U.S. Cosmetic Laser InC.
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U.S. Cosmetic Laser Inc.


Active Optical Laser/IPL Systems
 Authorized Dealer In USA.


The Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is an electromagnetic radiation source emitting a wide
wavelength spectrum comprising from the ultraviolet rays (UV < 100nm) up to the infrared rays (IV >20000nm). The UV rays damage the tissue DNA.

The IPL works on the zone with highest absorption of the two most important
chromophores when skin pathologies must be treated: melanin and oxy hemoglobin; this zone covers between 400 and 1200 nm.

Filters were place to remove wavelengths below 400-500 nm to disregard the UV rays and filters removing wavelengths above 1200nm.

Thus, the IPL is characterized by a polychromatic light, that is, several tones of blue through the infrared, based on the different wavelengths and not following the same direction, with a spectrum varying between 400 and 1200nm, wider than the laser.

South American Association of Aesthetic Medicine - International Association of Aesthetic Medicine.

IPL parameters

The IPLs are defined by six parameters, as the laser:

1. Wavelengths applied (nm, nanometer)

The wavelengths depend, exclusively, on the filters that the manufacturers use to define the area of action of the device. In general, this area is between 400 and 1200nm.
Some IPL devices have special filters for specific applications (vessels, spots, etc.).

2. Pulse duration (ns, µs, ms)

The duration of the emitted pulse depends on the thermal relaxation time of the target.

3. Spot size

The size of the spot is important to define the penetration of the light into the tissues. The
dispersion of the light falls when the spot is larger, supporting a higher penetration into the tissue.

4. Fluency (J/cm2, Joule per square cm)

Measures the energy transmitted per surface unit. In general, the energy applied with IPL is lower than the fluency applied with laser to prevent side effects on the skin surface. With high fluency IPL is more destructive, therefore in medicine the IPL fluency varies between 3 and 50 J/cm2.

5. Energy radiation or density (W/cm2, Watts per square cm)

Measures the energy rate per surface unit. It is an indicator of the total energy intensity of the target. High radiation means fast heating of the chromophore.

6. Frequency (Hz, hertz)

It measures the number of pulses per second.  Higher frequencies support faster treatments.

Characteristics of the Intense Pulsed Light

The four characteristics of IPL are:

1. Polychromatic light

With several wavelengths, this light covers several colors, from blue to infrared.

2. Non-coherent

Not all the waves leaving the optical cavity have the same wavelength.

3. Non-collimated

Not all the beams leaving the cavity have the same direction; they are not parallel either.

4. Wide spectrum

The spectrum varies between 400 and 1200nm.

Wide Wavelength Range:

420 – 1100 nm, Suitable for various colors of skin and hair

Color   /   Light Spectrum Range         /        Treatment

Violet                  420-430 nm                     Acne, Seborrhea, Herpes

Indigo                 430-440 nm                     Acne, Seborrhea, Herpes

Blue                    440-490 nm                      Hair, Acne, Seborrhea,

Green                 490-570 nm                      Hair, Skin rejuvenation

Yellow                570-585 nm                      Hair, Skin rejuvenation

Orange               585-620 nm                      Hair, Skin rejuvenation, Coupe rosé

Red                     620-780 nm                      Hair, Skin rejuvenation, Coupe rosé

Infra red            780-1100 nm                    Hair, Skin rejuvenation, Tattoo

The Intense Pulsed Light in Aesthetic Medicine or Dermatology

The IPL devices are used in Aesthetic Medicine and dermatology to remove some pathological or aesthetic imperfections of the skin.

The IPLs are used to treat, mainly, the following:

1. Hair removal
2. Skin photo rejuvenation.
3. Rosacea and telangiectasia (spider veins) of the face
4. Pigmented lesions and spots
5. Acne scars

The Intense Pulsed Light uses all the available wavelengths together, but each will exert a specific effect to treat a specific pathology or change.

Each IPL pulse will simultaneously have a superficial effect (epidermis and papillary dermis with wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm), a medium effect (papillary dermis with wavelengths between 700 and 900nm) and a deep effect (dermis and hypodermis with wavelengths above 900nm).

All the lights act together, but the blue and green lights act on the surface, the orange and yellow lights on the intermediate lights and the infrared lights on the deep zones.

IPL applications in Medicine

I) Hair removal

The thermal effect (selective photothermolysis) that

will modify:  Destroy the target chromophores (melanin and oxyhemoglobin). This destruction is performed by coagulation of the target.

