelerate your skin and eyelid healing process.
After the Procedure
You may experience some redness and mild irritation to the treated areas – this will usually disappear within 1-2 days. Most patients are able to resume their daily activities the same day and apply light makeup after the use of a moisturizer following the procedure. Direct sunlight exposure should be avoided for a few days following the treatment and sunscreen with >SPF-30 should be used on the treated area.
It may take at least 2-3 treatments before you feel improvement. In some severe cases, more treatments will be needed. You will notice an improvement in the appearance of the treated skin area. The number of treatments recommended, and the results will depend on the patient.
However, for optimal results, 3 sessions are typically recommended, with 3-4 weeks in between. No follow-ups are needed between sessions. Maintenance treatments, usually once every 6-12 months, are also recommended for optimal long-term results depending on the severity of the condition and, oftentimes, will be combined with other dry eye therapies. IPL treatment is not covered by medical insurance. If you suffer from the symptoms of dry eye and would like to see if you are a candidate for IPL, please call our office to schedule a consultation.