IPL & Laser Acne Treatment
Medical grade options for effective treatment of acne...
Acne is a very common skin condition that affects 95% of teenagers and adults to some extent over the course of their lifetime. Acne is commonly triggered by hormonal changes. In response, the sebaceous gland (found in the hair follicle) produces too much oil, or ‘sebum’, which captures dead skin, debris and, in turn, clogs up the follicles. Bacteria builds up in the sebaceous (oil-producing) gland which travels up the hair follicle and out to the skin’s surface, this results in blackheads, whiteheads, red or pus-filled spots, and inflamed skin. Acne is easily recognised by the appearance of the spots on the face, neck, chest, or back.
Can we answer?
You will no doubt have lots of questions...
Let us try to answer a few questions for you below but please do book in with us for a consultation.
The light emitted from the Intense Pulsed Light system directly targets overactive sebaceous glands, greatly reducing the total number and severity of active lesions, and lessening the inflammation and occurrence of break-outs. The light stimulates the production of new collagen to improve skin texture, and can also reduce the appearance of red or brown areas of skin that are often associated with acne breakouts.
A layer of chilled gel is applied to the skin to help guide the light. The light guide is placed onto the skin and a short pulse of light is released. The applicator is passed over the skin several times before moving onto the neighbouring area, and the process is repeated until the whole area is treated. Each pulse of light treats a large area of skin and so the duration of the treatment is very short. The gel is removed and the skin is moisturised. During treatment protective eye wear will be provided.
Almost everyone can be treated, apart from very dark skinned or tanned individuals. If you are pregnant or taking Roaccutane (an acne medication) it is best not to undergo laser or Intense Pulsed Light treatment.
Treatment is mildly uncomfortable but no anaesthesia is required. Many people describe the sensation as similar to the flick of an elastic band. However, a skin cooling device can be used to make treatment as comfortable as possible.
Immediately after treatment the skin may appear red and a warm tingling sensation may be felt. Typically the skin is cooled to ease any discomfort and a calming gel is applied.
A typical treatment session is approximately 30 minutes.
Prior to treatment you must first undergo a consultation where details about your medical history are obtained in order to confirm suitability. Before proceeding you will be asked to sign a consent form and undergo a test patch.
Acne is not a disease it’s a disorder so please don’t feel ashamed, the typical characteristics are; oiliness, blackheads, spots (possibly with white heads or possibly just red). However you may also experience; dryness, flakiness, sensitivity, soreness, itching.
With iMAGE Skincare there is an acne range called Clear Cell which mainly contains salicylic and glycolic acid. IMAGE Skincare are known for their ground breaking mix of botanical and clinical skincare products. The Image Skincare Clear Cell Collection has been specially formulated for acne and oily skin and has a range of products on offer. The Clear Cell range is very good for reducing inflammation, congestion (oil build up) and pustule size.
Of course, we understand that acne doesn’t just affect the face it often affects the chest and back as well. We have treated these areas many times before.
We do say that typically the treatments are best for someone with a mild to moderate acne (i.e could have a range of blackheads, spots and oiliness) as they spots become more cystic and boil sized we are more limited and find that in this situation it is best to see a dermatologist.
There are a few options for active acne and then we have another few options for acne scars. We mainly treat active acne in three stages; products, peels and light (ipl or LED). It may be that you only need one or two of those options depending on your acne. Allot of people don’t like the term acne and prefer to think that they just suffer from a few breakouts.
This of course is entirely up to you the Gp/dermatologist can recommend some great solutions that for many people may work well these can be; topically applied solutions (benzyl peroxide, salicylic acid, anti-biotics or retin A), oral solutions (anti-biotics, contraceptive pill, Roaccutane). Often we find people come to us because they exhausted many of the solutions above with little success. But whatever treatment that is tried, you must be aware it takes time (often 3-6 months) and no treatment is a cure.
This one is so hard to answer! For some people yes and for some no. It’s all about what is best for you and what works. We often talk about avoiding the triggers of acne; stress, diet, sleep, age.
This is a very good question and it is an important thing to consider. We often will advise products that need to be adhered to for good results and to help the treatments work, with products alone we have seen some very good improvements.
But we also must consider lifestyle to, we know that acne is related to hormones so as a teenager we understand why we get acne. But as adults it is much harder to comprehend it. Be aware that genetics can be a big influence, but also; stress, diet, sleep, contraception, pregnancies, menopause, and exercise. Stress can affect our hormones and we produce too much cortisol, diet has been suggested for many years the old eating too much chocolate. Certainly sugar can exacerbate and dairy has been linked due to the hormone levels in this produce, sleep is important as our skin repairs at night-time, and exercise whilst generally very good for us and should help to minimise stress and bring blood flow therefore nourishment, over exercise or high level’s of strength training can also change our hormones.
Thinking about your lifestyle and any changes you can make will not only help your results alot but also make the long term risks of getting acne again less likely.
The treated area can become quite red immediately after treatment but this usually disappears within a couple of hours. Most people experience no other side effects but very rarely a small blister could form or the skin may become temporarily lighter or darker.
The number of treatments necessary varies from person to person, but typically 6 Intense Pulsed Light and 6 exfoliating treatments will result in a significant improvement.