Dark Spots on the face after IPL therapy
Intense Pulse Light, or IPL, therapy is a great way to treat reds and browns on the skin, while significantly improving the skin’s tone an textural irregularities. Whether it’s sun spots or rosacea, IPL therapy targets these skin lesions and discolored spots, and removes them from the skin.
IPL therapy is sometimes referred to as a Fotofacial. It is one of the most popular light-based procedures. “With its minimal downtime and impressive cosmetic results, it’s really obvious why so many people inquire about this skin treatment,” Says Dr. Miriam Hanson at Sanova Dermatology, a leading dermatology provider in Austin.
During an IPL treatment, Dr. Hanson uses state-of-the-art technology to focus a series of broad-spectrum, amplified waves of light onto select areas of the skin. The waves of light, in turn, may cause several things to happen to the skin. For example, it may minimize pore size, reduce acne scars and increase collagen production in the targeted areas. It can also target any dark pigmentation, sun spots and lentigos that may be present in the skin.
The procedure is well tolerated and minimal discomfort. Immediately after the treatment, the skin is often red an slightly swollen. This subsides quickly – often after a few hours or a day.
Another common question patients ask is in regards to the dark spots they notice on their face for a few days after their treatment. Although subtle, “these spots can look almost like coffee grounds on the skin,” explains Dr. Hanson. “When pigmented spots or lesions are treated with IPL, the pigment actually rises up through the various layers of skin. Once the pigmentation makes it to the epidermis, which is the top layer of skin, it may appear as black spots.”
“It is important for patient to understand that the epidermis actually has several thin layers of its own.” The layers are known as the stratum spinosum, stratum lucidum, stratus granulosum, stratum germinativum and the stratum corneum. The latter is the very top or outer layer of skin that you can see and touch readily with your fingertips. The stratum corneum is part of the body’s line of defense and is partially responsible for protecting your skin’s under layers from the elements.
“In general, after therapy, it takes the spots of pigment a number of days to travel through all of those layers of skin. When they finally reach the stratum corneum, they can be sloughed off. That’s why the black dots eventually disappear,” says Dr. Hanson.
To find out more about IPL therapy and other forms of skin rejuvenation, please contact us at (512) 837-3376. We strive to provide cutting edge, results driven skin care treatments with compassion and professionalism.
About the Author:
Dr. Miriam Hanson is a dermatologist and laser specialist based in Austin, Texas. She has extensive experience in using lasers and light-based devices to treat a number of skin conditions, including acne, skin laxity, wrinkles and rhytides, melasma and pigmentation problems.
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