IPL Photo Facial- The Good, Bad and the Ugly Part 2

If you stopped by the blog on Monday I shared with readers my experience with one of the most popular skin care treatments available for the rejuvenation of sun damage, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, redness and many other issues. I of course am speaking of the IPL (intense-pulsed light laser of Photo Facial.

An IPL emits a non- invasive broad band of light at very high energy levels through a hand-held device. For many the sensation is similar to a snapping rubber band while for others the feeling can be much more painful depending on your tolerance level.
The laser works in the following way – a pulsed light device deliver energy to target and destroy vascular and pigmented lesions on the hands, legs, chest, arms and face.

Using the principle of selective photothermolysis, these treatments target different chromophores in the skin, which selectively absorb the laser or light energy as heat and yield the desired response. These optimal wavelengths of light clear vascular and pigmented lesions by targeting the chromophores of hemoglobin (for vascular lesions) and melanin (for pigmented lesions). These damaged lesions are then cleared by the body, removing the appearance of the lesion from the skin. Pigmented lesions undergo a mild desquamation and slough off within two or three days, while the vascular lesions blanch and then resolve within 10 to 14 days.

For me the IPL was supposed to be the solution for a new crop of hyperpigmentation that was popping up on the sides of my cheeks. The treatment was something I had done a few years earlier with much success. But this time after my first appointment I noticed the brown spots on my face multiplying. Even worse after my concerns were minimized by my provider I went back for more knowing that a series of treatments are required to achieve the desired result. After a second treatment my inner voice was telling me not to continue, but the inner girl who just wanted to return to clear, smooth skin trusted the owner of the business who relayed that the only way to achieve my goal was to return for more.

Unfortunately this time the heat from the laser felt like my face was on fire and the results multiplied for the worse with dark patches covering my entire face -cheeks, forehead, nose, upper lip and temples. I was horrified!

To go from just two small areas of pigmentation to an entire face full was heartbreaking. And talk about buyers remorse. I actually paid someone to damage my face. Within a week or so I phoned Dr Jennifer Linder who also owns the Skincare brand PCA. Dr Linder is an expert in the area of pigmentation and even runs clinical trials on patients with difficult pigmentation cases. It was in the Doctor’s office that my biggest fears were confirmed. It did appear that I had some dermal scarring, and it seemed that the thermal heat of the laser likely created the opposite reaction from what I was trying to achieve… which means more pigmentation not less.

Luckily Dr Linder had the expertise that I needed to help control the problems at hand.

Check back on Monday to find out how you can treat hyperpigmentation and avoid the same problems that I have.

Source: Palormar Medical

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