In the laser the thermal effect is generally on the surface and the transfer of heat takes place through the conduction in the hair follicle to the bulb, destroying the three main parts of the hair (bulge, bulb and feeding vessels). The IPL will attack the surface hairs with the lowest wavelengths, but through the deepest parts to the bulb with the highest wavelengths.

II) Skin photo rejuvenation

In the dermis there are molecules with the characteristic to increase the dispersion of the light.
This light fleeing the target will heat the intradermal cells until changing their structure and destroying them.
The collagen is formed from intradermal molecules; it will be heated by diffusion of the IPL until its destruction when the temperature reaches 60oC. In addition to the destruction of the old collagen, the temperature will break off the cross-links and
reduce the volume of fibers in 1/3, increasing the caliber of these fibers without changing the integrity of the tissue. The contracted fibers, with enlarged caliber, will generate new collagen to provide more elasticity and brightness to the skin.

III) Treatment of pigmented lesions

The accumulation of melanin in the epidermis and in the papillary dermis is responsible for the development of pigmented lesions. The solution of the problem is the destruction of the excess of melanin by applying IPL on the affected site; the photothermal effect will burn and coagulate the melanin particles.

South American Association of Aesthetic Medicine - International Association of Aesthetic Medicine.

IV) Vascular treatment.

The absorption peaks of oxyhemoglobin vary
between 400 and 680nm, corresponding to the parts of blue, green and yellow lights of the IPLs.
The blue lights have scarce penetration and do not reach the vessels, but the green and yellow lights reach the vessels of the papillary dermis (telangiectasia) and part of the
reticular dermis.

The IPL will act, essentially, on the papillary vessels
forming the rosacea and telangiectasia.

V) Acne treatment

The effect used to treat the acne with IPL is the photodynamic effect. To treat the acne there is no need to inject a photosensitive product prior to the treatment session because the scars are filled with porphyrins that the light will activate.

The activated porphyrins will release a singlet atom of oxygen, very aggressive and toxic, which will attack and destroy the cells of P. acne that are generating the inflammation of the follicle.
The biggest problem when treating the acne is that the light acting on the porphyrin is the blue light (440 nm) with scarce penetration; therefore, the action will be superficial and request several sessions to get good results.

Reduction of the fluency – G.E.M.

G.E.M. Technology (Geometrical Energy Management) concentrates a significant part of
energy approximately 3 mm below the surface of the skin, reducing the fluency applied on the epidermis and also reducing the thermal barrier effect of the melanin. This action avoids the nervous terminals in the epidermis and papillary dermis, thus reducing the pain and supporting the formation of more collagen. Other advantages of the G.E.L.
technology, in addition to being painless, are the simplicity to handle, reduced number of risks, because control is computerized: fast application and possibility to apply with higher photo types due to the lack of significant action on the skin surface.

When using this technology, the professional needs to know how to identify the
different photo types, because this is the most important parameter in the selection of the program to apply in the different treatments.

We must be particularly careful with the tanned skin with significant accumulation of melanin in the epidermis/dermis region because the tan significantly increases the thermal barrier effect of the melanin.

In Brazil, we only have one device that uses this third-generation technology: Active.

Final Considerations

The use of light has been a great advance in Aesthetic Medicine and Dermatology, resulting in significant benefits for the different treatments, either curative or aesthetic.

First was the Laser and then the IPL; both are specific in their mechanism of action, each has its specific indications. Even today, the laser is a therapy with higher level of skin aggression than IPL.

With regard to the results, IPL gets similar effects, with good quality, provided it is well
selected and accurately applied.
One of the most important advantages of the work with pulsed light is that a single medical device may provide different treatments, while the laser needs to use more than one device to treat the different indications, because laser devices have a specific
wavelength that restricts its action.

The development of new technologies in this area led to a higher simplicity of application and use for the professionals using these resources, with more convenient treatments and increasingly accurate and effective results.


Silvio Renato Rodrigues Pereira, General Surgery, Fundacao Universidade de Rio Grande – FURG, Post-graduate and Member of the International Association of Aesthetic Medicine/ASIME, Coordinator of cosmetic surgery and laser/IPL
outpatient service of the Brazilian Chapter of Medicine and Aesthetic Surgery – CABMCE – Regional RS, Member of the Brazilian College of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery.

South American Association of Aesthetic Medicine - International Association of Aesthetic Medicine.

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