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How to Correctly use IPL Hair Removal for Women with PCOS? (Tutorial)

By Nancy H, PharmD
April 17, 2023
8 minutes
How to Correctly use IPL Hair Removal for Women PCOS

Introduction

According to a study , 5% and 10% of women between 15 and 44, or during the years you can have children, have PCOS. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. Surprisingly, thousands of people still are not aware of this condition, and how it impacts the lives of women in the world.

While the main cause of PCOS is not fully understood, the overproduction of androgens has been implicated as one of the major factors that could precipitate this condition. The androgen hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and luteinizing hormone (LH) , are responsible for different roles and processes in the body, including in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and ovulation, development, and maintenance of sexual characteristics, such as pubic hair, body hair, and muscle mass.

Being that these hormones regulate different processes in the body, overproduction will affect most of the processes involved. For example acne, infertility, irregular periods, weight gain, depression and anxiety, and hirsutism, among others. Of all of these, hirsutism is arguably one of the most common. Excessive hair growth can be very frustrating and embarrassing.

This doesn’t have to continue anymore. There are new techniques, such as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) hair removal , to help you get rid of this unwanted condition. Hence, we will take a closer look at this method, the benefits it has over other methods, and a detailed tutorial guide on how to use this technique.

What is IPL Hair Removal?

IPL, which means Intense Pulsed Light , hair removal is a popular method used to simulate and treat different skin conditions, especially removing unwanted hair from the body. Using a broad spectrum of light that is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle, IPL damages the hair and prevents further growth. It has become a preferred option for hair removal because it provides a lasting solution to hair removal and has little to no side effects.

In fact, IPL is a preferred option over laser hair removal. IPL technique makes use of a broad spectrum of light, making it effective for treating a wide range of skin and hair types. Conversely, laser hair removal is not compatible with different skins, body parts—body, including the face, underarms, legs, and bikini area—and hair types because it makes use of a single wavelength of light.

IPL makes use of a handheld device that emits photons of light into the skin, which is absorbed by the hair follicle. These produced light pulses heat up and damage the hair root, preventing future hair development. It is also an excellent medication for lowering hair growth in people who have disorders like PCOS that cause excessive hair growth.

IPL hair removal technique offers a range of benefits over other methods of removing unwanted hair. Although IPL is not without its drawbacks and peculiarities, below are some of the impressive benefits of this powerful technique.

Benefits of IPL Hair Removal

IPL hair removal method has become a very popular choice for individuals looking to remove unwanted hair from their skin. The following are some of the reasons many people prefer this wonderful hair removal technique:

1. Long-lasting Results.

One of the most impressive benefits of IPL hair removal is the long-lasting solution to unwanted hair removal it offers. Unlike other techniques, IPL targets the hair follicle, damages it, and prevents future hair growth. Hence, the result is long-lasting and typically requires fewer treatments than traditional hair removal methods.

2. Safe and Effective.

IPL hair removal has been used safely and effectively for the cosmetic treatment of many vascular lesions, unwanted hair, and pigmented lesions. Compare with other hair removal methods, such as waxing, shaving, etc, there are fewer risks and side effects associated with IPL hair removal.

3. Versatile.

Unlike the laser technique, IPL hair removal can be used on different skins and parts of the body, including the forehead, between brows, cheeks, sides of the face, upper lip, chin, neck, shoulders, back, and chest, among others. IPL is also effective for reducing hair growth in individuals with conditions such as PCOS.

4. Quick and Convenient.

You can use IPL hair removal at your convenience in your room. It doesn’t take much time, making it the perfect option if you run a busy schedule. It can also be done in the spa or saloon.

5. Cost-effective.

Factors such as the individual’s hair and skin type, the size of the treatment area, and the number of sessions required to achieve the desired results, all determine how expensive the IPL hair removal method will be.

Compare to some traditional methods of hair removal, such as waxing and shaving, IPL hair removal may be significantly more expensive. However, because it offers long-lasting solutions to the growth of unwanted hair, thereby reducing the need for frequent hair removal treatments, IPL is believed to be cost-effective.

6. Less Painful.

IPL hair removal is typically less painful than other hair removal methods such as waxing or threading, making it a more comfortable option for individuals.

IPL hair removal offers a set of impressive benefits that make it a popular choice for individuals looking to remove unwanted hair from their bodies. And more importantly, it is the perfect option for anyone with conditions such as PCOS to remove unwanted hair growth.

How to Use IPL Hair Removal for People with PCOS

The best way to get the best results from any technique lies in following the right method. For IPL hair removal , the same thing applies. Preferably, you should talk with your health professional to be sure this technique is a safe and effective method of hair removal for you.

Below is a step-by-step tutorial for using IPL hair removal:

1. Prepare the Skin.

The first thing to do before using IPL hair removal is to prepare the skin. This can be done the cleaning and drying the skin. Lotions, creams, or other products that may interfere with the treatment should be avoided before using this device.

This is because the presence of these products can form a sort of barrier that will prevent pulses of light from penetrating the skin and reaching the hair follicles, thereby resulting in the method being less effective. Preferably, use a cleanser to get rid of any dirt, oil, or grease that may affect the effectiveness of this device.

