KnowThe Difference, Fraxel vs IPL

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

By Genevieve Vielbig, RN, CANS Do you know the difference between Fraxel Dual Laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)? I will be discussing what they exactly do and what skin conditions they can treat. To help you decipher the difference between the two think of a laser as a “laser pointer” and the IPL as a “flashlight” in regards to light emission. An IPL, technically, doesn’t even meet the definition of a laser. However, actual lasers, IPL, and other light-emitting devices are collectively referred to as “lasers” for simplicity of discussion. So let’s shed some light between these two, shall we? The Fraxel Dual Laser is known as a non-ablative laser. It treats sun damage (hyperpigmentation), wrinkles, and acne scarring. The treatment is suitable anywhere skin pigmentation, and skin texture irregularities linger; for the face, neck, décolletage, hands, and arms. How it works; The Fraxel laser creates tiny columns of thermal destruction in the skin that stimulate the growth of new, healthy skin cells to replace old, damaged cells. The treatment forces expedited cell turnover, and collagen production is leaving the patient with fresh, supple skin. The downtime is usually from 5-7 days, and one treatment can be powerful in regards to results. VS. ⠀ The Cutera Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), is also a non-ablative treatment. The IPL targets sun damage (hyperpigmentation), broken capillaries, rosacea, and overall uneven skin tone of the face, neck, and décolletage. During the procedure, the device emits a broad spectrum of high energy light waves that can target high concentrations of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. When the light beam passes through the skin, it has the power to fragment melanin; which is then absorbed by the body, and dark spots and other imperfections become less visible. With IPL, there is no downtime required. The skin may appear redder directly following treatment but subsides within a few hours. Patients typically require four IPL sessions spaced about one month apart to achieve desired results.⠀ ⠀ Fraxel laser treatment and IPL both provide the best results if you avoid sun exposure. Neither procedure should even be considered if you don’t plan to stay out of the sun regularly. Your results will be lost almost immediately, and skin could worsen after just one session of prolonged sun exposure.

Now you know! MUAH!???? Ms. Genevieve Vielbig, RN, CANS, is an Aesthetic Nurse at a private practice in the Greater New York City Area.