Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and laser are two technologies that have made skin treatment healthier, less evasive, and more effective. Contrary to popular belief, IPL and laser aren’t the same. True, they are both used for hair removal and treating wrinkles, spots, acne scars, rosacea, etc. But they aren’t the same.
In this article, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between IPL and laser technologies.
To help us understand the scope of this article let us start by defining IPL and laser.
What is IPL
IPL is an acronym for Intense pulsed light which is a technology that emits a broadband spectrum of white light of different wavelengths.
White light is made up of 7 colors- red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Each colored light has its wavelength. That’s why we earlier said IPLs emit light of different wavelengths.
Main features of IPL light
- It is divergent
- The light has different wavelengths
- It is non-coherent
What is Laser?
Laser is an acronym of Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. (We bet you didn’t know it was an acronym. Lol.)
Laser devices emit a coherent/ focused, non-divergent, monochromatic light wavelength.
Main features of laser light
- It is coherent
- Laser devices produce monochromatic light
- The light produced by a laser is non-divergent
Similarities Between Intense Pulsed Light and Laser Technologies
- Both technologies are non-ablative. They target the dermis- which is the second layer of the skin, without affecting the epidermis- the outermost layer of the skin.
- IPL and laser technologies emit light.
- Both technologies convert the light they emit to heat energy, which they use for hair removal treatment or other skin treatments.
Differences Between IPL and Laser Technologies
The major difference between IPL and laser is the type of light. While IPL releases a broadband spectrum white light of different wavelengths, the laser is more focused and releases just one light wavelength.