In the second blog of our IPL series, we will be going into detail about using IPL for pigment removal and red vein removal, the process and the benefits of this treatment.

IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, and is a popular form of light therapy, used for various dermatological procedures including:

You can read all about IPL for hair removal in the first blog of the series.

How does the treatment work?

Pigment removal – 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 the melanin-rich cells.

Red vein removal – 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 they are reabsorbed by the body, leaving little or no trace of the original lesion. Most red skin lesions, including facial thread veins, rosacea, spider naevi, and port wine stains, can be treated very successfully.

How is the treatment carried out?

Treatment for both pigment and red vein removal is carried out the same. 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. During treatment protective eye wear will be provided.

Am I suitable for treatment?

Pigment removal – most people are suitable for treatment except for very dark skinned or tanned individuals. However, large, dark, mottled 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 pigmented marks that respond the best are superficial lesions such as those caused by sun damage (sun spots) and freckles.

Red vein removal – treatment is suitable for most people. Best results are obtained for those with fair skin, and there is less chance of side effects.

How does the treatment feel?

Most patients describe the discomfort as mild and tolerable – no anesthesia is required. The length of each treatment will depend on the type and size of lesion present, but a typical session will take 10-45 minutes.

Are there any side effects?

Pigment removal – 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.

Red vein removal – 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. Similarly to pigment removal, there is a chance a small blister may form and there could be temporary lightening or darkening of the skin.

How many treatments are necessary?

Pigment removal – the number of treatments will depend on the type and size of the pigmented lesion but typically 1 to 3 sessions are required at 4 to 6 week intervals.

Red vein removal – typically 3 to 5 treatments are needed for optimum results, though small lesions may clear in just a single session. Repeat treatments are spaced every 4 to 6 weeks.

Consultation procedure

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 test patch.

Benefits of IPL:

  • Feel more confident in your skin – minimises/eliminates the appearance of pigmentation, sun spots, age spots, freckles, red veins and reduces overall facial redness.
  • Permanent results – you will need multiple treatments but with each session you will see a permanent difference.
  • Quick, easy & safe – the IPL devices we use cover large areas at once, therefore reducing treatment time. IPL is also incredibly safe with minimal risk of side effects.

Interested in IPL? If you have any questions, want to find out if this treatment is suitable for you or to book an appointment please call us on 01256 460076 or book online.