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Pigmentation: Light is released in short pulses that are readily absorbed by the high concentration of melanin found within pigmented lesions. The rapid absorption of light energy heats the melanin and causes the destruction of melanin-rich cells.
Vascular/Red Veins: Light energy is applied to the skin where it is readily absorbed by blood vessels, heating them to a point where they are destroyed. Following treatment, the vessels quickly clear as the body, leaving little or no trace of the original lesion, reabsorbs them.
Acne: The light emitted from the Intense Pulsed Light system directly targets overactive sebaceous glands, greatly reducing the total number and severity of active lesions, and lessening the inflammation and occurrence of break-outs. The light stimulates the production of new collagen to improve skin texture, and can also reduce the appearance of red or brown areas of skin that are often associated with acne breakouts.
General Rejuvenation: Precisely controlled short pulses of light are released that target discolouration (brown and red lesions) to create a more youthful, even complexion. In addition, this light results in the stimulation of the fibroblast cells, leading to increased production of new collagen and elastin. This improves the texture of the skin, evening out lumps and bumps whilst reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
The light applicator is placed on the skin and a short pulse of light is released. The applicator is then moved to the neighbouring area and the process is repeated until the entire area is treated.
Pigmentation Specific: Most people are suitable for treatment except for very dark skinned or tanned individuals. However, large, dark, mottles or raised pigmentation cannot be treated and may need to be checked by a dermatologist. Large, dark moles should not be treated, nor should lesions covering a large part of the body. The pigmentations marks that respond the best are superficial lesions such as those caused by sun damage (sun spots) and freckles.
Acne Specific: Almost everyone can be treated, apart from very dark skinned or tanned individuals. If you are pregnant or taking Roaccutane (an acne medication) it is best not to undergo laser or Intense Pulsed Light treatment.
Some medications can affect treatment suitability; a full consultation will be carried out to ensure you are suitable to go ahead with treatment.
The treatment is mildly uncomfortable but there is no need for anaesthesia and the procedure is relatively quick. Sensations vary but most describe it as a very quick hot pinprick.
Pigmentation: The treated area may feel warm and sensitive for the first few days post-treatment. The lesions may darken and may appear more obvious before they fade and ‘flake’ away. Sometimes an initial whitening of the area is seen which quickly fades and the pigment gradually fades over the following weeks.
Acne & Vascular: Immediately after treatment, the skin may appear red and a warm and a tingling sensation may be felt.
General Rejuvenation: Redness and a slight warming sensation are normal after treatment. You may see a darkening of any pigmented spots before they flake off, leading to a more even skin tone. Tightening of the skin should increase over the following months as new collagen is produced within the dermis.
Typically the skin is cooled with cold towels to ease any discomfort and a calming gel or moisturiser is applied.
Most red skin lesions, including facial thread veins, rosacea, spider naevi, and port wine stains, can be treated very successfully.
Pigmentation: The skin that surrounds the pigmented lesion may become red immediately after treatment. Most people experience no other side effects and the redness usually disappears within hours to a few days. Very rarely a small blister may form or the skin may become temporarily lighter or darker.
Vascular/Red Veins: After treatment, the area may feel warm for a few hours. Rarely, some delicate skin areas such as the cheeks or décolleté can be red and slightly swollen for up to 48 hours. Though very rare, there is a chance a small blister may form and there could be temporary lightening or darkening of the skin.
The length of each treatment will depend on the type and size of the area being treated, but a typical session will take 10 to 30 minutes.
Pigmentation & Vascular: The number of treatments will depend on the type & size of the issues/concern and the result required but typically 1 to 3 sessions are required at 4 to 6-week intervals.
Acne: The number of treatments necessary varies from person to person, but typically 6 Intense Pulsed Light and 6 exfoliating treatments will result in a significant improvement.
General Rejuvenation: Treatments are carried out every 2 to 3 weeks and 6 treatments are recommended for best results. Thereafter, top-up sessions are performed as required, but typically once or twice a year.
Prior to treatment, you must first undergo a consultation where details about your medical history are obtained in order to confirm suitability. Before proceeding you will be asked to sign a consent form and undergo a patch test.