Page 33 - Lasers and IPLs in Medical/Aesthetic Applications v1.2
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Chapter 1 – Fundamentals of Medical/Aesthetic Lasers and IPLs v1.2
IPL Systems – A Brief History
IPL is an acronym for Intense Pulsed Light. IPLs are NOT lasers. While they do generate intense light beams, these beams do not behave in the same manner as a laser beam. However, the intensity of some of these beams can be potentially damaging to the eyes and skin.
 Figure 14: The Supralite 2000 – one of the world’s first IPL systems
IPLs – Professional vs Salon Systems
In 1991, a Swedish inventor came up with the idea of a flashlamp-based device to treat skin conditions. He refused to pay the exorbitant prices for lasers by American companies and so, thought he could make a useful system by himself.
His name is Morgan Gustafsson and he developed the world’s first IPL unit in 1992. A year later he attended the ASLMS conference and met Mike Murphy. He showed Mike his fledgling device and suggested they work together.
In 1995 they launched the ‘Supralite 2000’ (left) at CACI’s flagship clinic reopening party in London. Around this time PA also started working with Morgan to develop the next generation IPL system – the ‘Plasmalite’.
It is important to distinguish between two types of IPL systems which are on the market today.
Professional IPL Systems
Professional IPL systems are typically at the upper end of the cost scale. This is simply because they contain all the necessary elements to deliver a good output for skin conditions. At a minimum, these units will offer the following:
• High, usable fluence range – up to 50 J/cm2
A range of wavelength filters – minimum 3, up to around 6 or 7
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Chapter 1 LEVEL A Fundamentals of Lasers/IPLs
Wide range of pulse durations – up to 80 ms Different spot sizes –
o Small for facial treatments – 1 to 2 cm2, o Larger for body areas – 2 to 5 cm2
© The Laser-IPL Guys 2021

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