BANISH BROWN AND RED WITH IPL
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Photofacial therapy at the Whole Beauty® Institute reduces brown and red areas on the face and beyond
Summer is a wonderful season in Chicago because we appreciate it more than cities with a gentler Winter. We are naturally drawn to outdoor activities such as swimming, tennis, golf, running, and sailing during the Summer months. Now that our activities shift indoors it is a good time to look at the skin of the face, hands, and body to see if they need restoration.
Exposure to the sun can bring out patches of brown discoloration. There may also be red areas caused by tiny blood vessels. These often increase as a result of changes in the skin and hormonal fluctuations.
At the Whole Beauty® Institute we make use of advanced Intense Pulse Light therapy to tame stubborn patches of red and brown. We often combine IPL with specific skin products to maximize the benefits of treatment.
HOW DOES INTENSE PULSED LIGHT WORK?
Visible light is a blend of many different wavelengths. It is possible to select specific wavelengths of light that are taken up by different colored objects. The red color in small blood vessels and the brown pigment in skin discoloration are heated when specific wavelengths of light are shined on them. If the right range of wavelengths are applied with sufficient energy, the vessels will close off and the brown spots will be broken apart and removed by the body’s repair system.
NOT ALL IPL MACHINES ARE CREATED EQUAL
Many beauty salons and generic medspas offer photofacials and other treatments with IPL machines. These devices have in general a much lower power than the Palomar Icon® platform which we use at the Whole Beauty® Institute. Although treatment with these low output machines will produce some benefit, they lack the power to effectively clear more stubborn red and brown patches.
The Palomar Icon® is widely regarded as the gold standard for IPL machines. From a patient’s perspective, treatment with this device has two benefits: each treatment will produce a greater effect and the total number of treatments will be reduced.
WHY LATE FALL AND WINTER IS THE OPTIMUM TIME FOR IPL THERAPY
If a person has a tan, it is difficult to get the best results with IPL therapy. The reason for this is that the darker pigment from the sun tan will also draw some of the IPL energy that we are directing at brown and red areas. The key is to have your skin as light as possible prior to treatment with intense pulsed light.
As our activities shift indoors, the late Fall and early Winter present the perfect time for treatment with IPL.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT LIKE WITH IPL?
When you arrive for your treatment we will apply a numbing cream to your skin. We will allow enough time for the cream to take effect. IPL therapy takes 15 to 45 minutes and is related to the size of the area we are treating.
For best results we usually carry out 2 to 3 treatment sessions. This optimizes the benefits of IPL therapy. Most patients return for yearly refresher treatments.
Immediately after treatment there will be a reddish flush to the skin. If you have extensive brown spots they will temporarily darken before the pigment lifts away.
WHAT AREAS CAN BE TREATED WITH IPL?
The face is the most common area that we treat with IPL, but if you have brown or red changes in other body areas, they will also respond to treatment.
Very often the neck and chest can be treated along with the face, so that there is a nice uniformity to the quality of the skin. The neck and chest are often neglected when people apply sunblock, so there is often extensive sun damage that responds well to IPL.
Another favorite area for treatment is the hands. The back of the hands often develop brown patches in people who enjoy outdoor sports. IPL treatment can be part of a hand rejuvenation package which includes treatments that replenish hand volume and diminish surface wrinkles.
At the Whole Beauty® Institute We Often Enhance the Power of IPL with Other Treatments
We can design a custom skin rejuvenation program that incorporates medical grade products, custom peels, and wrinkle-reducing procedures such as fractora and microchanneling.