IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
At Clinique Elan we use the gold standard Cutera Limelight IPL for treating brown spots, superficial redness and general skin rejuvenation.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
IPL is a form of light therapy, but it is NOT laser. It is a multi purpose machine that can emit different wavelengths (colours), to enable us to treat various issues on the skin. When the appropriate wavelength is chosen, the crystal head is placed on the skin and the ‘shot’ is delivered. When the light hits its target colour – brown and/or red – the light is absorbed and converted into heat, thus destroying the target cells i.e. pigment or red blood cells.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
PIGMENTATION: The light is able to penetrate to a certain depth only, so while the surface brown spots look better, the underlying pigmentation will eventually come to the surface again, so the spot will reappear. How long this takes depends on how deep the damage is, and how well the skin is looked after, particularly regarding sun protection, afterwards.
REDNESS: Again we are treating the symptoms only. Generalised redness often comes from Rosacea, which cannot be cured, but IPL is a great tool in the management of the problem. Non-Rosacea redness may stay away for longer, but how the skin is looked after and protected afterwards, again determines the longevity of results.
Generally more than one treatment is required for ultimate results as the intensity and depth of the issues vary, so one setting will not suit everything.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
The biggest concern with any light therapy is that of burning, and possibly scarring. For this reason we complete a comprehensive check-list to identify any risk factors, prior to you commencing any treatment. This includes determining your Fitzpatrick rating, which indicates how much melanin is in your skin. Darker skins are not appropriate for IPL and neither is tanned skin. In both instances, too much light can be absorbed, converted into heat causing blistering, burning and possibly scarring long term. Strict sun protection is imperative after treatment, so it is much safer to have treatment in the less sunny months.
Most people will be a bit red for a few hours afterwards. Any brown spots treated will most likely get darker and then flake off over the next (5 – 14 days). Some minor bruising is possible following red vein treatment.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Minor treatments start at $150. A full face IPL treatment is $360.