Mar. 4, 2013
Deborah Graham Warren

SUN DAMAGE RECOVERY – PART 3: Treatment with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Real treatment for sun damage?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Before and AfterSign me up! Faced with the good fortune of choosing between the top two technologies available for the treatment of hyperpigmentation—Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Fraxel Laser Resurfacing—I had a tough decision to make.

Or did I?

After some serious discussion with the experts at The Skin Center about the benefits of each technology, I did something rather unconventional. I chose BOTH. I thought it would be beneficial for our patients to see the results of both treatments on the same face—mine. So I offered up the right side of my face IPL (with Chemical Peels) and the left side to Fraxel. Call me crazy, but I trust that at the end of this experiment I can get evened out if one side looks different than the other.

The benefits of IPL are many.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy

  • Excellent for reducing brown sun damage spots
  • Also diminishes broken capillaries, rosacea and reddened skin
  • Offers some improvement for fine lines and pore size
  • Nearly immediate results which improve with a series of treatments
  • No anesthetic needed
  • No downtime
  • Can be used on the face and body

IPL is light energy used to treat sun damage by targeting brown, blue and red pigments in the skin. Treatment is delivered through a gentle light pulse to the skin over several 15 to 30 minute treatments which are typically administered in two to four-week intervals. The Skin Center’s IPL series includes light chemical peels in between each IPL treatment to facilitate the process.

My treatment with IPL on the right side of my face was great. It felt like tiny rubber bands snapping on my face, but I laughed about it. It was completely tolerable without any need for pre-medication. After treatment, Nellie gave me an ice roller that helped cool the sensation of warmth on my face. In a few minutes, I was good to go. The treated area was slightly red with very minimal swelling for 1-2 days.

Day 2: Anxious to see the overnight development, I ran to the mirror before my coffee—only to find that what looked like tiny grounds of my favorite java had landed on my face. Yes, the right half of my face was dappled in with a layer of coffee-ground-like spots. I was thrilled since that meant those freckles got a good IPL beating, were darkening (as expected) and would soon flake away.

Day 4-5: The gentle flaking of the darkened spots was complete, revealing very fresh and less pigmented skin. People noticed and commented immediately! What a difference! And how exciting to know that my next was a chemical peel, followed by two more IPL treatments. Dark spots discolorations and pore size will gradual begin to fade and may disappear completely with each treatment. Treatment with IPL is a breeze!!

This is Part 3 of 5 in our SUN DAMAGE RECOVERY Series. See Part 4: FRAXEL and coming soon… Part 5: FINAL RESULTS!

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