• Photorejuvenation
    for pigmentation

Photorejuvenation/IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)

York Laser and MedSpa has been offering photorejuvenation to Aurora and Newmarket since 2002.

Photorejuvenation refers to the use of intense pulsed light (IPL), primarily to treat pigmentation related to sun damage on exposed areas: face, neck, décolleté, and hands.

To book an appointment, call (905) 726-1126 today!




Frequently Asked Questions

Photo means light. Rejuvenation means to give new life. So photorejuvenation refers to a technique that uses "light energy to give new life" to skin.

Photorejuvenation is used to treat coloured things in your skin. It is one of several methods used for the treatment of pigmentation

There are three types of pigmentation problems: sun pigmentation (aka age spots. The proper term is solar lentigos), melasma (hormone-driven pigmentation, aka pregnancy mask), and post-inflammatory pigmentation. Sun pigmentation is treated by photorejuvenation. Melasma should not be treated with photorejuventaion, because there is a significant risk of making it worse. Post-inflammatory pigmentation does not respond well to any form of treatment. You have to control the process that caused it, then wait for the pigment to fade.
While the primary purpose of photorejuvenation is to improve skin colour, some people may get subtle improvements in skin texture including smoothing of the skin, reduction of pore size, and improvement in very fine lines. If skin texture improves, it is a bonus. It should not be an expectation.

Pulses of intense light are applied to the skin using our Harmony IPL machine (IPL is short for Intense Pulsed Light). The intense light is absorbed by structures in the skin that have darker colour, namely blood vessels and pigmented areas. These dark structures instantaneously heat up and are damaged by this intense light. The body then repairs this minor damage. In doing so the blood vessels are absorbed by the body, and pigment spots slough off.*

The process by which skin texture may be improved relates to collagen tightening and stimulation of new collagen production.

IPL is short for Intense Pulsed Light. As the name implies, IPL devices produce intense pulses of light from flash lamps. This light initially contains all colours of light in the visible spectrum plus infrared and ultraviolet. Because ultraviolet light is harmful, all IPL machines use some type of mechanism, usually filters, to block out UV.

Lasers are quite different, because they produce light of only one colour (wavelength).

The fact that lasers and IPL are different is neither good nor bad. Their different properties simply make them useful for different tasks.

Any skin area can be treated with photorejuvenation, but the most common areas are the face, neck, upper chest, and hands. These are the areas that receive the most sun exposure and, hence, sun damage.

Since almost everyone has sun damaged skin to some degree, almost everyone can benefit from photorejuvenation. The greater the damage, the greater the benefit.*

People with severe sun damage will get noticeable benefit with one treatment. People with minor damage are actually harder to treat. This is simply a matter of physics. Severe damage produces dark spots that absorb more light from the IPL, and these darker spots respond dramatically. People with minor pigmentation problems have less pigment in their spots to absorb light, and less damage is caused. Very faint pigmentation may not respond at all, and other methods need to be employed.

Photorejuvenation treatments are done using our Harmony IPL machine. Intense pulses of light are applied to the skin using a hand piece that has a window about half an inch wide and one and a half inches long. This window is held against the skin and a single flash is given. The technician moves the window to the adjacent area of skin and another flash is delivered. The entire face can be covered in about five minutes and then a second pass is done at right angles to the first pass to maximize results and to ensure that there are no streaks or missed areas.

In most cases, only one treatment is required. Some people need two, and rarely three sessions are required.

Some clinics will sell you a package of 4 to 6 treatments. Our Harmony IPL device is unlike any other device in the industry. Its AFT technology makes it extremely effective. See "What makes the Harmony IPL different from other IPL machines? below.

There is no simple answer to this question, because pain response and tolerance is different from person to person. Most people find that photorejuvenation causes moderate pain.

Topical anesthetics cannot be used when small blood vessels are the target, because the anesthetic constricts the blood vessels making them harder to treat. If we're only after pigment, topical anesthetic can be used.

When only facial veins are being treated, cooling can be used (we use a Zimmer cooler to blow super cold air). Cooling cannot be used when treating pigment because the pigment is superficial, and cooling it will prevent us from damaging it. 

To summarize: 
Cooling can be used for vein treatments.
Topical anesthetic can be used for pigment treatments.
Neither can be used if we're trying to treat both pigment and veins.

Mild redness is normal and usually lasts a few hours. Rarely, it may persist for a few days.

The intense light can cause burning and blistering, but this is very rare.

Pigment changes can occur. This can be increased pigmentation or decreased pigmentation in the treated area. This is rare with the Harmony IPL. Pigment changes are almost always temporary, lasting perhaps a few months.

Occasionally people develop a light-induced rash (photodermatitis), which can be intensely itchy but goes away on its own in a few days. It can be treated with cortisone cream.

First, read the question: What is IPL?

All IPL machines use some type of device to prevent harmful ultraviolet light from reaching the skin. Most machines use filters to simply block out the UV rays. In contrast, the Harmony IPL converts the UV light to useful wavelengths. This method is called Advanced Fluorescent Technology (AFT). Most of the energy boost occurs at the wavelength that the IPL machine uses for doing its job, and this makes it more effective. At the same time, because more light is available at the desired wavelength, the overall energy delivered can be reduced, and consequently, the machine is safer. This safety factor is the primary reason we decided to purchase the Harmony to treat our patients.

We require 48 hours notice for cancellation of your consultation or treatment, in order to fill the appointment time. If sufficient notice is not given, the full value of the treatment to be done may be charged (minimum charge $100). If you have purchased a package, and you miss an appointment without giving sufficient notice, then that treatment is deemed to have been given, and you will receive one less treatment than you paid for.

Call (905) 726-1126 today!

*Results may vary.



My skin looks much better. The brown spots and tiny veins are gone.

LM, 33, Keswick*

I'm very pleased with the results, particularly my hands.

LM, 59, Aurora*

I am very happy and I have only had one session of Photorejuvenation.

LC, 42, Aurora*

Having evening hours is a great plus to me. I was impressed that Dr. Kritzinger took the time to explain the procedure. I'm very pleased with the results.

MM, 47, Newmarket*

*Results may vary.