Sun damage is the most significant cause of premature aging. When left untreated, you may notice fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and additional evidence of sun damage to the face. The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) light. This can happen on warm and sunny days and colder, overcast days. If the UV light saturates your skin, your body kickstarts its immune response. Signs of sun damage include, but are not limited to: freckles, tan lines, sunburn, rubbery skin, photoaging, dry and irritated skin, wrinkles, sagging skin, thin skin, and even a higher concentration of visible spider veins. 

Over time, your skin may show signs of sun damage that make you feel less like yourself. For example, you may not look as young as you feel because your sun-damaged skin sags and causes wrinkles. Even though sun damage is preventable by wearing an appropriate SPF daily and avoiding prolonged sun exposure, you may feel like the consequences are irreversible.

So, can you reverse sun-damaged skin? The answer is yes. 

Preventing Sun Damage 

First and foremost, you want to do everything possible to prevent sun damage to your skin. You can prevent sun damage by wearing a daily SPF to protect your skin. In fact, your SPF should be the last step of your morning skincare routine. If you know you are going to be out in the sun for the day, try to stay in shady areas and wear a hat and protective clothing in addition to SPF for maximum skin protection. Your skin experiences damage after a single sunburn. It only takes one burn to cause damage! And the effects of that damage may not be visible until later in life. 

If you need to determine how much damage your skin has experienced, try the Smart Mirror Skin Scanner. This advanced skin issue detection system uses artificial intelligence and image analysis to determine the health of your skin’s deeper layers. This is a great first step before creating a sun-damage reversal treatment plan. 

Intense Pulse Light Treatment

If your skin has visible or invisible (unseen to the naked eye) sun damage, precise treatment options are available to help reverse sun damage. Intense Pulse Light Treatment, or IPL for short, is a light therapy treatment that uses multiple wavelengths of light to treat sun damage, stretch marks, liver spots, small scars, broken blood vessels, age spots, freckles, birthmarks, and even varicose veins. 

The light energy accurately targets specific treatment areas while removing pigmented or damaged skin cells. As your skin is heated, it eliminates unwanted cells, resulting in a more even skin tone, reduction of hyperpigmentation, and even younger, fresher-looking skin. The light’s energy and heat also trigger your skin’s wound-healing response, boosting collagen production, and we all know how important collagen is to healthy, supple skin. 

IPL is even better than laser treatment since it simultaneously applies multiple wavelengths of light to the treatment area instead of a single burst of light. 

Preparing for Intense Pulse Light Therapy

After a comprehensive consultation, you will have your treatment scheduled. You will be asked to refrain from waxing, chemical peels, collagen injections, sunbathing, and tanning beds at least two weeks prior to treatment. It is advisable to avoid applying perfume or deodorant to the treatment area immediately before or after treatment. If you plan on treating your face, you will want to skip the makeup on treatment day to be on the safe side. 

Before treatment, you will also avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or herbal supplements. If you are unsure what medications are safe to take, discuss your medical needs with your practitioner.  

What to Expect

First, your practitioner will gently cleanse the treatment area and apply a cooling gel to your skin. This will make the treatment more comfortable. Next, they will apply light pulses from the IPL device to the treatment area. You’ll be provided with special goggles to protect your eyes during treatment, regardless of where your target treatment area is located. You may feel a slight sting as the pulses of light reach the outer layer of your skin. Treatment can take up to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated. You can get IPL just about anywhere on the body. 

IPL works best on fairer and light brown complexions, and 3-6 treatments spaced a month apart may be necessary for maximum results. After your treatment, you can resume normal activities while protecting your skin from the sun. 

The laser platform used at First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic is the Sciton BBL. It’s the world’s most powerful Intense Pulsed Light therapy and one of the safest treatment options. It uses a broad range of wavelengths that allow targeted treatments for multiple skin conditions and concerns. 

Intense Pulse Light Therapy Risks

IPL is very safe and has very minimal risks or side effects. However, you should not get IPL if you are pregnant or on blood thinners. 

If you have one of the following, you may not be a good candidate for Intense Pulse Light Therapy: 

  • Active acne 
  • Keloid scar tissue
  • Use a retinoid cream
  • Are suffering from a skin resurfacing disorder
  • Are currently or have recently taken the acne drug Accutane
  • Have recently experienced a severe sunburn
  • Have extreme scarring

Even though IPL is safe, some patients may experience pain, scarring, crusting, swelling, bleeding, skin discoloration, or infection across the treatment area. These side effects and complications are rare. 

Intense Pulse Light Therapy May Be For You If:

IPL may be for you if:

  • You want to reduce the appearance of age spots.
  • You are looking for a way to reverse sun damage on your face.
  • You have a birthmark or scar you want to reduce.
  • You have fine lines or wrinkles from sun damage.
  • You have stretch marks you want to eliminate.
  • You have fair skin or light brown skin.
  • You want to reduce the appearance of acne scars.
  • You want a safe, low-risk, and convenient treatment option to reverse sun damage.

Alternatives to Intense Pulse Light Therapy

If Intense Pulse Light therapy is not for you or if you are unsure it will be effective, you can try other sun damage reversal tools. Skin treatments, such as chemical peels or microdermabrasion, can help youthful skin shine through by eliminating damaged skin cells and paving the way for healthy skin regeneration. Talk to your practitioner to determine the best skin treatment for your skincare goals. If you want to learn more about sun-damage reversal treatment options, book a consultation with the knowledgeable staff at First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic. From your initial consultation to your final treatment, the team at First Impressions will encourage you to glow from the inside out.


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