dr. J. VANDEPUTTE

Plastic Surgery

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Freckles, age spots and redness - IPL

Freckles, age spots and redness (fine couperosis) are treated by intense pulsed light (IPL) in the office.

The flashes of light feel like pin pricks. Local anaesthesia is not required. The treatment takes 15 to 45 minutes. Just after the treatment, the spots becom darker and the skin reddens. Some swelling may occur. Redness and swelling disappear over one to two days. The targeted spots feel a bit irregular, and they are more apparent than before for a few weeks.

As the epidermis is naturally renewed over a cycle of six weeks, the remnants of the dark spots disappear with the desquamating upper skin layers, and the result of the treatment becomes visible. The treatment may be repeated after six weeks. Some spots need more than three treatments to disappear completely.

The tendency to develop pigment spots and couperosis will prevail. The discoloration problems may recur, even more so if the skin is not well protected from the sun. The treatment may be repeated later.

The best light dose varies from person to person. Overtreatment may burn the skin, which may be complicated by pigment changes (loss of pigment or dark spots) and scar formation. Therefore we prefer to treat with a low dose of light first, and gradually increase the energy if required. It is safer to accept a larger number of treatments than a greater risk of burns.