Woman getting laser therapy

IPL vs fractional laser – which is the right one for me?

In partnership with SA’s top medical aesthetic companies

What’s the difference between IPL and fractional laser? What do they do, and which one is the right one for me?

Laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) has been around for several decades, but there has been ongoing research and development of new technologies, improved machines and a greater understanding of how to maximise the benefits of light treatments.

This means your options to treat skin conditions such as sun damage, wrinkles, scarring and so much more – without surgery, with less downtime and more comfort – just keep getting better.

If you’re considering a laser skin rejuvenation treatment, it’s important to know your facts to find out the best options for your skin needs.

Different lasers for different conditions

The first thing you need to understand is that there is no one-stop laser. Different light wavelengths are used to treat different conditions. For instance, one wavelength successfully addresses superficial veins, and it is found in the NDYag laser.

If you’re considering having laser treatment, you should avoid choosing a salon that has a ‘shotgun’ approach, using the same laser technology to treat multiple conditions. Rather look for an establishment that has more than one kind of laser so you receive the most effective, targeted treatment for your skin needs.

Medical Grade Lasers vs IPL

Not all lasers are created equal. There’s a big difference between a medical laser and light technologies used at beauty salons.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments are mostly available at salons, and are also used at medical aesthetic clinics to treat certain conditions.

These are lower powered machines, are not as targeted to a particular area.

Medical-grade lasers are available only in medical aesthetic clinics, such as the Renewal Institute. These machines are much more powerful and have more focused wavelengths to treat specific target areas.

These lasers are also far more precise, and leave the surrounding skin undamaged. They have the ability to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin, and for that reason the results are much more effective.

For this reason, it is also important that these specialised machines should only be operated by doctors and therapists that have specifically been trained to do so, as improper use could cause severe damage to the skin. Ask to see their certification.

Non-invasive laser treatments like Fraxel™ DUAL, Pearl Fractional laser and Laser Genesis, use laser technology to safely and effectively improve conditions such as acne, scarring and pigmentation due to sun damage. They also treat excessive redness, large pores, uneven texture, sallow complexion and wrinkles – with little to no pain or downtime. Laser treatments are also excellent hair and vein removal treatments, with long lasting results.

Other light therapy options include Limelight and IPL (Photogenesis).

One of the big advantages of the Renewal Institute is the fact that our doctors and therapists have access to a large variety of laser technologies, meaning that the appropriate treatment can be used in a very targeted way to correctly treat a specific condition.

Are laser treatments for me?

With laser treatments, it’s all about a personal assessment by a qualified doctor to see whether you’re a suitable candidate, and to see which light therapy is right for you.

Some lasers are only able to treat lighter skin types and should not be used on darker complexions. Your skin condition and medical history will also determine if you’re able to have laser (in some cases, like rosacea, IPL may be the preferred option). The number of treatments needed would also depend on the severity of each condition.

This is why you should choose your laser operator carefully, to ensure you get the result you want.

In some cases, the skin expert may also decide to use a multi-pronged treatment approach, combining other therapies like Carboxytherapy or peels, to improve the treatment result.

It is important to use sun protection during and after treatment and to use appropriate skin care.

To schedule an individual assessment consultation with one of the Skin Renewal team doctors, or to find out more about which laser treatment is the right one for you, visit Skin Renewal on www.skinrenewal.co.za or contact 0861 SKIN SA (754 672).

Take the quick Beyond Beauty Survey and you could win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher to spend in our online store, with free delivery within South Africa. T&Cs apply.

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