Freckles, age spots & co.

IPL treatment for pigmented spots

Pigmented spots (melanocytic nevus) are a benign skin disorder characterized by limited dark patches or spots. It results from abnormal activity of the melanocytes, which are the skin cells responsible for producing melanin, the brown or black pigment that colors your skin. There are numerous different kinds of pigmented spots – some of which can be treated effectively using IPL, especially:

  • freckles

  • age spots (Lentigo solaris)

  • cholasma/ melasma*

  • café-au-lait spots

*post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation/pigment spots resulting from hormonal changes during pregnancy

These various types of pigmentation spots are benign and harmless if they have been diagnosed as such. Nevertheless, they can be bothersome when they become too noticeable or are located in areas where you’d prefer not to have them. In such cases, IPL treatment may offer a good solution.

Pigmented spots (melanocytic nevus) are a benign skin disorder characterized by limited dark patches or spots. It results from abnormal activity of the melanocytes, which are the skin cells responsible for producing melanin, the brown or black pigment that colors your skin. There are numerous different kinds of pigmented spots – some of which can be treated effectively using IPL, especially:

  • freckles

  • age spots (Lentigo solaris)

  • cholasma/ melasma*

  • café-au-lait spots

*post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation/pigment spots resulting from hormonal changes during pregnancy

These various types of pigmentation spots are benign and harmless if they have been diagnosed as such. Nevertheless, they can be bothersome when they become too noticeable or are located in areas where you’d prefer not to have them. In such cases, IPL treatment may offer a good solution.

IPL Treatment

Treatment with IPL – or intense pulsed light – heats up the pigmented spots leading to the dissolution of the skin’s pigments without affecting the surrounding tissue. It’s a very gentle way to treat pigment spots. Strongly pigmented areas of skin will absorb the light energy and convert it into heat thereby clearing up the spots. Cooling gel which is applied to the skin – as well as the IPL equipment’s diverse built-in cooling systems – ensure that this treatment is especially gentle and painless. Following an IPL session, the body will break down the dissolved pigments. Depending on the intensity and frequency of the pigmentation disorder, it may be necessary to schedule several treatment sessions.

Pigment spot removal by laser?

We are often asked whether it’s possible to laser pigment spots away. In the spirit of the question one could answer yes. But that’s because we are dealing with a common misunderstanding here. Many people equate IPL with a laser. In fact, its application is similar. In terms of the technology, however, IPL works with pulsed light rather than with the simulated emissions of radiation. And pulsed light – to remove hair for example, is much more pleasant and gentle. This is due to two things. Firstly, with IPL it’s possible to work with a more targeted section of the wave spectrum. And secondly a significantly lower concentration of energy acts upon the treated area. Laser treatment for pigments spots thus actually refers to IPL treatment.

Chances of success

While all of the above-mentioned pigmented spots are characterized by locally elevated melanin production, the prospects that they offer for permanent removal varies.

Age spots or café-au-lait spots respond quite well to IPL treatment and the prospects for permanent removal are good. Other types of pigmented spots can realistically only be removed temporarily. This applies especially to freckles or pigment disorders that are intensified by light or hormonal changes (pregnancy, birth control pills) or spots that are a localized reaction to cosmetics.

Safety first

Prior to the removal of pigmented spots with IPL treatment, it is necessary to consult a physician to determine with certainty that the pigmentation disorders in question are indeed harmless. Congenital or acquired moles should not be removed using IPL treatment because this precludes the possibility of carrying out a histological examination of the tissue.

Please contact us if you have further questions on the treatment of pigmented spots with IPL. We are experts in the area and will gladly advise you.

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