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IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, is often referred to as a photofacial and is primarily used to improve brown and red discoloration in the skin. However, its uses extend far beyond facial skin. IPL is frequently used on the hands and arms to greatly improve sun damage and eliminate sun spots and seborrheic keratoses. A small series of IPL can provide a more even skin tone to the back of the hands.
IPL for hand rejuvenation may be used alone or in combination with other procedures. In patients with heavy sun damage including precancerous spots called actinic keratoses (AKs), IPL may be combined with blue light during photodynamic therapy (PDT) to reverse sun damage, build collagen, and proactively treat AKs.
IPL is frequently used in conjunction with lasers that improve skin texture and produce large amounts of new collagen. A nonablative laser such as Fraxel can be used immediately following IPL to provide a minimal downtime treatment to address skin textural changes. If more dramatic results are desired, an IPL may be performed immediately before CO2 laser skin resurfacing to further rejuvenate the skin.