There’s not a single soul who doesn’t wish to have flawless skin, that much is a fact! However, our skin is susceptible to a lot of damage that results in pigmentation, with sun exposure being one of the most common forms. That’s when we start looking for a way to beautify our skin.
One method that has become increasingly popular is skin rejuvenation through the use of intense pulsed light (IPL). If you have never heard of this before, here is a little breakdown.
What is IPL?
IPL, which is an acronym for Intense Pulsed Light, is a form of treatment used in removing brown spots on the chest, neck or face, irregular pigmentation, freckles, age spots, sun spots and other mild sun damage. In short, it is a method of treating the skin with the use of powerful and quick flashes of light.
This light energy penetrates the skin surface until it gets to the site of the unwanted brown pigment and uses heat to break it down into tiny particles. The physical manifestation of this intense pulsed treatment can be seen in the form of scabs that go away within a week or two.
This shows that IPL works on pigmentation as it is attracted to red and brown pigments. Results have demonstrated that it effectively treats a variety of skin conditions, including vascular redness, broken capillaries, hormonal pigmentation and rosacea. However, people with darker skin tones using this technique have a higher risk when using for further pigmentation due to its attraction to brown pigments.
Is IPL the same as laser treatments?
Although IPL is similar to lasers, they can’t be classified as laser treatments as the pulsed light are made up of multiple wavelengths of light. In this form of treatment, the light is less concentrated, whereas lasers involve the use of a single wavelength. You can enjoy impressive results with this treatment method as it doesn’t cause any deep resurfacing.
You may experience some mild redness, but this is normal and it will fade away after a while. It is common for people to start seeing results immediately after the first session, while some may need around four sessions for full satisfactory results. As IPL uses diffused light, it is much gentler in causing skin rejuvenation and gives off less energy compared to laser treatment. It is also a less expensive option for getting rid of age spots and sun spots.
How long does IPL treatment take?
As a rule, the length of time for IPL treatment is unique to each individual as it depends on the size and type of skin pigmentation. However, a typical treatment session should take about thirty minutes. As mentioned earlier, some may start seeing results after the first session, while others have to wait until about the third.
For most skin pigmentation conditions, you may typically need up to three sessions taken at four-week intervals. Combining this with the appropriate maintenance treatment will make the results a little more permanent.
Is IPL treatment painful?
The first key thing to note about using this to treat pigmentation is to make sure that you don’t have a tan before your appointment. Even if it is a fake one, it will affect the machine and make it unable to target the brown pigment accurately. So, never go with a tan and stop using Retin-A at least two weeks before your session.
This will help in preventing extra sensitivity of your skin. When you are ready to get your treatment, you will be given goggles to protect your eyes (for face treatments) while the trained technician gently applies cold gel to the area of unwanted pigmentation on your skin.
Now comes the top question: is this painful? A lot of people say it hurts, while others describe it as just mild discomfort. Thus, the answer to this depends on your pain threshold. If you are trying to get rid of facial spots, it could take less than thirty minutes for the dermatologist to cover the area of your face being treated with the IPL device. The good news is that this procedure is quick, so you don’t have to endure any discomfort too long time.
After treatment is completed, the dermatologist wipes the slimy gel off. If you don’t like experiencing any form of pain on your skin, you can ask the expert to use a topical numbing cream. After most IPL treatments, some patients experience mild scabbing on treated areas of the skin. However, there is little to no downtime as opposed to other skin pigmentation treatments, and you can get back to your daily routine as early as the next day.
How much does IPL cost?
Using this for skin pigmentation is can be quite an expensive process. While prices usually vary, this is still something that requires a lot of money, as you will need multiple sessions. It could be as low as $400 per session or as high as $2000. This all depends on the clinic and on the skin conditions being treated.
Does IPL result in complications?
To avoid any skin complications after an IPL treatment, always visit a reputable clinic with experts who know what they are doing and who can properly administer the light. When it is not done right, you may experience complications or even more problems than you started with.
Very rarely, people could experience complications like burns, redness, scarring, or blistering. Sometimes, when there is hypo-pigmentation (all the pigments are removed), and hyperpigmentation (increased pigments), it can result in permanent discolouration of the skin.
The skin is sensitive, but when a cosmetic procedure is done with all the necessary care, the chances of this happening will be minimal. After treatment, avoid going out into the sun without a sunscreen. It is also advisable for breastfeeding and pregnant women to avoid this skin pigmentation treatment method.
If this treatment fits with what you are searching for in your skin rejuvenation journey, then book a session with an expert and get your skin glowing again.