If you’ve ever had acne, you know that acne scarring is often an unfortunate outcome of the condition. Intense pulsed light (IPL) is an effective treatment for several skin conditions, including acne scars. How does the IPL Photofacial improve acne scarring?
Understanding Acne and Acne Scars
Acne is a common skin condition that typically affects people between the ages of 12-24. It is usually caused by the inflammation of the sebaceous glands, which are the oil-producing glands found in the skin.
These glands can become inflamed if excess oil and dead skin cells accumulate and clog the skin pores. When the pores become clogged, it creates a type of environment in which the acne-causing bacteria (p. acnes) can easily thrive, and so blemishes soon appear on the skin. These blemishes are commonly seen on the face, but may also appear on the chest, shoulders and back.
Acne scars form as a consequence of the tissue damage that occurs as a result of the inflammation of the skin. The inflammation disrupts the skin’s natural repairing processes, and fibrous tissue (scars) form in place of the normal healthy tissue.
There are various types of acne scars, some are indented and deep, while others are raised and shallow.
Treating Acne Scars
There are several treatment options available for acne scars, but the IPL Photofacial is among the most effective and affordable.
What’s an IPL Photofacial?
An IPL Photofacial is a skin rejuvenation treatment that uses a broad spectrum of light to renew the skin. It is used to treat a range of skin conditions including uneven skin tone, melasma, age spots, and mild acne scars. The handheld IPL device emits short pulses of intense light that target the specific skin irregularity that is being treated.
IPL Photofacial is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia. A cool gel is placed on the skin at the start of treatment to help reduce any discomfort.
The IPL Photofacial is not painful, and most patients say that it feels a lot like the mild snap of an elastic band against the skin. There is also no downtime associated with IPL.
How IPL Photofacial Improves Acne Scarring
The IPL device emits short pulses of concentrated light that penetrate down to the deep layers of the skin. This is what makes it ideal for treating acne scars. The short bursts of high-intensity light are directed uniformly over the skin, and pass through the outer epidermis to treat the underlying skin structure.
The IPL Photofacial also stimulates collagen, as fresh collagen is produced over time, the scar will appear smoother and softer in the long term. The procedure also reduces the uneven pigmentation of the acne scar. As the colour and texture of the skin improves, the scarring becomes less visible.
A typical IPL Photofacial session takes about 20-30 minutes, and it may need 4-6 sessions to achieve the best results.
IPL Photofacial can also reduce acne outbreaks. The intense pulses of light are able to penetrate deep into the pores of the skin and destroy the acne-causing bacteria. The heat from the device also affects the sebaceous glands. It reduces the inflammation and halts the excess production of sebum.
Recovery After IPL Photofacial
Patients are likely to experience some redness after IPL treatment, but this usually resolves within a few days. Since the skin is very sensitive after treatment, patients are advised to wear a broadband sunscreen to protect the skin in the weeks following IPL therapy.
Results of the IPL Photofacial take about 3-4 weeks to show.
Are you a Good Candidate?
If you are looking for a non-invasive treatment to reduce the appearance of your acne scars, IPL Photofacial may be the right choice for you. However, pregnant women, as well as people with dark or tanned skin should consult their physician before trying IPL Photofacial.