IPL refers to Intense Pulsed Light; the IPL device makes various effectiveness by emitting intense light periodically. Photoderm from Lumenis was the first IPL device in the 1990s, and Dr. Bitter in California, America, released photo rejuvenation using IPL’s complex wavelength, which is a new concept treatment for reducing blemish. After that, Lumenis launched advanced IPL devices such as Vasculight, Quantum, and many companies developed IPL devices noticing the effectiveness of IPL technology.
IPL is a well-known skin treatment device that emits ‘Light’ but it is totally different from a laser. A laser is effective to treat single treatments such as pigment, vascular, and other specific diseases due to its specific single wavelength but an IPL has various wavelengths together, it can treat pigment, vascular, and tightening at once. IPL can treat various diseases together, but it is hard to treat a single specific disease. To make up for the disadvantage, a ‘Cut-off filter’ was developed and adopted on IPL. Using the cut-off filter, doctors can choose the specific wavelength they want on an IPL device, and they use it like a laser. For example, around 400nm wavelength has a sterilization effect and it affects acne, to get improvement for acne, doctors can choose a 400nm wavelength filter selectively.
In the early 2000s, IPL technology was adopted in Korea. The treatment price was very high, charged one million won per treatment. Later, the treatment became popular, and there were cost-effective domestic devices. The price competition was overheated, and the treatment price dropped to less than 50,000 won per treatment. Therefore, the frequency of using IPL was decreased in the clinic. The other reason for reducing the frequency of IPL is the IPL’s larger spot size than the laser. IPL’s bigger spot size could occur in a wide area when the side-effect occurs.
However, launching safer and improved IPL devices recently, IPL devices are attracting attention again. Lumeis launched ‘M22’, called the original IPL. Sciton launched ‘BBL,’ Cynosure launched ‘Icon,’ and Candela launched ‘Nordlys.’ Imported IPL devices are competing hard. Of course, domestic companies try to spread the market little by little, like ‘Super Veloce’ from ILOODA.
There are a lot of doctors who say the IPL device is the primary device for dermatologic treatment. Not only is IPL a stand-alone treatment, but also it is useful for combining other laser treatments. Dr. Seong Jae Youn of Leaders Dermatology Clinic Apgujung Branch said, “IPL device can combine most lasers and treatments. To treat pigmentation effectively, treat the IPL device overall and combining with a long-pulsed laser and picosecond laser. To treat face redness, treating IPL and vascular laser together to improve redness more effectively. I do treat lifting with an IPL device. After laser treatment, the skin might be dry, I do treat it with moisturizing. Injecting a skin booster into the skin or penetrating special ampoules helps with skin recovery and moisturizing.
Dr. Wonhyong Kang, a master of the IPL pigmentation treatment, said, “People compare IPL and laser toning. Laser toning treats with low energy levels, so it is safe for side effects, but at once, it is hard to find the effectiveness. If you treat an IPL properly, it is very effective, and it shows the effectiveness for only one treatment when a high-energy IPL device. Sometimes, I treat IPL and laser toning together.”
IPL users say that an IPL is a device Itse that can be used safely and appropriately when users know the characteristics of IPL. Utilization can be increased in proportion to users’ experience and knowledge. The role of IPL, which upgrades the result of dermatology treatment to the next level, is expected to attract more attention.