Sometimes we notice that areas of skin are darker than the rest. They can be irregular patches varying in size and density of colour depending upon the length of time they have been there, underlying cause, and clients skin type.
Pigmentation patches commonly occur on the face, backs of hands, neck and chest. Some areas of hyperpigmentation may be caused by a genetic predisposition, may be birth marks, or hormonally disposed e.g. 'mask of pregnancy'. Others are caused by exposure to UV and commonly occur as we get older. These types of marks respond better to IPL treatment than those that are hormonally or genetically influenced.
A range of light wavelengths are selected that are attracted to melanin in freckles or sun spots. When the light is pulsed onto the skin, through a clear quartz block, the melanin patches heat up, and appear to darken then form a flaky crust that will slough off to leaving little or no trace of the original mark.
A client can expect to have 1 - 3 treatments at 3 - 5 weekly intervals. Some melanin patches disappear altogether and some fade considerably. It is very important to avoid over-exposing the treated areas to UV rays after treatment in order to prevent the marks reappearing. A sun protection cream of factor 30 is recommended and this must be reapplied if outside for longer than an hour.
Prior to any treatment commencing, a thorough consultation is carried out by a qualified and experienced clinician and a test patch checks the skins reaction to Intense Pulsed Light. A treatment may take place 7 - 14 days later.
The area to be treated is cleansed and examined. The skin is cooled, then a layer of chilled gel is smoothed onto the skin. The light is pulsed onto the skin and this will feel like a rubber band has been snapped against the skin. The gel is removed and the skin cooled and soothed with an antiseptic lotion.
Very rarely hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation or blistering may occur and these are usually temporary.