Discolorations in the skin can be caused by damaged tissue, and often this occurs well below the epidermis. Abrasive resurfacing techniques, such as chemical peels, generally treat only the upper layers. Stripping away the epidermis does indeed result in healthier growth, but the deeper scarring remains.
An alternative to superficial resurfacing is intense pulsed light therapy, abbreviated as IPL. This procedure uses highly focused, high-energy light beams. The beams are a combination of wavelengths specifically chosen to penetrate through the epidermis and treat the discolorations that lie beneath.
We prefer this method of blemish treatment because it doesn’t affect the health of the epidermis, and the patient need not be concerned about burn wounds.
Treating Blemishes and Injury Scars
Skin blemishes, especially those on the face, are darkened patches that absorb light readily. Because of this, the light that strikes them is not reflected, the result being noticeable discoloration. Blemishes, acne scars, freckles and other age marks are examples.
Light frequencies that penetrate through the epidermis can be used to target these skin problems. When properly calibrated, an IPL light instrument sends light energy through the epidermis without affecting it, much the same as sunlight passing right through the atmosphere and striking the ground or ocean. This means that deeper scars and blemishes can be treated without damage to the upper skin layers.
How the Procedure Works
At Beach Cities Vein and Laser Center, we first consult with our client and examine the facial discolorations. If the scars are caused by damaged tissue, they will be slightly darker than the epidermis.
Most blemishes are the result of skin problems that occurred during the teen years. The skin continues to reproduce these damaged cells. If we feel that IPL is the proper method of treating the blemishes, we will recommend a series of treatment sessions.
A topical anesthetic is administered and a cooling gel is spread across the affected area prior to exposure to the light beams. The client wears a protective eye covering in case any light is reflected off of the face or a nearby object. The IPL instrument is calibrated according to the actual color tone of the damaged tissue.
Each pulse lasts only a few milliseconds. Most clients experience little or no discomfort. The light passes through the epidermis and is absorbed by the damaged cells. The cells eventually go away, and the body responds by sending nutrients to build up newer, healthier growth.
After the Procedure
Because IPL is different than laser treatments, patients can be assured that no damage to healthy skin occurs. The light from the instrument is concentrated, but it isn’t strong enough to cause complete cauterization of tissue.
There is no downtime following the treatment session. The procedure can be completed in less than one hour, and normal activities can be resumed at once. We may prescribe a moisturizing cream or gel.
Ask Us Your Questions
IPL therapy is a very popular treatment for reducing the visible signs of blemishes, acne scars and spider veins. If you feel this might be the right therapy for you, schedule a consultation at Beach Cities Vein and Laser Center, serving the Los Angeles area.
We can examine your skin and determine if this innovative treatment is right for you. Contact our office in El Segundo today to schedule your appointment and begin your journey to healthier, younger-looking skin.