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Treating Your Skin with "Intense Pulsed Light"

What it can do for you

By Kevin C. Smith MD FACP FRCPC

Most of us know that lasers, which produce a single wavelength of light, are used in medicine to treat many conditions, in particular unwanted hair (read more on laser hair removal) , blood vessels, dark spots and tattoos on the skin. A related technology called "Intense Pulsed Light" (also known as "IPL") is also very useful for some skin conditions, and is sometimes used in combination with laser treatment.

IPL (for example the Cutera 560) produces a carefully defined spectrum of light, which is designed to reduce or eliminate the redness of the skin, which can result from sun damage and/or from rosacea. IPL treatment is often followed immediately by laser treatment to eliminate large unsightly blood vessels from the nose, chin and cheeks. Read more about rosacea on Rosacea Guide .ca.

Some patients report that after they have had several IPL treatments they blush less easily than before, and this can be wonderful bonus.

Because many people mistakenly regard a ruddy complexion or a red nose as a possible sign of alcohol abuse, correction of these cosmetic problems can affect not only a persons appearance but also their business and social prospects. Reduction in easy blushing can also improve the way the world sees and treats an individual. People who have rosacea should also take care to protect themselves from sun damage, and should apply a prescription cream like Rosasol™, which has both medication and sunscreen it.

Intense pulsed light is also used to make the skin more clear by removing the brown residue, freckles and "liver spots" which accumulate after years of sun exposure. (Read more about sun damaged skin).

It is a pleasure to see the freshness and vitality of youth reappear when someone's skin has been restored to a healthy state. Often when people have been given a fresh start they begin to take better care not only of their skin, but of other aspects of their health, including diet, exercise, and avoidance of tobacco. These things, in turn, improve their overall appearance and general outlook - and can produce a very positive change in the way the world sees you!

About the author:
Dr. Kevin Smith is a dermatologist in Niagara Falls, Ontario with a particular interest in protecting the skin and in correcting skin problems resulting from aging, rosacea and sun damage. He is an expert in the use of Botox®, fillers, lasers and intense pulsed light to maintain and enhance the appearance of the skin, and have lectured on those subjects across North America, and in Europe, Asia and Mexico. Read more at

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