IPL - Intense Pulsed Light


At Clinique Elan (Hamilton Clinic) we use the gold standard Cutera Limelight IPL for treating brown spots, superficial redness and general skin rejuvenation.


IPL is a form of light therapy, but it is NOT laser. It is a multi purpose machine that can emit different wavelengths (colours), to enable us to treat various issues on the skin. When the appropriate wavelength is chosen, the crystal head is placed on the skin and the ‘shot’ is delivered. When the light hits its target colour – brown and/or red – the light is absorbed and converted into heat, thus destroying the target cells i.e. pigment or red blood cells.



PIGMENTATION: The light is able to penetrate to a certain depth only, so while the surface brown spots look better, the underlying pigmentation will eventually come to the surface again, so the spot will reappear. How long this takes depends on how deep the damage is, and how well the skin is looked after, particularly regarding sun protection,  afterwards.

REDNESS: Again we are treating the symptoms only. Generalised redness often comes from Rosacea, which cannot be cured, but IPL is a great tool in the management of the problem.  Non-Rosacea redness may stay away for longer, but how the skin is looked after and protected afterwards, again determines the longevity of results.

Generally up to three treatments are required for ultimate results as the intensity and depth of the issues vary.



The biggest concern with any light therapy is that of burning, and possibly scarring.  For this reason we complete a comprehensive check-list to identify any risk factors, prior to you commencing any treatment. This includes determining your Fitzpatrick rating, which indicates how much melanin is in your skin. Darker skins are not appropriate for IPL and neither is tanned skin.  In both instances, too much light can be absorbed, converted into heat causing blistering, burning and possibly scarring long term.  Strict sun protection is imperative after treatment, so it is much safer to have treatment in the less sunny months. 

Most people will be a bit red for a few hours afterwards.  Any brown spots treated will most likely get darker and then flake off over the next (5 – 14 days).  Some minor bruising is possible following red vein treatment.

Prior to treatment: Before undergoing IPL treatment for pigmentation and sun spots it is protocol to have had a recent skin check within the last 6-12 months. If you have not had the areas of concern checked by your GP, Mole Map or other skin scanning centre, we will ask you to proceed with booking a skin check before we can perform any treatment.


IPL cost

$150 Minimal area

$360 Full Face

$450 2 Areas (e.g face and neck)

Skin Care Consultations

It is always recommended to book a skin consult before booking any Laser or IPL to discuss suitability. Consults are always free of charge and allow us to ensure you are getting the best results in the safest way.

Book a Skin Consult