Purchasing an IPL System for Your Medical Spa

Originally, intense pulsed light (IPL) technology was extensively utilized for clinical photography. Technology has been modified for use in a variety of sectors, including research, medical aesthetics, and engineering. This study will solely cover the application of IPL for medical esthetic applications.

There are different types of IPL devices in the business, and they have greatly improved over the years. While IPL equipment were formerly sold as separate parts to treat specific skin conditions, they are now sold as a single unit that may treat a variety of issues, including hair removal, pigmentation, aging, and scars. Because IPL can treat numerous disorders, it is more accessible to more skin care specialists because the return on investment (ROI) is significantly higher with a multipurpose machine.

An IPL device is a small, transportable base that holds a flash lamp handpiece. Prominent brands include: the Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 and the Silk’n Infinity. The developed system generally allows the incorporation of new fittings. IPL activates molecules to transport light and certain wavelengths, and it transfers a narrow ray of light.

Flash lamp technology is also supported by IPL units. A flash lamp, sometimes known as a flashtube, is intended to produce highly strong, incoherent, full-spectrum white light for very brief periods of time. Flash lamps are comprised of a length of glass tubing filled with a gas and equipped with electrodes at either end that, when activated, ionize and conduct a high-voltage pulse to generate light.

Conditions treated with IPL

IPL systems are particularly adaptable and effective for treating a variety of skin disorders, including benign epidermal pigmented lesions (sun damage and age spots) and vascular issues (spider veins, telangiectasia, and rosacea). IPL may also hasten the healing of aggressive acne. It is also an excellent hair removal therapy, though results vary greatly, with some clients suffering regrowth and others remaining hair-free.

Remember that redness may occur, and clients treated with IPL should prevent sun exposure in the area where the procedure was performed. Sunscreen is advised, but full garment coverage is best.

The following are some more skin problems that can be treated with IPL:

  • Acne—The porphyrin and Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) in acne can absorb 415 nm wavelengths, causing a photoreaction that results in the emission of a singlet of oxygen, which may help suppress P. acnes action.
  • Aging—IPL increases collagen and elastin formation, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and pores.
  • Hyperpigmentation occurs when pigments and oxyhemoglobin (HbO2) in the blood absorb light and convert it to heat without harming the skin.
  • Vascular problems can be treated by hardening blood, and pigmented areas can be treated by dissolving melanocytes.

Hair removal and IPL

IPL emits a highly concentrated beam of light that is drawn to melanin, which is present in hair. The light goes through the top layer of the skin and into the underlayer, where it is absorbed by the pigment in the hair. To kill the hair follicle, the light is transformed into heat.

It accomplishes this without causing any harm to the surrounding tissues and just targets pigmentation.

To be successful, the hair must be in the anagen development cycle, which means it is still linked to the bulb, which is the living component of the follicle with tiny blood arteries and capillaries that supply the cells. The hair follicle is a tunnel-like part of the epidermis deep within the dermis. Every 28 days, the hair grows 1 cm (0.4 inch).

Before treatment, the hair must be shaved; however, clients should never wax or tweeze the treatment region between sessions. This exercise will alter the growth pattern and disrupt the hair growth cycle.

How long does it take to see a difference?

Hair reduction of 30% should be noted after the first treatment. Each time a client receives a treatment, the hair becomes patchy and finally disappears. Clients require 6-8 sessions to achieve the desired outcomes, and services should be scheduled 4-6 weeks apart, depending on the area being treated.

Topicals that are prescribed.

Because the IPL identifies the pigmentation of the skin to avoid burning, colorless ultrasound gel is perfect. Clients should use SPF 30 sunscreen to the treated region after treatment to prevent hyperpigmentation and burning.

What distinguishes IPL from laser?

IPL is not the same as laser technology. There are three significant differences between the two technologies.

IPL employs a broad-spectrum wavelength, whereas laser units use a single wavelength. These differ depending on the maker and the function.

Moisture is yet another difference between lasers and IPL. The laser especially targets water—the goal is to vaporize the target quickly in order to boost the temperature, depending on the type of laser employed.

IPL focuses on pigmentation. IPL detects pigmentation color; the darker the Fitzpatrick, the less energy is required for therapy.

How to Fund Your IPL Unit

IPLs typically cost between $10,000 to $50,000. Because of the various types of equipment in the business, these are averages. Prices are largely influenced by the services that the machine can provide.

Treatments should be sold in packages based on numerous aspects, including where you live, if the treatment is performed by a physician or dermatologist, or whether an IPL or laser technician is on staff.

Machine cost divided by treatment cost.

Upkeep of your IPL unit

Maintenance schedules are determined by the machine and the manufacturer. Because of the technology and cooling systems in these devices, they will require routine maintenance to function effectively. Maintain your unit with care. Repairs are more expensive than routine upkeep.

How to Promote IPL Treatments

There are numerous methods for marketing new services to your clientele. Hosting a launch party at your spa is a certain method to attract present and potential clients. Invite your clients, invite their friends and family members, and inform them about the machine and treatments you provide.

To generate interest and excitement, show them a demonstration. Offer a significant discount or a complimentary treatment with your service for the event. if it is reserved in advance to make the offer more appealing Your consumers will not only be repeat customers if you put together packages involving 6-to-8 treatments, but they will also notice results.

One disadvantage of selling individual treatments is that customers may not experience the anticipated results after the first or second session and will therefore not return. Explain the process thoroughly to clients who are unfamiliar with IPL technology, emphasizing how helpful the treatments are when performed in a series.

Many spas also use traditional print periodicals to attract the attention of potential guests. Advertising in local newspapers and magazines may bring in new clients who would not have known about your spa otherwise. Similarly, social media is incredibly appealing to new clients. Seeing the wonderful benefits of the treatment on social media might easily bring in more clients.

Place a call-to-action ad on your website and schedule special monthly promotions ahead of time. Marketing initiatives, like everything else in business, should be strategic and skillfully planned. If your spa’s marketing and PR efforts are lacking, going the extra mile to engage a public relations (PR) expert may be the solution. This is especially true for new spas that are just getting started with a clientele.

References:

  • Ash C, Town G, Whittall R, Tooze L, Phillips J. Lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) association with cancerous lesions. Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Nov;32(8):1927-1933. doi: 10.1007/s10103-017-2310-y. Epub 2017 Sep 7. PMID: 28884244; PMCID: PMC5653718.
  • Michelle Evans. “Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 In-Depth Review by Esthetician – Healthy Beautiful.” Healthy Beautiful, healthybeautiful.com, 12 Aug. 2022, https://healthybeautiful.com/review/braun-silk-expert-pro-5-in-depth-review/.
  • Husain Z, Alster TS. The role of lasers and intense pulsed light technology in dermatology. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Feb 4;9:29-40. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S69106. PMID: 26893574; PMCID: PMC4745852.
  • Sterin, Gabrielle. “Silk’n Infinity In-Depth Review by Esthetician: Best for Dark Skin (Black & Brown Skin) – – Healthy Beautiful.” Healthy Beautiful, healthybeautiful.com, 1 Jan. 2045, https://healthybeautiful.com/review/silkn-infinity-hair-removal-device-review/.
  • Martella A, Raichi M. Photoepilation and Skin Photorejuvenation: An Update. Dermatol Reports. 2017 Jun 13;9(1):7116. doi: 10.4081/dr.2017.7116. PMID: 28652906; PMCID: PMC5475414.

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