IPL at A Glance

  • Best Results2+
  • Treatment Recovery2-5 days
  • Procedure Time10-30 min
  • Skin SpecialistDermal therapist, nurse
  • Duration of ResultsVariable
  • AnaestheticCooling
  • Back to Work1-3 days
  • Cost$


IPL or intense pulse light is a device that can reduce pigmentation, treat redness, unwanted hair as well as sun damage. IPL is ‘do it all device’, however, in the majority of cases, it has been replaced with better, more effective laser devices. We still use IPL to treat extensive areas such as the chest, arms, back & legs.

FactsFacts on IPL

  • IPL is a light-based skin rejuvenation device
  • IPL can treat many skin conditions including pigmentation, freckles, & sun damage
  • IPL can also treat red skin conditions such as rosacea, flushing & broken capillaries
  • BBL stands for broad band light; which is a type of IPL device
  • We utilize this device to treat larger areas such as the chest, shoulders, arms & legs
  • 2-3 sessions are required for most
  • Combining lasers such as Fraxel with IPL gives better outcomes

What is IPL?

IPL stands for Intense Pulse Light. BBL or Broad Band Light is a term used to describe a particular type of IPL. Both devices deliver light to the upper layers of skin.

IPL uses different filters, much like different wavelengths of laser light. Depending on the filter chosen, we can target pigment (melanin) or red blood vessels (hemoglobin).

IPL is not as efficient as lasers, however they are still used to treat large areas of skin.

What skin conditions can IPL treat?

IPL can treat several common conditions that affect the skin, including:

  • Age spots, freckles & pigmentation
  • Diffuse redness, broken veins, red spots, & capillaries
  • Enlarged pores, fine wrinkles, poor skin texture
  • Diffuse sun damage

Though IPL can treat many skin conditions, it’s main role at Cutis is to treat extensive areas of pigmentation in lighter skin types. Though lasers are much better at addressing specific concerns, IPL is still effective in treating larger areas such as the chest, arms, shoulder, & back.


How many sessions are required?

This is different for everyone and is dependent on particular skin concerns, as well as skin quality. A treatment plan will be discussed during your consultation.

As a guide:

  • Face rejuvenation including freckles 1-2 sessions
  • Pigmentation arms, shoulders 2-4 sessions
  • Pigmentation chest, back, extensive 3-4 sessions

In some cases, we combine Fraxel with BBL-IPL, as this reduces the amount of sessions & markedly improves outcomes.

What can I expect after BBL- IPL treatments?

After each session, mild redness can be expected, almost as if your skin is slightly sunburned. This redness disappears within a few hours and can be covered with mineral makeup if need be. Over the course of 2-4 days, pigmentation may get darker (Milo flakes), before shedding. There after you will see a noticeable improvement in your skin’s appearance, as well as a reduction in any spots, blemishes and broken capillaries.

If you have significant background sun damage & pigmentation, the first few sessions of IPL-BBL will give you patterning or ‘tiger striping.’ This is because the pigment has taken up light energy compared to untreated skin. Subsequent treatments will blend in these areas.

IPL is great for large area treatment; esp. the neck & chest.

Davin’s Viewpoint on IPL treatments

IPL was the first ever device we acquired as this machine is super flexible; it does a lot of things, however, does not really excel at one (apart from pigment removal from large surface areas). Since its inception in the 2000s, technology has caught up with IPL, including the development of fractional lasers around 2010 & pico lasers half a decade later.

Newer, more specific lasers generally provide a better outcome, with less downtime. Nevertheless, we still employ IPL – BBL for the treatment of pigmentation & sun damage in areas such as the torso (back & chest) as well as limbs.

Join the conversation

Join Dr Davin Lim on Instagram to stay up to date


Enquire now!

Get In Touch

Quick Contact

Dr Lim has unparalleled experience in dermatology. Fill in the form below and he will get back to you with your query