IPL Hyperpigmentation

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 this treatment help?

This treatment can treat any irregular pigmentation or hyperpigmentation.

How many 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?

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 treatments performed?

Treatments are performed 3-6 weeks apart.

What do my 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 the 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?

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.

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