Skin Tone and Unwanted Pigment

IPL and Laser Treatment For Pigment Improvement

Treatment For Sun Damage and Unwanted Pigment

The sun can cause unwanted pigment changes in this skin which may lead patients to seek options to improve overall skin tone and help them fade unwanted brown pigmentation in skin. In the case of melasma, the sun, as well as pregnancy and even oral contraceptives, can trigger large patches of increased pigment on the face which can make patients self-conscious. Laser therapy is a wonderful way to achieve pigment reduction quickly and effectively. At Intracoastal Dermatology, we can help patients reach their goals of pigment improvement with both IPL therapy and the Erbium Yag Laser.

What is an IPL? (Intense Pulsed Light)

IPL functions by the same principles as lasers as light is absorbed into target cells with color, also known as chromophores, within the skin. This energy is converted to heat energy and causes damage to that specific area in the skin. In the case of treatment of unwanted pigment, the IPL specifically targets melanin or pigment with the skin. As the skin heals, the pigment fades and collagen is stimulated, improving the tone and the texture of the skin.

What can I expect during treatment?

A cooling gel will be applied to the face while the IPL, which also has a cooling tip, is applied to the skin. Some pain may be felt, but it is minimized by both the gel and the cooling tip, allowing for a very tolerable treatment. Topical anesthesia can also be used to decrease discomfort.

What can you expect after treatment?

IPL has minimal downtime. In the case of IPL for treatment of pigment, typically treated areas will appear darker in appearance for a few days after treatment and then fade. Patients can typically return to work immediately after the treatment. It is very important to wear sunscreen on the skin following treatment. Although most patients see improvement after as little as one treatment, the typical recommendation is three treatments to achieve desired improvement in the skin.

Jacksonville Erbium Yag Laser Treatment

What is an Erbium Yag Laser? The Erbium Yag laser emits a particular wavelength that is specifically absorbed by water. It thus damages the upper layers of the skin in a controlled manner, stimulating collagen and helping to remove unwanted pigment in the skin without penetrating the skin as deeply as other resurfacing lasers, decreasing risk for scarring and decreasing the amount of time it takes to heal from the procedure.

What can I expect during treatment?

The face or other area that is being treated is numbed with a topical cream prior to treatment. During treatment, patients feel minimal to mild pain as the laser is being applied to the face. A jet of cool air is also applied to the treated area to increase patient comfort.

What can you expect after treatment?

Redness, crusting, and sometimes swelling are expected. The skin typically takes five to seven days to heal after treatment. Post care is fairly simple and should include: careful cleansing of the skin and application of petroleum jelly or other plain soothing lotion, sun avoidance until the skin is completely healed from treatment and minimal sun exposure for one month following treatment. Patients will see improvement in their skin after one treatment, but many patients may need more than one treatment to achieve their desired goal.