The days of fun in the sun are now officially over. The time has come to undo over exposure and get your skin ready for the Holidays. No matter how responsible we may have been in protecting ourselves, summer can leaves its tracks on our skin with tell-tale signs such as:
• Sun spots
• Age spots
• Dry lifeless leathery sun damaged skin
• Wrinkles and fine lines
• Skin discoloration
Fortunately, advanced sun damage treatments exist to improve and repair one’s overall appearance from over exposure. Two cutting edge technologies that are extremely popular for treating overexposure and delivering fabulous results are Intense Pulsed-Light Therapy (IPL) and Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing. Both are widely used to treat sun damage, yet each work at different levels to deliver different results.
Intense Pulsed-Light (IPL), also known as Photo Rejuvenation and Foto Facial, utilizes specialized bursts of light wave technology that pulses onto the skin. IPL has been in use well over a decade and is proven to be effective against sun induced skin discoloration for problems like:
• Hyperpigmentation – Areas of irregularly darkened skin
• Melasma (Patchy skin discoloration)
• Solar Lentigines (Freckles)
• Burn Erythema (Redness from a burn)
• Rosacea (Facial redness)
• Telangiectasia (Small facial veins)
• Port Wine Birthmarks
• Red Spots (Hemangiomas)
• Redness and Flushing
Foto Facials are most commonly used to treat the face, neck, chest and hands. IPL is a non-invasive procedure that takes about 20 minutes to complete with no apparent signs of treatment and little discomfort. The downtime is minimal. Clients can go about their normal day with the possibility of applying makeup afterwards.
Often, mild results are visible in the first visit. However, depending on what skin areas are being treated, and how damaged the skin is, the best results are usually achieved within four to six sessions.IPL sessions are usually scheduled every two to three weeks of each other to adequately promote skin renewal. The results ofIntense Pulsed-Light can last up to a year or more depending on the client’s continued habits to sun exposure.
IPL is also used in smoothing out dry roughened skin, but is not effective on wrinkling caused by sun damage.
Fractional Co2 Laser Skin Resurfacing has a dramatic effect on:
• Wrinkling around the mouth
• Crow’s feet around the eyes
• Pigmented skin
• Large pores
This type of laser treatment works by creating thousands of microscopic channels that leaves areas of healthy skin around each channel, provoking the natural healing process upon the body. Treated areas stimulate the production of new collagen. This reaction plumps up the skin while diminishing the wrinkles and softening the fine lines and scars
Laser Resurfacing is a relatively quick with the procedural time lasting from only a few minutes to thirty minutes depending on the depth and area size treated.
Unlike the IPL, where anesthesia is not required, skin resurfacing sedation is an option to consider as discomfort is likely. Swelling and redness will follow, but will subside within hours. However, pink or red treated areas may last several weeks.Skin discolorationand irregularities begin to improve greatly. Progress will continue as the skin heals. Further treatments may be required to produce the best results.
With laser skin resurfacing, clients can enjoy long lasting results depending on the number of treatments, and aftercare.
Intense Pulsed-Light (IPL)and Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing are not mutually exclusive. Clients often start with one sun damage corrective therapy and then move to the other. Both provide dramatic benefits when used together.
It is important to note that newly tan skin or sunburn exposure cannot be optimally treated until receded. Usually a pre-laser treatment of Hydroquinone and Tretinoin Cream is required. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon will provide the best answers for maintaining your skin’s health and youthful appearance as we head into the last part of the year.