Intense Pulsed Light or IPL therapy can be useful in treating hyperpigmentation conditions. Men and women suffer from conditions that can benefit from these treatments to even out the skin tone. If you compare the skin on an area of your body that is rarely exposed to the sun to the skin on your face, does the pigment look the same or is variable, spotted, freckled, have age spots, or just uneven in general? This treatment can help produce a more even, consistent skin tone that looks brighter and younger. It can be used on the neck, décolleté, and really any area of the body. The hands and forearms are other areas that often show considerable sun damage.
Questions and Answers
I have freckles that I’ve had for years. Can IPL help?
This treatment can treat any irregular pigmentation or hyperpigmentation.
How many IPL treatments will I need?
This is variable and can depend on how dark your pigment is, your skin type, how you respond, and how well you remain out of the sun and don’t re-expose yourself to UV light. Generally speaking, treating hyperpigmentation requires 2-6 treatments, but may require maintenance sessions to keep any recurrent pigmentation formation treated.
Why do I need maintenance sessions for IPL Hyperpigmentation treatment?
Anytime you have any UV exposure, you will trigger redevelopment of pigment formation, since we are not destroying the pigment-producing cells in the skin, called melanocytes, only the excess pigment in the skin. These melanocytes are ready to produce new pigment as soon as any sunlight hits (even on cloudy days 70% of UV light comes through). It is of utmost importance that you remain out of the sun, use a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ or more daily, and always wear a wide-brimmed hat when going outdoors and clothing protection. In addition, skin bleaching creams are often prescribed to decrease the risk of redevelopment of the pigment. Dr. Twigg will discuss this with you during your appointment.
How often are IPL Hyperpigmentation treatments performed?
Treatments are performed 3-6 weeks apart.
What do IPL Hyperpigmentation treatments feel like?
The treatment applicator uses a contact cooling system, therefore you will feel a cooling before, during, and after each pulse. The pulse feels like a hot rubber band snap, but is very tolerable.
What will my skin look like after IPL Hyperpigmentation treatment?
Your skin may appear slightly pink and the pigmented areas being treated appear a little darker. These areas may darken over the next 1-2 weeks, then become lighter as pigment improves.
I have melasma from a previous pregnancy. Can this be treated with IPL?
Yes, this can be treated with IPL. We may also use additional measures, such as skin bleaching creams and/or other agents as this condition can be difficult, but it is treatable.
More information about Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments can be found on our Blog
Post-Treatment Medical Grade Skin Care Products for IPL Hyperpigmentation
These treatments perfectly complement your IPL Hyperpigmentation treatment:
- Chamomile Facial Cleanser
- Vita-B Enzyme Polish, use in 5 days, then 1-3 times weekly
- Vita-C Peptide Spray
- C-Stem, use twice daily
- Advanced Retinol, restart 3-5 days after IPL
- Vita Soothe, use 1 drop twice daily
- Soothing Skin Relief Gel
- O2 Lift Mask, use 3 times weekly for 15 minutes
- Ultra Benefits Eye Gel (if age <40) or Ultra Firming Eye (if age 40 or over)
- Clinicians Complex 6% Skin Bleaching Cream, use twice daily, start 2 days after IPL treatment
- Vita-C 20, restart 2 days after IPL treatment, use once daily in am
- Ultra Benefits, use in pm
- Daily Replenishing SPF30+ or Replenishing Sunscreen SPF 36 or Ultra Replenishing Sunscreen SPF 40