Have you ever wondered how celebrities maintain their flawless complexions, despite their lifestyles of frequent sun and snow exposure? How do some celebrities seem to lose their freckles and broken capillaries as they age, while the rest of us struggle to keep them at bay?
One of the most effective ways to improve skin texture, fade pigmentation and minimise diffuse background redness is with Laser or IPL skin rejuvenation, sometimes called photorejuvenation.
What is Intense Pulsed Light?
The technology behind IPL is similar to laser in many ways, although it has a wider target wavelength. This allows IPL to treat a combination of skin complaints all at once in a non-invasive walk-in, walk-out procedure with minimal down time. There are many types of IPL available today. Some of these machines are very weak in strength and lose further power rapidly with usage. Phoenix Wellness Clinic has invested significant capital in the purchase of one of the world’s most powerful and output controlled IPL devices – the Cutera (Limelight).
How is IPL skin rejuvenation performed?
Skin preparation involving the use of fading cream is often used for 2-4 weeks prior to and following each treatment. This is particularly important for those with olive or tanned skin.
It is important that protective goggles are worn by both the patient and the laser operator. The hand piece has a chilled tip reducing any discomfort as the pulses of light are passed evenly across the skin. Some people like to apply anaesthetic cream half an hour prior to the IPL treatment to further reduce any discomfort, but this is rarely necessary.
Treatment consists of a series of 4-6 sessions usually performed one month apart. Each treatment takes approximately 20 minutes. IPL treatment can also be performed on non-facial skin, including the neck, decolletage, hands and even the arms. Extended areas will require a much longer appointment time.
Medicare rebates are sometimes available for laser treatment of the face. Strict criteria must be met for all Medicare rebates. There is no Medicare rebate for any treatment involving other areas of the body, unless it is for birthmark removal.
How will my skin look immediately after IPL rejuvenation treatment?
The redder or more pigmented your skin is to begin with, the more dramatic the change in your skin will be, both in the short and long-term!
It is quite normal for skin to appear redder for the first few days, and any pre-existing freckles will initially darken and take approx 3-4 days to shed. It is not normal to develop blistering or infection! Appropriate care following ALL laser procedures is to cleanse and treat skin gently with hydrate moisturiser (Obagi product) .Usually this means for the first 5 days you should avoid using any active products (such as vitamin A or acid based products) you were previously applying, and to take extreme care protecting the skin from sun exposure. Returning to your usual skincare routine is very important as soon as your skin can tolerate it. For the face, this is usually after 5days, for the hands 2weeks recovery is normal, for the chest area it may take up to 3weeks to recover fully.
For the best long term results, it is imperative following treatment to follow the post treatment advice, report any concerns promptly and avoid unfiltered direct sun exposure.
Why are multiple treatments necessary?
This depends on the type and severity of condition being treated. IPL skin rejuvenation is a safe, gradual process and this allows patients to return to work and their regular activities without risk of ‘down time’.
Which conditions can laser or IPL skin rejuvenation treat?
- Excessive pigmentation
- Diffuse vascular blemishes
- Poikiloderma de Civatte
Can IPL Skin Rejuvenation be combined with other treatments?
Yes. Sometimes the fastest and best results are achieved by combining IPL rejuvenation with specific vascular laser treatments, such as the CoolGlide laser, Laser Genesis or the CO2 laser. Anti-wrinkle injections can also be used to rapidly improve wrinkles, and fillers are also extremely popular for restoring volume to the face.