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Why Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is the Best Treatment for Sun Damaged Skin

March 15, 2024
Fredric M. Barr

Sarah is a 45-year-old mother of two who has spent many summers enjoying family beach vacations in West Palm Beach, Florida. Like so many others who grew up in the Sunshine State, Sarah loved being in the sun but didn't always take the proper precautions. Over three decades of regular sun exposure without consistent sunscreen use, she began to notice the telltale signs of sun damage appearing on her face. Sarah developed dark spots and hyperpigmentation across her cheeks and nose. Fine lines also emerged around her eyes and forehead as her skin lost some of its elasticity and firmness. To make matters worse, her overall complexion took on a dull, sallow appearance that just didn't match how young and vibrant Sarah felt on the inside.

Understandably self-conscious about her changing appearance, Sarah wanted to find a treatment that could help revitalize her sun-damaged skin. She had heard Intense Pulsed Light was the best treatment for sun damaged skin, and could target multiple concerns simultaneously with minimal downtime. Sarah was hopeful this treatment could help her skin regain a more youthful and radiant look.

Thankfully, after a series of IPL treatments, she began to see amazing results. The dark spots and fine lines were significantly improved, giving her skin a smooth, even tone. Her complexion had regained its vibrancy and with it came her long-lost sense of confidence.

What Exactly Is Intense Pulsed Light Treatment?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), also known as BroadBand Light (BBL) laser treatment, uses brief pulses of broad spectrum light to treat multiple signs of sun damage. Unlike other laser treatments targeting one pigment, IPL/BBL laser treatment delivers varying light wavelengths that can address multiple concerns at once.

The IPL/BBL laser device contains a flash lamp that produces polychromatic light. Various wavelengths from the light are absorbed by skin pigments like melanin and hemoglobin, which are responsible for discoloration issues like dark spots, redness, and broken blood vessels.

IPL/BBL laser treatment can target various skin pigments simultaneously, making it highly effective for reversing pigmentation changes from sun exposure. It provides a safe, multifaceted approach to both damaged and aging skin.

best treatment for sun damaged skin

What Are the Unique Benefits of Intense Pulsed Light Treatment?

IPL/BBL laser treatment offers several advantages that make it a popular choice for reversing signs of sun damage and improving overall skin quality. Some of the key benefits of this treatment include:

Collagen Production

IPL/BBL laser treatment has been proven to stimulate collagen production in the skin. Over multiple sessions, this can help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and signs of laxity — making it one of the best treatments for sun damaged skin when it comes to regaining elasticity and firmness.

Targeting Discoloration

As one of the few treatments able to target multiple pigments simultaneously, Intense Pulsed Light is extremely effective at clearing dark spots, redness, and other discoloration issues caused by sun exposure. This makes it a front-runner for individuals looking to reverse signs of photoaging.

Fully Customizable

Each IPL/BBL laser treatment session can be customized to the exact needs of each patient. By adjusting wavelengths, intensities, and pulse durations, doctors can target pigmented lesions while protecting the surrounding skin tone. This allows for safe, effective treatments and minimal downtime — ideal for patients searching for "intense pulsed light near me."

What to Expect During Your Intense Pulsed Light Procedure

Here's a typical rundown of what to expect during your IPL laser treatment:

  • Consultation: Your provider will evaluate your skin to customize settings based on your individual pigmentation and concerns.
  • Test Spot: A small, low-energy pulse is applied to ensure your comfort and check effectiveness before proceeding.
  • Eye Protection: Goggles will be provided to shield your vision from the flashes of light.
  • Pulses: In under 30 minutes, a series of pulses are delivered to your designated treatment areas without contact to the skin. You may feel mild pricking sensations.
  • Cooling: A cooling gel or device can be used between pulses to soothe the skin.
  • Immediate Results: Many see immediate improvements to redness and pigmentation after just one session.
  • Downtime: Some redness or swelling is normal but resolves within a few hours with no scabbing or peeling. Makeup can be applied right after.
  • Multiple Sessions: It takes 3-5 sessions, a few weeks apart, for full clearing of discoloration and skin rejuvenation.

What to Expect After Your Intense Pulsed Light Procedure

While IPL/BBL is highly effective at clearing sun-damaged skin, it's notable for requiring little recovery time — one of the attractive features for those seeking the best treatment for sun damaged skin. The short downtime makes it convenient to schedule around busy lives.

In the hours following a session, mild redness or swelling may occur but resolves quickly. Shockingly, many patients experience no visible side effects at all. Normal activities can be resumed immediately. Though pigmentation darkening occurs within the first week, it's a natural part of the targeted chromophores surfacing from the body. Exfoliation aids their shedding without irritation.

Ultimately, any potential recovery is a small price to pay for the long-term skin rejuvenation and pigment correction IPL/BBL provides. Its minimally invasive approach disrupts damage, not routines. With subtle effects seen after a single session, and the lack of extensive peeling or scabbing in most cases, IPL/BBL proves a remarkably comfortable solution for those wanting stellar results without significant recovery hurdles.

Palm Beach Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Can Help You Get the Best Treatment for Sun Damaged Skin

If you’re dealing with sun damaged skin and have been searching online for “laser skin rejuvenation near me,” the team at Palm Beach Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery is ready to help. Take the first step toward healthier skin today. Contact us at (561) 833-4122 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation with our patient counselor.

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This blog provides general information and discusses health, cosmetic procedures, and Breast Implant Illness. The information and other content provided in this blog, or any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. Each individual has a unique physiology, along with their own characteristics, concerns, and desires. A blog cannot sufficiently address them.

If you or any other person has a cosmetic or medical concern, consult a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.

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