What is IPL?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. It is used to treat inflammation of the skin and blood vessels. Dr. Choi uses lasers daily, from removing cataracts to laser vision correction through LASIK. He is a medical doctor with extensive knowledge of the face and eyes, so is comfortable conducting IPL laser treatments such as light therapy for dry eyes, IPL for eyelids, and IPL laser treatments under the eyes. Dr. Choi is the first physician in the Birmingham area to be using Lumenis' new state-of-the-art OptiLight IPL laser system. This machine has been FDA-approved to treat dry eye.
What are the benefits of IPL treatments?
IPL therapy is traditionally used in dermatology and aesthetics but can also be used to manage dry eyes, especially those associated with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). At our office near Birmingham, AL in Vestavia Hills, the IPL device emits pulses of light that are applied to the skin around the eyelids. This light targets and reduces the abnormal blood vessels and inflammation that contribute to dry eyes. IPL treatments at Young H. Choi, M.D., offer our patients a wide range of benefits that can support their eye and skin health, including:
- Quick, effective treatment for dry eyes
- Gentle, in-office procedure that fits in your busy lifestyle
- Pain-free, low-risk procedure with highly effective results
- Quick recovery time with noticeable improvement in just a few months
What Can IPL Treat?
IPL laser treatments can be used to remedy the following:
- Dry eye
- Age spots
- Freckles / Pigmentation
- Uneven skin tone
- Mild acne
IPL laser treatments differ from IPL photofacials. IPL photofacials emit blasts of light over the entire face and treat only surface-level issues, while the IPL laser used by Dr. Choi targets certain areas one spot at a time and penetrates deeply enough to treat less superficial issues such as rosacea, age spots, freckles, dry eye, etc. In the case of dry eye, the light penetrates the blood vessels underneath the eyes to unclog the meibomian glands that produce tears in the eyes. For rosacea, the laser targets the blood vessels deep beneath the skin to reduce inflammation and remove the accompanying redness.
"another surgeon did one of my eyes! went very bad. Eye site was like wearing a pair of different glasses for each eye.had to see a specialist r or 3 months... was highly recommended by another Dr to see Dr Yoyng Choi ...he told me in our consultation...I AM GOING To FIX YOUR EYES ! I've been going through not being able to see since Feb .of this year. He did not surgery this morning. I Walked out seeing better than i had for the past 6 months ! It's only going to get better! I cannot thank you and your wonderful staff ❤️ from beginning to end ... a perfect ending."- J.P. / Google / Sep 14, 2023
"I love Dr Choi and his staff. The experience of my cataract surgery was awesome. Everybody was warm and welcoming. Dr Choi prayed for me and a successful surgery."- T.G. / Google / Aug 10, 2023
"Thank you Dr. Choi for my vision! Feels good to not have to wear contacts or glasses ever again! Strongly recommend choosing Dr. Choi if you need lasik, he is a very caring doctor with a very professional staff."- B. / Google / Jun 15, 2023
"I just had lasik surgery last week and Dr. Choi and all his staff were so kind and wonderful. Dr. Choi is truly an artist in his field :)"- L.B. / Google / Feb 09, 2023
"I had RLE on both eyes three weeks ago and I’ve never seen this well in my life. From “coke bottle” glasses in the 2nd grade, to years of uncomfortable saucer-like contacts, to 20/20 vision today, this is a game changer. I am truly grateful for Dr. Choi and his staff. In addition to skill and professionalism, they are kind and personable."- C.M. / Google / Mar 20, 2022
How Are IPL Treatments Performed?
IPL is done at our Birmingham area office in around 20 – 30 minutes in our minor procedures room if no other treatments are performed. To prepare for the treatment, your technician will wash and dry your skin before protecting your eyes with goggles. The photofacial is administered using a handheld device that will pass over the skin while emitting pulses of light energy. While many patients may have some discomfort throughout the photofacial, it is generally tolerable, given the quick treatment length.
What is the Recovery Process Like for IPL?
There is no downtime associated with an IPL photofacial. You may leave our office with your skin a little inflamed and red. This will subside naturally in about a day — it may be concealed with cosmetics if you prefer. Young H. Choi, M.D. suggests patients apply a cream on the skin's surface to decrease any irritation and promote healing. It may also help to take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling. After 2 – 5 days, sun damage and other irregularities under the skin will rise to the surface and then begin to flake away. It is critical to keep your skin protected from the sun at all times after an IPL photofacial treatment and not to pick at the flaking skin. While you should see some visible improvements after your first treatment, your complexion will look even better after several IPL photofacial sessions. Dr. Choi suggests approximately 3 – 6 treatments scheduled every four weeks at our Birmingham-area facility.
How do I set up IPL Treatments?
The first step is to schedule a free consultation. During this time, you will talk about the issues you are looking to resolve and will be guided to the best treatment plan (which areas to target and how many treatments will be necessary). Most plans will involve three to four appointments every three to four weeks.
We recommend taking our Skin Typing Assessment prior to setting up a consultation appointment. IPL laser works best for those with Skin Types I - IV. Those with darker skin tones run the risk of being burned or ending up with white spots.
To set up a consultation appointment, please call our office at (205) 879-2221 or send an email to [email protected].
Am I a candidate for IPL?
Patients with sun-damaged skin, uneven skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, or hyperpigmentation are good candidates for IPL. Patients on the medication doxycycline should stop taking the prescription in the weeks leading up to an IPL treatment.
Is IPL painful?
Many of our Birmingham, AL patients find that IPL is only mildly discomforting. We take every precaution we can to ensure your safety and comfort. This includes applying protective shields around the treatment area and applying a thin layer of cooling gel to the areas being treated. We want you to remain comfortable during your procedure, so please let us know if pain is a concern, and we will do our best to make you comfortable!
How long does IPL take?
Generally, an IPL treatment takes around minutes. You will likely need multiple sessions about two weeks apart to reach your goals, which we will discuss when we create your treatment plan.
How can I care for my skin after IPL?
We will send you home with a list of care instructions; however, we suggest that you do not take a hot bath or shower for about a week following treatment, that you avoid sun exposure and wear sunscreen, that you do not pick at any crusting or blistering on the skin, and that you do not expose your treated skin to a UV light.
Do I need to prep for IPL?
To prepare for an IPL treatment, patients are asked to avoid sun exposure and self-tanners for about 2 – 4 weeks before their procedure. You might need to stop using certain medications a few days before your appointment, and we may recommend taking ibuprofen or aspirin one week before the procedure to decrease your risk of bruising. You should also protect the treated areas with sunscreen.
Why should I get multiple IPL sessions?
A full series of IPL photo rejuvenation is recommended at Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center to deliver natural-looking improvements to your skin. Every session will diminish spots and other surface irregularities. Multiple treatments also produce longer-lasting improvements.
Light the Way to Better Skin and Improved Dry Eyes
You probably didn't think much about your skin's health or dry eyes when you were young, but now that environmental damage like hyperpigmentation and other issues are appearing, you now may be interested in treatments that improve your complexion and/or dry eyes. We invite you to find out more about IPL photofacial treatments by calling our office near Birmingham, AL and making an appointment for a skin consultation or dry eye assessment with Dr. Choi. With IPL photofacial treatments at Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center, we can go deep within the layers of skin to help restore a bright glow and eyes that produce normal moisture.