Intense Pulsed Light Therapy: The Perfect Antidote to Summer Skin Damage

Preventing skin damage is better than trying to fix it, but if you’re afraid you didn’t do a great job with your SPF this summer, or if you already have sun spots or wrinkles, don’t despair. Intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments not only remove brown spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, they improve the quality of your skin overall.

At Suite 200 MedSpa in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Thomas Lanchoney, MD, and our licensed aesthetic professionals use the Icon™ IPL laser to gently resurface and rejuvenate your skin. Our IPL treatments undo present damage and strengthen your skin, too.

The power of light

The sunlight’s powerful ultraviolet (UV) A and B rays penetrate your skin, causing changes to your DNA that bring unwanted effects, such as:

By blocking UVA and UVB rays with chemical or physical sunscreens, staying in the shade, and wearing protective clothing, you minimize your risk for sun damage, including skin cancer. 

Counterintuitively, a different kind of light actually undoes sunlight’s damage, and restores your skin to health. Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a gentle laser-based light treatment that stimulates your skin’s healing and regeneration processes. 

How the Icon improves your skin

The Icon laser features a unique Skintel® melanin reader that tells your aesthetician what settings on the Icon are best for removing discolorations, such as deeply pigmented spots, brown marks, and freckles. The Skintel also reads the amount of your skin’s sun exposure, so your treatment can be adjusted accordingly.


The Icon sends pulses of laser light energy onto the pigmented spots and into the layers of your skin. The energy breaks apart excess pigment on brown spots and red spots. The heat tightens the collagen layer of your skin, making it feel firmer and younger.

Though you may notice fewer veins and spots even on the day of your treatment, the real benefits occur over several weeks and months. The healing process that the Icon initiates in your skin causes your body to produce new, strengthening strands of collagen and elastin that make your skin strong and pliable.

Depending on how much sun damage you have, we may recommend a series of treatments, about a month apart. Within six months after your last treatment, your skin looks refreshed, clear, and younger again.

Comfortable and fast

An IPL treatment with the Icon may take only 30-60 minutes, depending on how large an area you want to treat and the kinds of damage you have. Before your treatment, we apply a cool numbing gel to your skin. The gel also lets the Icon applicator glide smoothly and easily.

During your therapy, the Icon keeps your skin cool with a built-in cooling system. Your skin never reaches a temperature above 5℃.

Directly after your treatment, your skin may look and feel tender and pink, as if you have a mild sunburn. However, you can return to most activities shortly afterward, and can even apply makeup if you wish. If you’re uncomfortable, you can take an over-the-counter pain medication. 

If we treated your brown spots, you may notice them getting darker after your Icon session. Within a few days, the pigmented areas flake off. As you heal from your treatments, you notice skin that’s:

We also help you find a sunscreen that’s perfect for your skin type and advise you on how and when to use it. Not only is protecting your skin important after your IPL treatment, sunscreen prevents further damage down the road.

To use IPL as an antidote to your sun damage, or to make your skin look younger and brighter, call us today, send us a message here on our website, or use the convenient online booking feature.

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