The more our skin ages, the more difficult it is for damaged cells to repair themselves. This is especially true with acne scars and injury scars. Other forms of hyperpigmentation such as age spots and freckles appear more prominent as we age, and the reason has to do with environmental factors and the tendency for melanin and other pigments to concentrate in localized areas. Many of our clients have come to realize that simple at-home treatments such as nutrient-rich moisturizers and lotions won’t do much to remedy these problems. We suggest IPL therapy as an alternative hyperpigmentation treatment.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy targets areas of hyperpigmentation without affecting the epidermis or the subcutaneous tissues. This treatment is a bit similar to laser resurfacing, but unlike laser energy, IPL energy is absorbed only by specific tissue tones. In this case, only the cells responsible for the hyperpigmentation are affected.
What Does It Treat?
So long as the darkened cells aren’t located too deep, IPL may be the ideal treatment. Absorption and purposeful damage to these tissues is accomplished via semi-deep penetration of the light energy. This therapy can improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation, age spots, rosacea, freckles, and more. Acne scars and injury scars are also treated with IPL therapy. Scarring occurs when the body rapidly replaces damaged skin, especially the lower dermal layers, with new tissue. Intense pulsed light therapy can help diminish the appearance of these scars.
The Science Behind the Treatment
Unlike a laser, the device used in this treatment emits a broad range of light frequencies. The combination of wavelengths is chosen based on our observation of the hyperpigmented areas during the consultation. The device contains a series of filters that reflect back unwanted frequencies in the light spectrum. The remaining wavelengths are pulsed out in a series of rapid flashes. The energy penetrates right through the epidermal layer and gets absorbed by the pigmented components of the darker cells that make up the freckle, age spot, or scar.
After a few pulses, these cells have absorbed quite a bit of energy, and that energy changes form to heat energy. Both the pigmented cells that make up age spots and the capillaries in these tissues are affected. The capillaries eventually shrink, and the smallest of them may even close off entirely. The damaged cells are soon replaced by healthier growth.
It takes a series of treatments to obtain maximum results. There’s no downtime after the treatments. The results are long-lasting. Many of our patients choose to work this hyperpigmentation treatment into their overall skin care regimen by scheduling follow-up treatments every year or so.
Enjoying Healthier, Evenly Toned Skin
You’ll be surprised to learn just how effective this treatment is. It’s less invasive than laser resurfacing, microneedling, or deep chemical peels. For more information on IPL therapy, we warmly invite you to make an appointment with Atomic Dermatology. At our convenient location in Pasco, WA, our caring and knowledgeable team of professionals will be pleased to explain this option in greater detail and answer any questions you may have about hyperpigmentation treatment. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!