Laser treatment uses high-intensity light to remove signs of damage from the skin. The light reacts with specific pigments in the skin and triggers the body to clear up these areas. Our practice uses an IPL (intense pulsed light) dual-wavelength laser, which can safely treat sun damage, angiomas (cherry spots), hemangiomas, port wine stains, and rosacea.
Most people do not feel any pain during laser treatment. Some describe it as stinging, or having a rubber band slapped against your skin. You may also notice that your skin is more sensitive than normal for a few days after treatment.
Our IPL laser is more gentle than some other forms of laser treatment. There is minimal down time, and you are free to go outside and to wear makeup immediately after treatment. You must avoid sweating or exercise for 24 hours, and protect your skin from the sun with a hat and sunscreen for at least 10 days.
You can expect mild redness and “pepper spots” to appear after laser treatment, as the body clears away excess pigment and damage. It can take multiple treatments to fully clear redness or dark spots. Most people require three sessions with the IPL laser. Once a spot clears, it will not come back, but regular sun protection and skin care is necessary to prevent new damage in the future.
IPL works best on patients with light skin and no tan, because it can damage or destroy melanin. If you have any suntan or artificial tan, you should wait at least two weeks for it to fade before laser treatment. We often do IPL laser treatments in the fall and winter, as this is when patients naturally get less sun exposure. We may test the laser on a small spot prior to a full treatment to ensure it meets your unique treatment goals.