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At Celibre, we are big believers in before and after photos. So often, medical practices in the cosmetic dermatology industry use stock photos from the manufacturer to indicate their ability to use equipment like the IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) to get rid of sun damage. If these practices use before and after photos that are not representative of their own patients, how is it possible to tell if the results shown can actually be delivered by them?
At our practice, the only IPL treatment before and after photos that ever appear on our website are for our very own patients. In this way, you know that we can deliver the type of results you are looking for.
IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, is alight (not laser) based device that uses bright light to target skin issues such as small blood vessels or sun damage. The concept behind Intense Pulsed Light treatments is photoselective thermolysis. This is just a very fancy term that means that the light used in IPL is absorbed into the age spot or small vein, heating it up to the point where it destroys only that target while keeping the skin around it healthy and intact. This is also the reason why there is very little downtime for IPL treatments.
So, how does a consumer tell good IPL treatment before and after photos from bad ones? There are a number of factors including distance, lighting, angle, and makeup. When taking good IPL before and after photos, the practice should be using the same set of lights in the same room if possible. At our practice, we try to take all of the IPL before and after photos in the same room so as to have consistent lighting for each one. We also try to have the photos taken at the same angle and distance from the face or other body parts being shot. Finally, it’s best to have the patient’s photos taken without any makeup, moisturizer, sunscreen, or other skin care product. In this way, the photo will represent the closest approximation to the actual in-person patient.
The bottom line is that if the practice you are considering for IPL treatments does not have before and after photos of their own patients, you have to wonder if you are in the right place.