Say Bye Bye Sun Damage!

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So I’ve been doing medical skin care for a while, working with so many different machines that all say they do the same thing.  My favorite so far for IPL (Intense Pulse Light) is by the company Lumenis. We just got our new laser in yesterday at work and had some time to play with it.  I LOVE IT! The new model is called the M22 platform.  This baby is loaded! I used it on my co-worker yesterday, and her spots already turned brown and with no major irritation! If you don’t know a lot about IPL, let me give you the basics.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a breakthrough age-spot treatment that can address numerous skin conditions, without injuring the skin’s surface.  Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a broad-band light source used to treat a variety of skin conditions including rosacea, sun spots and photodamage.  IPL targets brown and red discoloration in the skin, and is considered a “no downtime” source of photorejuvenation. IPL is sometimes referred to as a “photofacial.”

What is IPL treatment like?

A cold gel is applied to the treatment area, and patients are given protective eyewear.  During treatment, the smooth glass surface of the IPL hand piece is gently applied to the skin, and precise pulses of light penetrate the area being treated. The pain level is very minimal and can be further reduced by application of a topical anesthetic and/or cold air.  Most patients experience a small stinging sensation.  Procedures last about 10-20 minutes, and a complete program usually includes 2-6 sessions at approximately 3-4-week intervals.

What preparations must I make prior to treatment?

Avoid any exfoliating products, sun exposure and tanning beds for at least 2 weeks prior your treatment.  Sunburned skin cannot be treated.  Sun exposure should be minimized and an SPF 30+ sun block with Zinc Oxide should be used for as long as possible prior to beginning treatment and should be continued daily after treatment to prolong results.

What will I look like immediately after IPL? 

There may be a slight redness or blotchiness to the skin.  This usually disappears after an hour. Age spots may darken soon after IPL treatments as a result of the light interacting with the pigment in your age spots, and may fade or flake off following your treatment.   An ice or cold pack may be applied immediately following your treatment and you may continue to apply to the area for the next 24 hours to minimize swelling and/or discomfort.  You may  take Tylenol as needed for discomfort.  You may also apply Aloe Vera immediately after your treatment and as needed to soothe the skin.

How many IPL treatments are necessary?

The goal with this procedure is to provide maximum benefit with minimal trauma and risk to the skin.  Repeated IPLs have been shown to induce new collagen formation and may improve skin texture. Treatments are typically spaced approximately 3-6 weeks apart. Brown spots will turn darker immediately following treatment and flake off within 5-14 days. Broken blood vessels slowly recede over a period of weeks.

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Now with everything that has to do with the body, remember, it will take time. One treatment will not do everything.  If that were true, I’d look like a baby by now!

If you are considering doing laser therapy, find your local clinic, ask them questions!! It’s not always the best idea to get a deal on laser treatments, sometimes you don’t know what you are going to get.

For now, swear your sunscreen, drink plenty of water and smile!

Xoxo

Katrin

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