Intense Pulsed Light Therapy For Age Spots
Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy or photofacial is a non-invasive and non-ablative technology that gives off intense burst of red or blue light directly to the skin. This technology was first used in hospitals by medical doctors, but as time advanced and technology became cheaper, it found its way into the health spas. IPL treatments were used to reduce wrinkles, to remove age spots and other skin blemishes.
Age spots are flat brown or black patches of hyper pigmentation found on the neck, face or arms. One of the leading factors that cause age spots is an overexposure to the UV rays from the sun. Though not the only cause, this skin condition affects persons over the age of 40 years.
Age spots are diagnosed by skin specialist or doctors, although you may have done your own diagnosis based on the knowledge you have garnered through observation and the web. Over the counter treatments containing hydroquinone may be used to treat age spots. Other permanent solutions are available but are highly expensive; treatments such as intense pulsed light therapy, chemical peels and cryotherapy. An IPL treatment may cost anywhere from $300 to $600 per session and a person may need several sessions before the age spots are removed.
Using IPL in the treatment of age spots has been effective over the years. Though expensive and painful, as some would describe it to be, persons with skin conditions are still lining up for treatments. A topical anesthetic is applied to the area to be treated followed by a cold gel. A glass prism is then placed over the age spots being treated and pulses of intense light are flashed through the prism while directed at the spots. Although the technician or the doctor says there is little pain and further describes it as a sting from an elastic band, reviews read has indicated that the pain is excruciating. Some maintain that it only hurts the first time. Several follow up treatments are needed to complete the removal of age spots. This is done every three to four weeks. Do not be alarmed if the treated area becomes sensitive and swollen after the treatment. It is vital and recommended that you wear sunscreen with a high sun protection factor, such as SPF 30 after your IPL treatments.
As with everything else there are always risk factors. Intense pulsed light therapy may cause scarring or bleeding after a session of age spots treatment. Be careful to follow the instructions of your doctor throughout the treatments and between treatments, as your skin will be very sensitive and may be susceptible to infections.
Overall, IPL will improve the appearance of sun damaged skin like age spots. Is it worth it, well that’s up to you to decide.