Welcome to the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery's Blog, where your journey of aesthetic exploration and education takes center stage. We deeply value empowering our patients through knowledge, providing insights, tips, and in-depth information to guide and enhance your aesthetic journey. Dive into our posts, where expertise meets understanding, and discover a space where your curiosity and dreams are nurtured and illuminated.

For those looking to remove brown spots, red spots, and birthmarks, IPL (also known as intense pulsed light) is a form of light therapy with many uses, such as hair removal, skin blemishes, and varicose veins, and more! IPL is one of the top ways to safely, effectively, and non-invasively remove birthmarks, red spots, and brown spots from the face and body. 


What is IPL?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a cosmetic technique that uses pulses of light therapy (similar to a laser) to flash light to the second layer of skin (dermis) without harming the top layer. By hitting the second layer, the light will destroy the unwanted skin blemish. IPL emits various layers of wavelengths, similar to a photography flash, to affect the targeted area, rid of the skin blemish, and leave untargeted and unaffected the top skin. 

Because skin pigment absorbs light, IPL treatment heats the darker, redder, or colored part of the skin and destroys it, allowing it to heal while removing the discoloration. 

Depending on the area being treated, each IPL therapy session takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Often, multiple treatments are needed for the desired results (anywhere from 3-6 treatments). Since the treatment is non-invasive and relatively gentle, recovery is minimal. The skin may feel as if it is sunburnt and itch slightly, but those sensations do not last more than 24 hours. Additionally, the treated skin should not be exposed to sunlight while healing since it is especially sensitive. 

IPL has been one of America’s top choices in skin blemish removal and is perfect for anyone with any flat skin discolorations and birthmarks. 


What Brown Spots Can IPL Remove?

IPL can remove various kinds of spots with its intense pulsed light therapy. This includes:

  • Acne scars
  • Port-wine stains
  • Cafe au lait birthmarks
  • Scars
  • Freckles
  • Birthmarks
  • Age spots
  • Sunspots

IPL does exceptionally well with flat stains, scars, and birthmarks. For raised birthmarks, it is best to see your primary care doctor before removal for inspection. Raised birthmarks (especially sudden ones) can sometimes signal a more profound condition or problem. 


Can I Use IPL if I Have Dark Skin?

IPL is not recommended for people who have darker skin since it targets melanin. However, there are many spot removal options designed for those with darker skin. People of African, Greek, Indian, Italian, and Latin descent may prefer our other skin spot technologies. If you are interested in spot removal and have darker skin, please contact our office to offer you our menu of options.


Can I Use IPL on My Face?

Absolutely. To protect your eyes, one of our highly trained providers will place protective goggles over your eyes to assure that they are not affected by the flash. Otherwise, IPL is equally as effective and safe on the face as it is on other body areas. 


Are IPL and Laser the Same Thing?

IPL and laser skin treatments, while seemingly similar, are not the same thing. Unlike IPL, laser treatments use a single wavelength of light on the skin and are far more focused. Lasers usually damage more skin due to focusing on one area. On the other hand, IPL is broader and causes minor damage. In general, the laser has a more extended and more sensitive recovery period than IPL does.


In more technical terms, IPL is a broadband pulsed light source, while the laser is a monochromatic coherent light source. Both are safe, effective, and time-tested for their respective duties. However, both are different types of light meant for different types of treatments. 


Is IPL Better than Chemical Peel?

For those with darker skin, a chemical peel may be one of the better options to treat skin discoloration as chemical peels do not specifically target melanin as IPL does. While both treatments are similar (both stimulate collagen production, rejuvenate skin, and correct skin blemishes), both serve different purposes and have different strong suits. For those looking to correct a larger, more intense, or specific skin spot, IPL is usually more effective. For those looking for overall skin rejuvenation without a specific focus, then a chemical peel may be a better option. In general, chemical peels have a more extended recovery period, while IPL has minimal downtime. However, it is best to discuss with one of our professionals, at the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery, when deciding whether IPL, a chemical peel, or a laser treatment is suitable for you.

Get your own IPL and achieve the results you want!

Book A Complimentary Consultation

If you’re ready to fix a skin spot, birthmark, or skin blemish, IPL is right around the corner! We here at VIPS prioritize the patient experience and results, so we want to help you find the proper treatment. We also offer one-time payments or payment plans to help make things as convenient and hassle-free as possible. Book a complimentary consultation with Dr. William J. Vinyard, MD, FACS to discuss more of what we can do for you!

More Articles

Read More Articles

Share it!

Back to Blog
Beach at sunset with the water flowing out
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at (772) 205-6329.
View Special Offers
Consultation Request