I am not an [overly] vain person, but as the years tick on by, I realize I should be a little better at taking care of my skin. The wrinkles on my face continue to deepen and I have been noticing crazy pigment changes on my face, neck and chest, which is making me never want to go out in the sun again.
My dermatologist recommended I try something called ‘IPL’ [Intense pulsed light] therapy, which uses pulses of light to induce controlled wounds on your skin, prompting it to heal itself by peeling and then creating new cells. It is less ‘damaging’ to your skin than a chemical peel, and the healing time is about half. They usually recommend three IPL treatments, but I thought I would start with this one and see how it goes before committing to more.
The process was simple. After filling out the typical ‘I promise not to sue you if you mess up my face’ forms, they took me to the treatment room and rubbed numbing cream all over my face. The treatment lasted about an hour and while there was no discomfort, I did smell ‘burning skin’ several times which is not the most pleasant smell to encounter, especially when you know it is your own.
Once it was over, I looked like I had a terrible sunburn. All the really red spots are where I had pigment issues (when I was young, we lovingly called them freckles). I knew I had some areas of concern on my chest, but I was a bit surprised to see my forehead and the side of my neck bringing things up so quickly. I have really tried to keep out of the sun the last couple of years, but seems the damage done in my 20s-30s was rearing its ugly head.
I was really red for the first two days and then it all started to mellow out. I had expected to go through a massive peel [perfect timing for Christmas], but that never happened*. My skin got really dry in the damaged areas and sloughed off in small pieces, like it would with a light sunburn.
I am on day four and I can see the brown pigment starting to fade away, so feeling like I made the right decision and will most likely schedule treatments two and three now to really make sure I get it all. It is not inexpensive, but when I think of all the damage it is trying to undo, I think it is worth it.
* The first photo is a basic mask you do at home and did not have anything to do with the IPL, I just thought it was funny.