IPL and Skin Pigmentation Treatment – How it works

What is Pigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation and Melasma on the skin are made up of dense clusters of melanin cells in the dermis and epidermis. There is no known specific cause, although we know that women are more susceptible, hormones play a role, and if someone in our family has pigmentation, we are more likely to experience this during our lifetime. Protecting our skin from the sun with a broad spectrum sunscreen all through the year is the best way to prevent dark patches occurring.


How does IPL treat pigmentation?

Intense Pulsed Light targets the melanin, breaking up bonds between the cells to lighten the patches and disperse the clusters over time. 


Why are courses of IPL treatment needed?

Pigmentation is notoriously tricky to treat, as it quite often lies deep beneath skin’s surface and has developed over many, many years. Most cases require 3 to 6 sessions of IPL as each session builds on the results of the previous one, giving longer lasting effects and preventing recurrence of the original melasma or hyperpigmentation. The skin takes around 4 weeks to heal between each treatment, as skin cell renewal occurs every 28 days, so typically treatments are spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart. 


How will I look after my IPL?

There is no downtime, although you may be a little red and experience slight stinging after your treatment. Dark spots usually look deeper in colour after IPL therapy, but this fades after 3-5 days. Some areas of melasma may crust or peel a few days after a treatment, but this is normal and nothing to worry about. 


What is the evidence?

Trials have shown that clients are likely to see a 25%  improvement of their pigmentation after 5 sessions. At Emma Coleman Skin, IPL may be combined with a course of peels and skincare in between sessions to further enhance results. IPL can be used to treat dark pigmentation on any part of the body including the face and neck, hands and décolleté, and gives the skin a rejuvenated look.


What device do you use?

At Emma Coleman Skin, we use the Lynton Luminette Advance device. Lynton make all of their machines here in the UK, and are second to none in their knowledge and excellence. The Luminette IPL Advance machine has specific settings for a variety of different skin concerns, allowing us to tailor our treatments very closely for each client.


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Lily Johnson

The article is so well written. You have covered all the important steps of how skin pigmentation treatment works. Keep going!

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