2. Adjust the Device Settings.

IPL hair removal is designed for different skin and hair types, hence, ensure you consult the user’s manual before using it. There are different features on the device, such as energy level, treatment mode, pulse duration, etc. It is important you read the manufacturer’s manual on how these features should be regulated and controlled.

Not only will adjusting the device help you optimize the treatment, but also it ensures the safety of the device for your skin and hair types. Do well to read the user’s guide before using it.

3. Test the Device.

After adjusting the setting, it is very important you try out the IPL hair removal on a small area of the skin to ensure effectiveness and safety for your hair and skin type. If you experience any side effects, irritation, or discomfort, discontinue the device immediately.

Either try adjusting the settings again or consult with a professional. If you don’t see any reactions or irritations, proceed to the next step.

4. Begin the Treatment.

Once you’re sure the setting is safe and effective for your skin, carefully begin to remove unwanted hair with the IPL device. Place the device on the affected area, and press the button to discharge pulses of lights. Carefully move the device over the treatment areas.

However, avoid areas with holes or tattoos to prevent the skin from absorbing more light energy. This can increase the risks of burns, scarring, or skin pigmentation. If you have tattoos and holes on your skin, kindly consult with your doctor.

5. Repeat the Treatments.

For maximum and effective results, you will need to repeat the IPL hair removal treatments over several sessions. There are intervals that must be followed, however. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s guide to know the recommended intervals.

6. Post-treatment Care..

Ensure you take care of the skin after using the IPL hair removal device. This is done to prevent the risk of side effects, discomfort, or any irritations that may arise. There are several ways to do this. To begin with, you may have to avoid exposing the skin to direct sunlight for several days.

In addition, avoid using any products that may irritate the skin until after several days. More importantly, do note that the IPL hair removal technique should only be performed by trained professionals or with FDA-approved devices for home use.

As safe and effective as this method is, the IPL hair removal technique can also be very damaging to the skin if it is improperly done.

Hence, ensure you consult with your physician or a professional before using the method of hair removal. Also, ensure you adhere strictly to proper safety guidelines throughout the treatment process.

Conclusion

Although this impressive technique of removing excessive hair growth has been in use for about two decades, several people are still not aware of it. IPL hair removal technique is gradually getting the buzz in the world today.

Thanks to its loads of benefits and efficiency, many people have now opted for IPL hair removal as their preferred method. This is not without its drawbacks, however, they are nothing compared with the convenience and comfort of IPL hair removal.

Getting the recommendations of your doctor, and carefully reading and adhering to the strict instructions of the manufacturer is key to the safety and effectiveness of IPL hair removal.

References

  1. Ash C, Town G, Whittall R, Tooze L, Phillips J. Lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) association with cancerous lesions. Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Nov;32(8):1927-1933. doi: 10.1007/s10103-017-2310-y. Epub 2017 Sep 7. PMID: 28884244; PMCID: PMC5653718.
  2. Ash C, Town G, Whittall R, Tooze L, Phillips J. Lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) association with cancerous lesions. Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Nov;32(8):1927-1933. doi: 10.1007/s10103-017-2310-y. Epub 2017 Sep 7. PMID: 28884244; PMCID: PMC5653718.
  3. Abrouk M, Gianatasio C, Li Y, Waibel JS. Prospective study of intense pulsed light versus pulsed dye laser with or without blue light in the activation of PDT for the treatment of actinic keratosis and photodamage. Lasers Surg Med. 2022 Jan;54(1):66-73. doi: 10.1002/lsm.23492. PMID: 35043459.
  4. Li D, Lin SB, Cheng B. Intense Pulsed Light: From the Past to the Future. Photomed Laser Surg. 2016 Oct;34(10):435-447. doi: 10.1089/pho.2016.4139. Epub 2016 Sep 30. PMID: 27697004.
  5. DiBernardo BE, Pozner JN. Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for Skin Rejuvenation. Clin Plast Surg. 2016 Jul;43(3):535-40. doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2016.03.008. Epub 2016 Apr 29. PMID: 27363767.
  6. Ciocon DH, Boker A, Goldberg DJ. Intense pulsed light: what works, what’s new, what’s next. Facial Plast Surg. 2009 Dec;25(5):290-300. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1243077. Epub 2009 Dec 18. PMID: 20024870
  7. Nedresky D, Singh G. Physiology, Luteinizing Hormone. [Updated 2022 Sep 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539692/
  8. Rennick S, Adcock L. Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2018 Feb 8. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531789/
  9. Goldberg, D. J. (2012). Current Trends in Intense Pulsed Light. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 5(6), 45-53. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390232/
  10. Thacker, P., & Kumar, P. (2016). Near Infrared Pulsed Light for Permanent Hair Reduction in Fitzpatrick Skin Types IV and V. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 9(4), 249-253. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2077.197078
  11. Fodor, L., Carmi, N., Fodor, A., Ramon, Y., & Ullmann, Y. (2009). Intense pulsed light for skin rejuvenation, hair removal, and vascular lesions: a patient satisfaction study and review of the literature. Annals of plastic surgery, 62(4), 345–349. https://doi.org/10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181856d6a
  12. González-Rodríguez, A. J., & Lorente-Gual, R. (2015). Current indications and new applications of intense pulsed light. Actas dermo-sifiliograficas, 106(5), 350–364. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ad.2014.10.004
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