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Laser 101

Back in the '90s, blasting wrinkles meant horror-flick-like oozing and months of redness as "ablative" lasers burned off the skin's surface and a younger-looking version grew in.

THE TREATMENT: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) continued...

How It Works: While not a "laser" per se, IPL devices work similarly. Short pulses of bright white light pinpoint brown pigment cells and redness, which are damaged when they absorb the light and the heat it creates. Safe for most skin types, but a doctor may dial down intensity for darker skin tones to avoid slim risk of de-pigmentation.

How It Feels: Sunburn-like. Patients experience slight swelling and pinkness the day of the procedure, but there's no downtime, which is why it's often categorized as a "lunchtime" treatment.

Price: $400 to $600 per treatment.

Originally published on May 21, 2009

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