I Have Been Told That Certain IPL Procedures or Machines Are Better Than Others?

One of my doctors uses Limelight (and says there are only 2 highly effective machines for IPL, Limelight being one of them) and another one uses Ellipse. Should I base my choice of doctors to do the procedure on the type of IPL equipment he/she uses? I am using IPL to remove capillaries and discoloration. Do you think numbing cream affects the results? Is there a trustworthy website that compares the different brands?

Doctor Answers 3

Which IPL is best

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IPL machines have more similarity than differences, and generally medical clinics (e.g. staffed by a dermatologist or other physician) will have higher quality laser & light-based devices than a spa or salon. More importantly, you want a highly trained laser operator for optimal results and safety. Numbing creams can constrict blood vessels (no effect on brown spots) which means less of a target for the IPL and so potentially not as good results for the vessels. ~Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

IPL machines

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The experience of your doctor and laser operator is the most important variable.  The actual machine is also important.  We use the BBL which is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, IPL machine on the market.  You can use numbing cream, but most of our patients don't need it.  The BBL has a cold tip which cools the skin and makes treatment more comfortable.  In our office, a full-face IPL treatment takes about 20-30 minutes to achieve full coverage.   Our patients prefer to get their treatments done in an efficient manner and get back to their busy lives.   Patient satisfaction with BBL treatment is very high.

IPL machines - are they different? YES

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There are literally hundreds if not thousands of IPL machines on the market. The two you are talking about are two of the bigger companies, so therefore more reputable and should yield better results. There are different modalities to each system, and each doctor will have his or her own preference of machinery. While the machine does matter, the technician and skill of the user is a huge factor for your results. These are two of the biggest factors in care. Usually people who say they don't get good IPL treatments had one of two things - a bad machine (which wasn't capable of treating what needed treating) or a bad technician (who overperformed and burned them, or underperformed and gave little to no results). I would ask what happens during a treatment - at our office a full face IPL treatment takes a minimum of 60 minutes, has 1-2 different machines and handpieces used (without adding in extra costs to the patient), and includes the numbing cream, which doesn't affect the results but will make your treatment more comfortable. Many offices around the country say they can do an effective, full face IPL treatment in 15 minutes. My answer to that: impossible. I have done over 125,000 IPL treatments in my office. Ask what a treatment is like at each office you are considering - this may help you determine what will be better too.

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.