Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery

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Banish Dark Spots and Brighten Up with IPL

Banish Dark Spots and Brighten Up with IPL blog img

Utilizing intense pulsed light therapy for your most even skin tone yet!

Dull…muddy…uneven. Are these words that you think of when you look at your skin in the mirror? Maybe it’s especially noticeable now that your sun-kissed summer bronze has faded and small dark spots seem to be appearing everywhere, or perhaps this has been a constant struggle regardless of the season. The appearance of dark spots and patches on the skin can dramatically age the appearance of the face, neck, chest, arms, shoulders and hands. Some studies show that the appearance of even skin tone is a higher visual marker of youthful skin and age than even lack of wrinkles! So, how do we banish these dark spots and get even? Let’s shine some “light” on that topic!

When lasers first began to be used in the esthetic industry, experts noticed that different wavelengths of light, when absorbed in the skin, were attracted to different targets, or chromophores. Certain wavelengths were attracted to the hemoglobin in blood, and could be used to ablate the skin. Other wavelengths were attracted to the pigment in a hair follicle, and therefore, could be used for laser hair reduction. An entirely different wavelength of light was attracted to the melanin, or pigment cells of skin, leading to one of the most effective and popular skin treatments in the industry! The “Photofacial”!

Whether under the name of IPL (intense pulsed light), BBL (broad band light), or AFT (Advanced Fluorescent Technology), a Photofacial harnesses the power of light to dramatically improve the tone of skin. It can literally lift off years from your appearance by targeting dark spots and diffused redness on the skin.

How does it work? During your treatment, your laser technician will thoroughly cleanse your skin and protect your eyes. An IPL cannot be performed on tan skin, as your tan will compete with the dark spots for the attention of the laser and may, subsequently, cause a burn. Next, a thin layer of a product like ultrasound gel will be placed on your skin to enhance the slip and glide of the laser hand piece. Your provider will then travel over your skin with a cool rectangular hand piece, stopping to pulse the light across sections of your skin in a grid pattern. This sensation feels like a small rubber band snap to most patients and is only mildly uncomfortable. Your provider will pay special attention to dark spots and vessels.

Immediately following your procedure you may feel slightly warm, similar to a sunburn. Mild swelling may be present, especially if your provider targeted any vessels during your treatment. You will also be photosensitive (sensitive to sunlight), and a physical sunscreen must be worn the days following your IPL.

The magic happens in the days that follow! You will slowly and steadily begin to notice a salt and pepper, or coffee ground appearance to the dark spots on your skin. The procedure may even ‘pull up’ pigment that hasn’t surfaced. This process can last up to 10 days and it is important not to pick at or scrub these areas. Once this pigment has sloughed off, you will notice a brighter and more even skin tone underneath!

Although some patients can get significant improvement from only one treatment, a series of at least 3 treatments is usually recommended spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart. Many patients opt for a series every fall after damage of summer sun exposure sets in.

Your provider will discuss other treatment options and products to compliment your results, such as the use of hydroquinone and Vitamin C serums.

Contact the licensed estheticians at Face Cosmetic Skincare to discuss your customized skin strategy to get your most youthful, bright and even skin tone ever! Want to receive this treatment at a 40% discount? Ask about our MRewards membership program! 651.632.9700