Aging of the face is often associated with dull skin, brown marks, red veins and wrinkles. Most of these changes occur as a result of sun exposure over many years.
Pulsed light is one of the newer non-invasive treatments, which can successfully treat brown marks, red veins, and other age related changes of the skin. It is also effective in treating many forms of skin discoloration, facial redness, flushing and open pores. “Non-invasive” means that the pulsed light penetrates through the skin, selectively targeting the abnormal parts of the skin without breaking or damaging the surface layer. Pulsed Light treatments are therefore safer than other more invasive laser procedures. Call 03 9090 0099 or request an appointment online.
Complications from pulsed light treatment are uncommon but may include: Pigmentation Post treatment pigmentation may occur in patients with darker skin or chloasma. It is therefore necessary to use a bleaching preparation in this situation to prevent post treatment increase in pigmentation. This preparation should be continued for at least 6-8 weeks. Loss of pigment Loss of pigment may occur in some people especially when treating the neck. Scarring Scarring is very rare, but is more likely to occur when treating the neck. Bruising Temporary bruising may occur especially when treating red veins – this may last for 7-10 days. Swelling Temporary swelling may occur, especially when treating the whole face. It generally lasts a few days. Patchiness Uneven improvement in skin colour and texture may occur after only one treatment. This will tend to even out after 2 or 3 treatments. Recurrence of skin damage Recurrence may occur if people do not adequately protect from the sun, or continue to smoke. Pigmentation may recur if the oral contraceptive pill or similar hormones are taken.
After pulsed light treatment, you can do your normal activities without restriction. You can cleanse and moisturize your skin in the usual manner. You can apply makeup normally. When exposed to the sun, you should wear sunscreen and preferably makeup. (Makeup provides better sun protection than sunscreens)
Pulsed light treatment has been described as feeling like the flick of a rubber band, or a spatter of hot cooking oil. In most cases, a numbing cream is applied before treatment, to minimize this discomfort. During the treatment the flash of light is very bright, which may give you a fright at first. Your eyes are covered with goggles or tape during the procedure, in order to protect them. After the treatment, your face will feel like mild sunburn for approximately 1 hour.
The number of treatments needed varies considerably from one person to another. Most people require between 2 to 3 treatments, but it is possible to need up to 5 treatments.
It usually takes about 6 weeks for maximum improvement to occur. Some people notice improvements earlier, especially those with brown marks.
Immediately after pulsed light treatment, you will look worse for at least 4 days. Your skin will be redder, and the brown marks will appear darker. Your skin may also be swollen for the first one or two days. You may apply makeup immediately after treatment, although it may not completely cover the darker marks. After 4-5 days the dark marks peel off or fade. Your skin will return to normal, usually by one week. People with darker skin will need to use a bleaching preparation after treatment for at least 6 weeks, in order to prevent post treatment increase in pigmentation.
Pulsed light therapy is an outpatient treatment. You are able to drive in and drive home from treatments, and apply makeup directly afterwards. The treatment sessions take approximately one hour, and four weeks or longer are advisable between treatment sessions. Immediately after treatment, the skin is redder for 24 hours. It often feels like sunburn for about 1 hour afterwards. After this time, there is usually little or no pain. The following day, brown marks, which were present before the treatment, become darker. This normally lasts for 4 to 5 days before the brown marks peel off. Red veins may bruise temporarily, which may remain for 5 to 7 days. Makeup may be applied immediately after treatment. Some patients require the use of a depigmenting lotion after pulsed light treatment, especially those with darker skins, and those with chloasma. The depigmenting lotion is initially applied every second night for the first week and then every night for at least 6 to 8 weeks after treatment. The depigmenting lotion will cause some redness and peeling, but it is important to continue using it.
The effects of Pulsed light treatment are long lasting, if sun protection is practiced, and topical Vitamins A and C are used following the course of treatment.
Realistically, one can expect the following changes following Pulsed Light therapy: An improvement in skin texture Decreased skin redness Improvement in broken capillaries and veins Decrease in brown skin pigmentation Decrease in freckles and brown spots Mild improvement in skin wrinkling Pulsed light may be combined with the use of topical Vitamin A (Retinol, Retin A) and Vitamin C (C Boost) for further improvement in the skin.
Pulsed light is safe, and does not damage normal skin. The light however, is very bright so eye protection is used during the procedure. It selectively changes abnormal skin, thereby removing sun damage. It does not cause skin or other cancers.
Pulsed light is a very strong light similar to a laser, but has many wavelengths, which can be selected to treat different abnormalities in the skin. Therefore many different components of skin aging and sun damage can be treated without affecting normal skin. Pulsed light is especially attracted to reds and browns, so is effective for broken capillaries, freckles and pigmentation.
If using depigmenting lotion from CSD, please stop using 3-4 days before treatment.