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Thread: Dr. Nase, can you explain the physics behind IPL?

  1. #1
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    Default Dr. Nase, can you explain the physics behind IPL?

    Dr.,

    By now we all know about the various filters of the Lumenis One, and that the higher filer number corresponds to a longer wavelength, which can reach down deeper in the skin.

    What I can't figure out is why the longer wavelengh wouldn't also blast the blood vessels in between, thereby accomplishing what the shorter wavelenths would do as well. I guess this concept of what IPL is doing is analogous to a drill, with the longer wavelength simply being a longer drill, and would drill the same hole as the shorter wavelengths.

    But when I hear that shorter wavelenths "target" the vessels closer to the surface, I'm assuming there is some correlation with the fact that light is also like a wave. So is there some wave-resonance going on, which focuses the energy at the edge of the wave, at the depth of the wavelength.

    Not trying to flex any physics muscle, but I once took a course on microwave theory- those frequencies that allow waves to travel to space and provide us cell phone service. That theory I can understand, since metal acts as an electrical reflector of a (electromagnetic) microwave, while air acts as a "conductor" with hardly any wave attenuation. So the wave simply "bounces" off of metal. But with light and IPL, the wave is going through the skin, with the blood vessel as the target. So in this case we are dealing with skin and vessels, both "flesh", for lack of a better word. They are not day and night like metal and air are to microwaves. Or are they?

    I hope that comarison made sense. It illustrates my (lack of) understanding of IPL. =)

    I invite you to cite your other book, the one on Lasers. I am strongly considering getting that book as well. Is it intended for the average reader, or will I need a PhD to understand it? =)

    Thank you, and best of wishes.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dr. Nase, can you explain the physics behind IPL?

    Quote Originally Posted by todmiller
    Dr.,

    By now we all know about the various filters of the Lumenis One, and that the higher filer number corresponds to a longer wavelength, which can reach down deeper in the skin.

    What I can't figure out is why the longer wavelengh wouldn't also blast the blood vessels in between, thereby accomplishing what the shorter wavelenths would do as well. I guess this concept of what IPL is doing is analogous to a drill, with the longer wavelength simply being a longer drill, and would drill the same hole as the shorter wavelengths.

    But when I hear that shorter wavelenths "target" the vessels closer to the surface, I'm assuming there is some correlation with the fact that light is also like a wave. So is there some wave-resonance going on, which focuses the energy at the edge of the wave, at the depth of the wavelength.

    Not trying to flex any physics muscle, but I once took a course on microwave theory- those frequencies that allow waves to travel to space and provide us cell phone service. That theory I can understand, since metal acts as an electrical reflector of a (electromagnetic) microwave, while air acts as a "conductor" with hardly any wave attenuation. So the wave simply "bounces" off of metal. But with light and IPL, the wave is going through the skin, with the blood vessel as the target. So in this case we are dealing with skin and vessels, both "flesh", for lack of a better word. They are not day and night like metal and air are to microwaves. Or are they?

    I hope that comarison made sense. It illustrates my (lack of) understanding of IPL. =)

    I invite you to cite your other book, the one on Lasers. I am strongly considering getting that book as well. Is it intended for the average reader, or will I need a PhD to understand it? =)

    Thank you, and best of wishes.

    Hi Todd,

    Good question. First, dont buy the medical textbook that I co-authored a chapter with Dr. Bitter on lasers -- I think it sells for $149 and you know most of that stuff by now. I dont want you to waste your money.

    The deeper filters have a different convergence on them (analogous to your wave description), so they dont meet until a certain depth. This is oversimplified, but you get the gist. There is always loss of energy and optical deflectance, as well as some treatment of superficial blood vessels with the higher wavelenghts, but the filters really do treat the larger blood vessels deeper in the skin due to the heat energy converging on a point as a set distance in the skin.

    I hope that helps explain it???

  3. #3
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    Default

    So the (pulse of) light is directed such that it converges? Kind of like burning a leaf with a magnifying glass?

    The face of the crystal seems to be flat?

    I don't mean to be a bother, I just really want to understand this. How is convergence at a specific depth achieved?

    Thank you so much.

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