What is the difference between IPL and Fractional Laser?

Sarah Robinson Fractional Laser
woman getting laser co2 treatments

Many patients come into Neu Look Med Spa and ask which laser treatment will most benefit their skin.
Gita Izadi, NP always takes into consideration a patients skin tone, age, sun damage and texture when deciding which laser to recommend.

Fractional Laser Treatment vs. IPL Treatment

According to DermaNetwork.com “IPL uses pulses of adjustable light wavelengths to remove skin redness associated with rosacea, broken vessels, and acne. IPL can be used for the treatment of wrinkles, but it is not as effective as fractional laser treatment for this issue. You can also use IPL for hair removal and to smooth your complexion (by shrinking your pores)”. The best candidates for IPL are patients who have a lighter skin tone and their main concern is redness and sun spots. On average most patients need 3 sessions spaced about 3-4 weeks apart.

After an IPL you may notice a darkening of your sun damage. This will take anywhere from 10-14 days to “flake” off. Wearing sunscreen and avoiding direct sun exposure after the treatment is imperative to see the best results. Most patients see an immediate reduction in redness and broken capillaries after an IPL treatment.

It can also help with post inflammatory marks left from previous blemishes on the skin. Unfortunately, IPL is not a good treatment for darker skin tones. It can cause more discoloration and potentially burn ethnic skin , so Gita Izadi, NP will usually recommend a Cosmelan Peel or a Fractional Laser for these particular patients. “Fraxel is the brand name for fractional laser treatments. The process uses a laser to stimulate collagen production, to smooth wrinkles and reduce the appearance of certain types of scars. The laser can also break up skin pigments to remove liver spots and other types of hyper-pigmentation”DermaNetwork states. The fractional laser will also be recommended over IPL for those patients who have more significant wrinkles and loss of elasticity or for patients who have deep and textured acne scars. The Non Ablative technology is good for stretch marks and all kinds of scars. For skin of the face, Patients will need on average 3-4 treatments depending on their skin. For stretch marks and Acne scars patients need 5-6 treatments. You can space the treatments 3-4 weeks apart. After the treatment you will experience redness, swelling and dryness. Patients can use Ice and TNS Ceramide Cream (Skin Medica) to keep them more comfortable during the healing process. Thankfully Fractional Laser Treatment has minimal downtime and you can wear a mineral makeup the day after to conceal any redness. As far as discomfort with either of these treatments, IPL is not painful whereas Fractional Patients will need to have numbing cream applied 1 hour prior to help keep them comfortable. Beauty is pain right? Set up your
free consultation with Gita Izadi, NP to see which treatment is appropriate for you!




Red Spots

Acne Scars

Brown Spots


Broken Capillaries

Stretch Marks


Need to be Numbed


Road to Perfect Skin

No downtime