Many of our clients express their concerns about invasive treatments for skin discolorations, particularly those that occur on the face. Acne scarring and injury scars, melasma, and age spots occur in the epidermis and also in the lower dermal layers. Abrasive resurfacing and surgical removal of darkened tissue can actually result in other forms of scarring. We feel that a better solution is light energy therapy. Intense pulsed light, abbreviated as IPL, is a gentle treatment that rejuvenates the facial skin by stimulating the creation of healthy replacement tissue. Below, we outline how IPL works for pigment correction and why it’s often considered a better solution than traditional laser therapy.
IPL Versus Laser Therapy
This type of treatment is generally known as photofacial rejuvenation. A photofacial literally means light energy facial treatment. White light is a mix of many wavelengths, but lasers produce only a single wavelength in the form of a highly concentrated beam. On the other hand, IPL devices deliver a spread, or broad-spectrum, range of frequencies. Properly calibrated, the device will send a beam of light in a rapid pulse, and the frequency mix will contain wavelengths that pass through the epidermis only to be absorbed by darker, denser material that lies beneath.
These pulses of light, sent from the IPL device to the skin, last for only about two or three milliseconds. Unlike a laser that cauterizes everything the beam comes into contact with, IPL devices don’t affect the epidermal layer at all.
How It Works
Darker tissues such as acne scars and injury scars contain cells known as chromophore cells. In other words, they absorb certain frequencies of light and reflect the wavelengths that hit your retinas. Your eyes, therefore, see the darkness of the tissue. It’s like seeing a wall painted brown. Only the frequencies that your eyes see as brown are reflected by the wall.
Darker tissues will absorb a broad range of light frequencies, and this means that the affected tissues heat up and are damaged. The body responds by discarding this tissue in favor of new material. When used for pigment correction, the IPL treatment actually stimulates the body to produce healthier dermal layer cells. Collagen production tends to increase as well, an added bonus of IPL photofacial treatment.
The results aren’t immediately noticeable, but after a month or so, hyperpigmentation including age spots, scarring, and melasma is far less apparent. Some of our clients now work periodic treatments into their normal skin care regimen.
Learn More About IPL Pigment Correction
Our team at Eminence Medical Aesthetics would be happy to discuss your skin care treatment options and will answer all of your questions about IPL therapy. Contact us today to schedule your consultation for pigment correction!