Can Intense Pulsed Light Treatment Really Remove Sun Spots?

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If you've heard of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment, you may already know that IPL eliminates your body hair for good! But you might be surprised to learn that it can remove pigmentation, such as those dreaded sun spots (otherwise known as age spots) that appear on your skin after UV exposure. But is IPL an effective treatment for pigmentation?

IPL devices use multiple wavelengths of light that penetrate the skin, targeting dark spots where melanin accumulates and disintegrating them. Here are some pros and cons you should know about this popular treatment.

The Pros

You Can Show Your Face Afterwards

Chemical peels are usually recommended to remove skin pigmentation, but they often leave behind side-effects for days or weeks such as redness and flaky skin. IPL is better because although your age spots might look darker following treatment, it's easier to cover them up with foundation and concealer. You are allowed to wear makeup immediately after the treatment, which is a big bonus.

There are No Side Effects

Apart from redness or mild darkening of the areas targeted by IPL, there are no other side-effects to deal with, which makes IPL a skincare treatment that features low on the invasive scale. Even the redness you might experience will go away within hours or a few days.

Treatments are Short

An IPL session will last between half an hour to an hour and a half, which isn't so bad and can almost fit into your lunch time!

The Cons

Darker Skin Tones Need Board-Certified Dermatologists

IPL works best on fair skin tones. People with darker skin tones can be at greater risk of getting scars from the procedure, so you really want to make sure the professional you choose is board-certified before making an appointment.

It's Expensive

Be prepared to shell out lots of money for treatments as you'll need between two to six treatments of IPL to see results. One session could cost around $350, so it's worth bearing in mind. The good thing is that your treatments will be spaced apart by three or four weeks.

It Might Not Work As Well On Extensive Skin Damage

If you have lots of pigmentation, it’s worth knowing that there are other laser treatments that can be better to treat such extensive skin damage from the sun. These actually resurface the skin but they are much more invasive than IPL and your skin will require a greater number of days to heal afterwards.   

It Can Be Painful

IPL is said to feel like a rubber band snapping against the skin, but other people claim that it can feel terribly painful. A burning sensation is also reported. Pain will vary depending on your pain threshold. Luckily, you can apply anaesthetic cream to the area to alleviate your pain. The pain, however, might be a deal breaker for you and put you off IPL. If that’s the case, it doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with age spots. Rather, you can make use of skin lightening creams that target dark spots without any symptoms or pain.

Although IPL has become a popular treatment for various skin conditions, there are important things to bear in mind if you are going to use it to eliminate your age spots. Before you go ahead and book your session of IPL, follow our advice so that you get best results and fabulous new skin.

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