At Clinique Elan we have a combined laser and IPL machine with a number of attachments, allowing us to treat a wide variety of common skin concerns. One of these heads is the Acutip, used for spot treating brown sun spots, and smaller red, vascular areas.

How does it work?

The small beam of Acutip light is directed at the target, at the appropriate energy level. The light is then absorbed and converted into heat, which effectively destroys the targets cells and the lesion.  The immediate effect is for the brown spots to appear darker, and the red spots to either clot (which can look quite black) or blanch away completely. The body then absorbs the dead cells over the next few weeks, so the lesion disappears without scarring.

Surface, pigmented lesions are appropriate for this treatment, but, pigmentation originating deeper in the skin, as in chloasma or melisma is not possible to treat with the Acutip. 

How well defined the edges of the pigmented lesions are, indicates its depth – well defined edges for superficial and more ill defined or smudgy edges, for deeper lesions. One of the main advantages of using Acutip rather than IPL, is that it can treat such a small area without involving the surrounding skin, so that a more intense setting can be used.

The same applies to vascular (blood) lesions in terms of small intense areas being appropriate to treat. As with laser andIPL, the skin is not broken with Acutip treatment, so make-up can be applied immediately, although as the lesions darken, they can be difficult to hide.

The required settings on the Acutip vary with each individual.  Clients are asked to complete a detailed medical history form, to ensure there are no contra-indications to having the treatment, or factors that may affect the skin’s absorption of light.  This information then helps determine the settings used.


Immediately following treatment, the treated area should not be exposed to the sun without protection of a sun block with a minimum of SPF30+.  We advise continued use of this strength sun block. Tanning booths cannot be used for a minimum of six weeks prior to, and six months following Acutip treatment.


Following each Acutip treatment, the area can be cleaned with a mild, non-irritating soap or facial cleanser twice a day.  We discourage the use of exfoliants, scrubs or products containing AHA’s (glycolic or lactic acid) or retinol products (Vitamin A) on the treated lesion for one week.

Use of a mild/bland moisturizer to prevent scabs from drying out is recommended. This will also help any discomfort or tightness experienced during the scabby phase and lessen the likelihood of wanting to pick at the scabs, which is a big no no..

However, if the last of the fine scab are proving stubborn, after 8-10 days, a mild scrub may be used to help slough them off.

How much does it cost?

Treatment starts at $150 which would treat up to 10 small lesions.