What is IPL treatment for brown spots or facial redness? 

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light.  Also known as ‘photo facial’ treatment it delivers broadband light through the skin for Skin Rejuvenation.  IPL helps restore a youthful looking skin. It helps decrease facial redness, lessen the appearance of pigmented spots, reduce pore size and improve texture and fine lines.

What are the advantages of IPL

IPL can help reduce red facial veins & flushing, improve acne rosacea, treat irregular pigmentation, dark sun spots, and minimize fine facial lines.

How long does it take for laser photo rejuvenation treatments to work?

Generally you would require 3 – 5 IPL treatments approximately 4 weeks apart.  You  will  see improvement with each treatment, but it’s common for your response to be slightly different  each treatment. The more sun damage or redness you have, the more likely you are to need a full 5  treatments.  Some cases of severe redness or brown spots require more than 5 treatments. Expect to see clearing from the start of the first treatment.

Do IPL Photofacial treatments hurt and how long will they take?

At Clinic 42, we give you the option to have a topical anesthetic applied prior to your treatment for pigmentation.  We do not apply topical anesthetic for treatment of Rosacea (redness).  The topical anesthetic is applied in clinic, and requires you to be at the clinic 30minutes prior to treatment.  There may be some mild discomfort during the treatment, but most patients tolerate removal of dilated blood vessels or age spots/freckles and fine lines very easily. The first treatment is usually the “zingiest.” Treatments usually take 30-90 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area.

What are the IPL Photofacial treatments like?

When you come to Clinic 42, you will be shown to the laser suite. Your laser therapist will put special glasses or eye pads over your eyes to protect them. A cool gel is then placed on the skin being treated. The smooth surface of the hand piece is gently applied to your skin and pulses of light flash. You may feel a very slight sting, like the snapping of a small rubber band.

At the end of the treatment, the laser therapist wipes off the gel, cleans the area with a cloth, and applies a balm and a sunscreen. If there is any mild swelling, you may be put under the LED light. Most clients will be able to reapply mineral foundation or mineral concealer immediately after a treatment and return to work.

 What will I look like right after the IPL treatment, and what is the healing time?

For veins, generally, the skin looks slightly redder after the treatment. Mineral makeup can be used starting right after the treatment, as long as it is applied and removed very gently. Rarely, there is bruising, which can take 1-2 weeks to resolve.

For freckles and age spots, the spots will look darker for 7-14 days. Crusting may occur, which can last up to fourteen days. The lesions will then begin to clear and will generally be resolving at one month. Remember, it takes an average of 3-5 treatments to clear age spots.

How long will the results from a photo facial last?

That depends on how much sun exposure your skin gets after your laser treatments.  If you are in the sun a lot and do not use sunscreen, the underlying issues, whether they are redness or brown spots, will return.  But if you take good care of your skin and keep it protected from the sun, your skin will continue to look good with annual maintenance treatments.

If you want to maintain collagen growth, we currently recommend a treatment every 9-12 months. Other conditions are more variable. If you are very red, once or twice a year may be needed.

How does an IPL treatment increase collagen?

The light bypasses the outer layer of skin (the epidermis) and gently heats the cells in the deeper layer of skin (dermis). These cells, called fibroblasts, start to produce more collagen, which improves texture and fine wrinkles.

Will the IPL Photofacial treatment make me more sensitive to the sun?

Yes, it does. Because of the harsh sun in NZ, at Clinic 42 we only treat pigmentation in the winter months.  The great effects of the treatments won’t last very long if you are continue to get a lot of sun exposure. Even in winter, we recommend you apply sunscreen daily and wear hats to protect your skin.

What should I do prior to my photo rejuvenation treatment?

Your laser therapist will give you their instructions prior to your first treatment but here are some of the basics.

  1. For 2-4 weeks before your treatment, avoid self-tanners and sun exposure.
  2. You may be asked to discontinue certain medications several days prior and after each treatment. Ensure you have discussed any use of medication with your laser therapist prior to your treatment.
  3. Protect your improved skin with sunscreen every morning. Hats and sunglasses are also recommended for protection from the sun.

Who should not get these treatments?

Avoid laser treatments in pregnancy because no testing has been done.

Are there any side effects?

You can experience temporary swelling, redness, crusting or small superficial blister (like a sunburn blister).  These are not common.  There are rare other side effects which your laser therapist will review with you in your consent form.  You will experience a darkening of your brown spots (pigmentation) for a period of 7 – 14 days post treatment.  Please discuss this with your laser therapist.