Many women between the ages of 20 and 40 suffer from frequent outbreaks of unsightly acne. Adult acne is a frustrating and embarrassing problem. It is thought to be due to a combination of hormonal fluctuations, stress and diet that trigger the skin to produce excessive amounts of oil. The excess oil plugs up pores and induces bacteria to grow unchecked.
Over-the-counter topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can help with adult acne, but these medications often lead to red, dry, peeling skin that can be even more unsightly than acne. Doctors can prescribe oral antibiotics and hormones that can help, too, but these medications come with systemic side effects. An alternative treatment is intense pulsed light (IPL).
At Plastic and Cosmetic Center of South Texas, we can help treat acne and other skin concerns through IPL treatments. Doctor Thomas Jeneby can work with you to figure out the perfect treatment plan that is customized to your skin and your needs. To schedule your consultation, contact Plastic and Cosmetic Center of South Texas Today.
IPL treatments are somewhat similar to laser treatments in that very strong light energy is applied to the face. Unlike a laser, though, IPL treatment exposes the skin to a wide range of different wavelengths of light. IPL treatments are very useful in various cosmetic applications precisely because of the ability to produce different wavelengths of light. IPL treatments can target water, hemoglobin and melanin. IPL treatments can also be used to target acne lesions.
The bacteria that are a major cause of acne can be killed if exposed to blue and red light. Lasers can only target one or the other of these light wavelengths at once, but IPL treatments can expose the bacteria to intense blue and red light at the same time. Studies of IPL find that it is quite effective in clearing up acne. It is as good as or better than topical benzoyl peroxide with fewer side effects. Three or four treatments given over the course of a few weeks are required to clear up an outbreak.
A typical IPL treatment only takes 15 minutes. Usually the technician will apply a topical anesthetic to the skin to temporarily numb it. Then a cooling gel is applied to protect the skin from the light energy. The IPL is delivered through a wand. Most patients don’t feel anything, and there is no recovery period or downtime.
Some patients will experience temporary reddening of the skin for a few hours after each IPL treatment. In addition to clearing up outbreaks, IPL seems to be able to prevent new outbreaks. After completing a course of IPL treatment, most individuals remain acne-free for at least six months.
If you’ve been struggling to control your adult acne, IPL is an easy, safe effective treatment to consider.