IPL - Intense Pulsed Light & Acutip
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.
Pigmentation packages by Clinique Élan
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.
Up to 10 shots (could treat up to 10 spots)