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Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Patients from Houston, Pasadena, and Beyond Can Enjoy Younger-Looking Skin

While light from the sun can damage your skin, carefully applied light can repair the signs of aging and wear that appear over the years, including spots and irregular texture. Nuveau Medical Aesthetics uses Forever Young BBL (BroadBand Light) by Sciton to deliver Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to Houston-area patients looking to improve the appearance of their skin.

The IPL treatments are fast, effective, and non-invasive, making them a popular choice for patients who want to look younger without missing a beat in their daily routine. Many men and women come in after their summer vacations to get rid of sun damage after a season spent outside. But the skin-improving light energy can be applied all year round and to a variety of conditions—even those that aren't caused by ultraviolet radiation.

Learn about broad band light and IPL at Houston's Nuveau Medical Aesthetics. Patients in Pasadena, Galveston, and beyond can call 713-526-1220 or schedule a free consultation to discover more.

How Does IPL Work?

An IPL treatment involves a light source that emits pulses in a broad spectrum, which can be focused to treat various conditions. It has two primary benefits.

One benefit is in delivering energy to the targeted areas in the skin. This concentrated heat can break down these "targets" (such as the pigment, small veins, and capillaries), resulting in lightening of sun spots and elimination of capillaries and hair bulbs.

Collagen and IPL

Skin has to be flexible enough to bend and stretch as we move our arms and legs, twist our torsos, and arrange our faces into a variety of expressions to convey a vast range of emotions. It also has to have a structure in place so it can move back to its original position when muscles relax and limbs return to where they started.

Three particular components work together to give skin these vital properties: collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Collagen gives skin its structural support, elastin helps it to bounce back, and hyaluronic acid retains moisture to keep it smooth and pliant. Each of these elements is abundant in our skin throughout our youth, but each element also deteriorates and diminishes over time. As collagen diminishes, skin grows lax, resulting in noticeable sagging and loss of tissue in the face. Reduced elasticity and moisture cause skin to dry out, leading to the appearance of creases, wrinkles, and lines.

The energy in an IPL treatment triggers key cells to renew their collagen manufacturing efforts. As the protein increases in volume in the skin, a youthful thickness and roundness gradually returns. Collagen provides a framework for hyaluronic acid, and by working in tandem with elastin, skin can enjoy a newfound resiliency.

What Can IPL Treat?

An IPL session can address any number of undesirable skin conditions, including:

IPL can be applied on the face, neck, back of the hands, chest, shoulders, and elsewhere on the body. The most popular regions for treatments are those that are frequently exposed to sunlight and thus experience the most damage.

The IPL Treatment

Since this treatment involves the use of intense pulsed lights, patients' eyes are protected by safety shields or glasses during their session. Many patients report the treatment triggers a warm sensation and feels like a rubber band snapping on their skin. A topical anesthetic may be used on more sensitive areas.

The duration of the session itself depends on the size of the target area and the specifics of the procedure. Generally, IPL treatments last anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour. The extent of aesthetic improvement desired will determine the total number of treatments necessary.

IPL may be combined with other treatments to maximize its effects. Consider microlaserpeel for removing the outermost layer of the skin after IPL to achieve a beautiful glow to your skin.

As a non-invasive treatment, IPL involves no injections or incisions, so patients can enjoy the fact that there's zero subsequent recovery time. Any resulting redness should clear up within a few hours. In the days after treatment, pigmented lesions will darken, then flake off. Any treated skin should soon feel smoother, and there will be a visible reduction in the appearance of spots and broken capillaries.

After your IPL session, you will receive post-treatment care instructions, which include warnings against exposing your treated skin to sunlight in the weeks after your visit. You should also avoid coming in for an IPL treatment if you have a sunburn or a significant tan, as the pigmentation difference from your everyday skin tone can alter the light treatment's results.

Focus On: IPL for Acne

Pigment found in lesions and hair follicles absorbs light energy delivered during an IPL session as heat, which damages the related structures and causes the darker patches to flake away or unwanted hair to fall out.

Acne breakouts are caused by plugged pores that grow increasingly inflamed as acne bacteria multiply and attract white blood cells, so reducing the bacteria and calming the inflammation can tame flare-ups of pustules, pimples, and other annoying red bumps associated with acne.

Broadband light's specific wavelengths are introduced into the skin in short bursts, helping with overactive sebaceous glands and stimulating natural healing processes that clean and clear the skin, keeping pores open and giving unwanted bacteria a less hospitable environment in which to grow.

IPL can also reduce the appearance of acne scarring with its stimulation of new collagen formation.

Talk to Dr. Christine Cheng at Nuveau Medical Aesthetics to learn more about potential treatments for acne and acne scarring. As a skin specialist, Dr. Cheng can guide you to the remedy best suited for your specific condition.

What Sets BBL Apart?

The Forever Young BBL system uses IPL to precisely target specific areas, with treatments tailored to each patient's skin type and desired results.

A Stanford University study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology revealed that ongoing maintenance BBL treatments can change the skin so that genetic expressions typically associated with the aging process more closely resembled gene expressions found in younger skin. This means that patients don't just look younger; their IPL-treated skin actually acts younger, too.

Scientists and medical professionals will continue to study the effects of Forever Young BBL to determine the long-term impacts of the treatments on skin's ability to retain flexibility, moisture, health, and an overall youthful look and feel.


Other advantages to Sciton's Forever Young BBL include a sapphire crystal that allows for regulated thermoelectric cooling to ensure patient safety, comfort, and consistent results,. It also has a flexible adapter that allows Dr. Christine Cheng to better reach areas that would otherwise be difficult to treat evenly.

With all of the elements of this advanced device working together, each pulse of broadband light is maximized for efficiency and cooled for comfort and safety. That means treatment sessions move as quickly as possible, getting you back to your day with no time wasted.

Options Beyond IPL in Houston

Another light-based treatment available at Nuveau Medical Aesthetics is laser skin resurfacing, which improves skin texture and tone. Fractionated laser resurfacing treats only portions of the skin at a time to rebuild collagen, while microlaser peels remove the outermost layer, similar to a chemical peel, but with much more precision.

The idea behind eliminating small veins with IPL can be applied on a larger scale with laser vein removal. Lasers can also be specifically applied to remove unwanted hair from larger areas.

Dr. Cheng encourages patients who want to eliminate visible veins, spots, or other skin conditions to meet with her for a consultation to determine the best treatment or combination of procedures to address their concerns. While some patients may come into the practice with a specific treatment in mind, such as IPL, they may find that a different strategy could yield better results, or that their skin type or condition might lead them to respond better to another option.

Talk to Dr. Christine Cheng and her team about the array of light options available, including IPL, at Houston's Nuveau Medical Aesthetics. Call 713-526-1220 or schedule a free consultation to learn more.
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