IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light treatment, is a procedure recommended by dermatologists for men and women looking to improve certain aspects of their appearance. IPL uses varying wavelengths to remove unwanted hair, reduce dark spots on the skin, and achieve a clear and even complexion.
Even though IPL is very safe and free from unwanted side effects, there is some debate over whoIPL is best suited for. Read on for more information regarding IPL and the different skin types that are best suited for the treatment.
The Fitzpatrick Scale
A Harvard dermatologist created a scale that identifies the varying skin types that are suited to Intense Pulsed Light treatment. The Fitzpatrick Scale identifies six different skin types, and each type is given a number ranging from 0 to 30. Skin types that rank above 30 are considered not ideal for IPL.
The Type One skin type on the Fitzpatrick Scale is white and fair. This type never tans and burns very easily. This skin type is ranked from 0 to 7, and is ideal for Intense Pulsed Light treatment. Type Two is still white and fair but tans sometimes, and ranks 8 to 16. Type Three on the Fitzpatrick Scale is known as “beige,” and ranks 17 to 25. Mediterranean type skin is Type Four on the Fitzpatrick Scale and ranks 25 to 30. Dark brown and black skin types, Types Five and Six, rank above 30 and are considered not ideal for IPL treatment.
Fair Skin Types Are Ideal
While IPL can help a variety of different conditions and can aid many people who have different skin types and tones, fair skin types are ideal for Intense Pulsed Light treatments.
IPL works by using specific wavelengths that target both hemoglobin and melanin in the skin. The waves pass through the skin and are absorbed, which fragments melanin pigments. Because fragmenting melanin makes surface color less visible, effects are more desirable if there is less melanin to begin with. Removing light hair and achieving a clear complexion is most effective for Types One through Four on the Fitzpatrick Scale.
New Studies Done on East Indian Skin
That being said, a new study has been done that examines Intense Pulsed Light treatment on East Indian skin. Because it is assumed that darker skin is not suited for IPL, few studies have been done before now. However, results of the study showed that darker skin still benefits fromIPL. Unwanted hair was lightened after multiple treatments and acne scars saw a significant reduction. In darker skin types though, multiple treatments are required with the greatest results occurring after five treatments with 3 to 4 week intervals.
Despite common belief, Intense Pulsed Light treatment is not just for fair skin types. IPL is suited for a variety of different skin tones and can yield positive results as long as the treatment is properly administered. As long as the proper wavelengths are used and the IPL procedure specific to each skin type is followed, there will be no undesirable side effects. Men and women of different ethnicities can achieve the complexion and appearance they want by trying Intense Pulsed Light treatment.