While many patients have variable success with topical treatment of hyperpigmentation, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) can safely and effectively produce a more even skin tone.
Hyperpigmentation can be an issue for anyone that has spent a considerable amount of time in the sun.
In fact, the sun’s ultra-violet rays can damage the skin and cause the overproduction of melanin that presents as freckles, irregular patches of discoloration, and light brown spots on the face, neck, and chest.
Here’s how you can reduce hyperpigmentation and treat sun damage with IPL in Reston, VA.
What is IPL and How Does it Work?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, and it is a non-invasive treatment for superficial skin discoloration and sun damage.
It works by targeting excess melanin (pigment) with a broad spectrum of light.
The device’s energy then transforms to heat and breaks down hyperpigmentation into tiny particles.
How to Prepare for IPL?
Patients will first meet with an expert dermatologist for a skin assessment.
If IPL is prescribed as the most appropriate course of treatment, they may be able to have the procedure that same day or be required to schedule it for a later date.
It’s important that patients do not have a sun or artificial tan before undergoing an IPL treatment.
They should also discontinue use of retinols one week prior to their procedure.
What to Expect From an IPL Treatment?
To start, patients will be asked to recline and wear a set of protective goggles.
Next, a cool ultrasound gel is placed on clean skin, and then the IPL handpiece will make direct contact with the treatment area to deliver short bursts of light.
These pulses are administered in a stamp-like fashion and feel similar to a rubber band snap.
Once the entire face, chest, or neck has been covered, the goggles and clear gel will be removed.
Lastly, a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF will be applied.
When Will Hyperpigmentation and Sun Damage Start to Improve After IPL?
Post IPL, areas of hyperpigmentation may appear temporarily darker, and within 24-48 hours, they usually come to the surface and slough off.
How Many Sessions of IPL Are Recommended?
For optimal results treating hyperpigmentation and sun damage, a series of 3-5 monthly treatments is recommended.
IPL benefits can be maintained with follow-up sessions twice a year.
To learn more about IPL in Reston, VA, for hyperpigmentation and sun damage or to get summer skincare tips, please call our office today to schedule a consultation.