Temporary methods of hair removal, such as shaving and waxing, can irritate hair follicles to the point that as the hair grows back it grows into the skin instead of out of the hair follicle. These uncomfortable hairs are called ingrown hairs. In some cases, they can become severely inflamed or even infected, and then the hair needs to be manually removed, which can cause scarring. If you are tired of ingrown hairs, consider trying IPL hair removal.
Intense Pulsed Light
IPL is not a laser; it uses intense pulses of light with a broad range of wavelengths that is delivered by a hand-held device to the area to be treated. Lasers only emit one wavelength of light. The advantage IPL has over a laser is that special filters can be adjusted to tailor the wavelengths of light to the condition being treated and the patient’s natural skin tone.
The light delivered is absorbed by the targeted structures, such as hair follicles or sun spots, and selectively heats and destroys them while sparing the surrounding normal skin. A cooling device built into the device helps the surrounding skin to avoid experiencing any damage. In addition to permanent hair removal, IPL is used to remove sunspots, spider veins, and acne scars, and to rejuvenate the skin.
IPL targets the root of the hair follicle and completely destroys the hair follicle. Thus, there is no risk of the hair follicle producing an ingrown hair either immediately after the treatment or at any time thereafter. If an ingrown hair is already present, the death of the follicle will stop it from growing any further and it will eventually be shed as the skin naturally sheds and replaces its outer surface. In addition, patients who have been treated with IPL have reported that it can reduce the appearance of any bumps or scarring left by previous ingrown hairs.
A hand-held device is slowly and smoothly moved across the skin. The time needed to perform IPL depends on the size of the area to be treated; for example, an upper lip can be treated in a few minutes, but treating both legs may take an hour or so. Because IPL only targets hair follicles that are actively growing hair, and hair follicles go through regular cycles of hair growth followed by resting periods, multiple treatment sessions are necessary in order to get all of the hair follicles.