Spots come in many flavors and are called many things – freckles, moles, age spots, beauty spots, sun spots. Some spots appear over time, and others you’ve had since you were born, but every spot has one thing in common, melanin. And with that in mind let’s talk about ways to get rid of them.
There are products that can fade spots over time, the only trouble is that by the time those spots are gone, new ones appear so you never get to enjoy young looking, spot free, skin. Instead you just keep it from getting worse. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge proponent of skin maintenance, and I promise to talk about all of the products available for stopping and stalling spot habitation, just not today.
Today let’s go balls-to-the-wall and discuss the gold standard for zapping those bad boys off – intense pulsed style.
What is Intensed Pulse Light (IPL)?
Intense Pulsed Light therapy (IPL) is a technology that uses short blasts of polychromatic, high-intensity light to penetrate just under the skin, focusing on the melanin (or basically anything dark like capillaries, spots, and dark hair follicles) and damaging it in the hope that, during the repair process, the pigment will be replaced with a more uniform color, matching the skin around it.
TIP: Do NOT get this treatment if you have a tan OR if you have dark-toned skin. If you do, the IPL will grab that skin leaving you with white scars.
IPL is also referred to as IPL Photofacial or IPL Fotofacial.
IPL -The Gold Standard for Age Spots
I’ve been dealing with dark spots for ages. I get melasma, which are darkened patches of skin, when I even think about the sun, and I’m here to tell you that, no matter what else has come out since the IPL, there is nothing that grabs onto the pigment quite like it does.
Having said that, I want to stress how important it is to use a technician that is highly familiar with the unit and isn’t afraid to use it. These treatments that can be sold in packages of 3 or 5 and, if you go to a chain (American Laser Centers for example), you can expect to get the lowest voltage treatment so that you are forced to go back 3 to 5 times. Not cool. If it’s done right, the IPL can zap those spots away in one visit.
But, that’s all I recommend the IPL for, hyperpigmentation. For other issues such as laser hair removal, skin tightening, fine lines, capillaries, etc, there are better protocols.
The cost of this procedure is hard to say because it really depends on how many spots you are treating. I can tell you though that the three treatments you see below cost $450.
How It Goes Down
Whenever I do IPL, which is once every year or so, depending on how my melasma is behaving, I go to Skin Aesthetica in Scottsdale. Glenn Nelson doesn’t hold back and you really get effective results because of that.
The last time we went, Mr. BeautyBlackBook, his sis and I got some spots removed. Glenn used the Lumenis Vasculight Elite Laser and here’s is a video of the procedure.
For spot treatment you probably won’t be numbed, unless you’re me and you strongly request it. Numbing just involves some numbing cream and 10 minutes extra time so why suffer? Mr. BeautyBlackBook was macho and didn’t take that route and, as is indicated in the video, wasn’t so comfortable.
To focus in on the spots, the technician will cut a hole in a piece of paper to place over the spot. That way the area around the spot will not be affected. The feeling is short burning zaps that, by the time your brain registers the pain, is over and moving on to the next.
It looks like this.
The skin looks angry right? But it’s worth it!
Results of IPL for Removing Spots
If the procedure, if done as strong as it should be, you’ll notice your dark spots will get darker before they fall off. After which you will have a pink spot that fades within a few weeks. Be cautioned that those pretty little spots that you dislike enough to get removed, will get darker and more noticeable first and take a couple weeks to fall off.
Check it out!
Back – 1 Day After & 2 Weeks After IPL Treatment
Arms – 1 Day After & 2 Weeks After IPL Treatment
Hands – 1 Day After & 2 Weeks After IPL
So chickies, I think you’ll agree that IPL is a good way to go to remove age spots, freckles or any other dark spots that you just don’t want.