What Is It?
Electrolysis is a hair removal solution that uses heat energy to destroy the growth centers of individual hairs. A trusted method for over 130 years, electrolysis is one of the longest standing hair removal treatments that is still performed today.
How Does It Help?
Electrolysis stands out from laser hair removal and other hair removal methods because it is a permanent solution. During the treatment, the electrologist inserts a fine probe into each individual hair follicle of the treatment area, and removes the hair with tweezers. The growth center of the hair is destroyed with chemical and heat energy.
What Areas Can Be Treated?
Electrolysis treatments can be performed on any parts of the body where hair growth may not be desired. The most common treatment areas are the face, upper lip, chin, eyebrows, bikini line, breasts, abdomen, and legs.
Filament fee $5
What is It?
Laser hair removal is an easy, low-maintenance cosmetic method for removing unwanted hair on an ongoing basis. The laser projects a highly concentrated beam of light into your hair follicles, and as the pigment in your hair follicles absorb the light, the hair is destroyed. Laser hair removal is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic treatments in North America.
How Does It Help?
Laser hair removal treatments are highly acclaimed for their precision, accuracy and speed. The lasers can specifically target darker, thicker hairs without negatively affecting the surrounding skin. They also remove hair rapidly, treating an area roughly the size of a quarter every second, which allows for the entire hair removal process to take minimal amount of time. Laser hair removal can also result in permanent hair loss, which generally starts after 3-7 sessions.
What Areas Can Be Treated?
Any area that has hair can be treated with laser hair removal. We provide treatments on legs, underarms, bikini line, neck, face, upper lip, cheeks, chin, areola, chest, stomach, back, shoulders, feet and toes, arms and hands, abdomen, buttocks, and other areas upon request. In other words— our treatments have you covered from head to toe!
FAQs about laser hair removal!
When it comes to my laser hair removal service, what can I expect from T.C. Spa?
Any client having a treatment for laser hair removal is consulted thoroughly. Our certified laser technician verifies medical and health history, hair colour, skin type and areas of concern. A complimentary test patch is performed to ensure safety and suitability of our laser hair removal service. Full disclosure of treatment time frames and pricing is provided.
Are there risks involved with laser hair removal?
Yes, there are risks of being burned, overtreated or scarring. It is imperative that clients follow the treatment considerations and consents to avoid any potential risks. Clients who have had recent sun exposure, a change in medication or have not disclosed a change in their health should consult with their physician before undergoing this treatment. Most clients experience light swelling, redness and/or local tenderness.
Is laser hair removal painful?
Laser hair removal is considered semi-pain-free. Pain levels vary from client to client. It is tolerated very well by most clients. The treatment is a balance of treating the hair effectively while keeping our clients comfortable. Laser hair removal is tolerated better than waxing or electrolysis for most clients.
How is laser hair removal better than the alternatives?
Laser hair removal is considered permanent hair reduction. The treatments are a quick appointment and clients can carry on with their lifestyle and activities as usual. Laser hair removal is a clean, precise treatment that reduces the hair considerably with each treatment performed. Laser hair removal does not cause incidence of ingrown hairs, razor burns or shaving nicks.
How many laser hair removal treatments will I need?
The average client will require 10-12 treatments; However, some areas require less or more depending on the client’s growth cycle, hormone levels and treatment considerations.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a great way to maintain silky smooth skin and save time. Feel fresh, clean and more confident with flawlessly hairless skin today.
Laser Hair Removal Pricing
Skin Rejuvenation Treatment
Full Face $225
Full face & Decollete $400
Single Spot $100
What is it?
Photofacial therapy is a professional treatment to reduce or eliminate the signs of sun damage, minimize rosacea or hyperpigmentation, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Who is a good canditate?
Intense pulsed light treatments are ideal for individuals with light to medium complexions looking to improve fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration, skin tone, sun damage, vascular lesions, or capillary inflammation. Because of the multiple wavelengths used during an IPL treatment, it can be adjusted for a spectrum of skin tones. However, fair skin that is relatively elastic and “freckle-prone” shows the greatest improvement.
Deeper skin tones are more prone to blistering and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, especially since melanin is one of the primarily targets of an IPL treatment.
How Does it Work?
It is important to note that IPL is not a laser resurfacing treatment. While the two devices operate on similar mechanisms of delivering high-intensity light energy onto specific target cells within the skin, lasers operate using a single wavelength. IPL treatments deliver multiple wavelengths, which allow them to target various conditions. They are also non-ablative, meaning that they do not damage the surface of the skin, whereas some laser treatments can be ablative.
The range and frequency of the light emitted by an IPL device can be adjusted and controlled depending on the scope of treatment and your individual skin concerns. The resulting light waves are “filtered” to target either redness (hemoglobin) or dark spots (melanin). This light energy is absorbed by the target areas and is converted into heat energy, which damages the walls of the blood vessels or breaks up the pigment. These damaged blood vessels and pigment either rise to the skin's surface or are carried away by the body's lymphatic system.
As a result, intense pulsed light has been shown effective for age spots, vascular lesions, such as spider veins, and even some birthmarks. In addition, intense pulsed light may result in less flushing for patients with rosacea and other inflammatory conditions. It is particularly effective at improving overall skin tone.
What to experience during an IPL Treatment
Intense pulsed light treatments are not entirely pain-free, although the level of discomfort depends upon your individual threshold for pain the sensation that is often compared to the snapping of a rubber band on the skin.
During the treatment, both you and your skincare professional will wear protective goggles.
After cleansing the skin, your skincare professional will apply a thin coat of gel (used to cool the skin), then place the glass surface of a handheld device directly onto the skin.
The device pulses flashes of light, which continue until the desired area has been treated.
The length of time and the intensity of the sensation will vary depending upon the severity and size of the damaged area.
Once the treatment is finished, the gel is removed and a cold compress may be applied for several minutes. The final step includes a nourishing moisturizer and a broad spectrum sunscreen.
Immediately post-treatment, you may notice some minor redness and swelling, similar to that of a sunburn.
The level of redness is dependent on the type of treatment being received and your skin’s sensitivity to the treatment. If treating freckles and sun spots, you may dryness and flaking around the treated area.
Generally speaking, most side effects will resolve within 3-7 days. However, this may be prolonged for more intense treatments. Your skincare professional may also recommend at-home skincare products to help complement results.
Pigmentation Treatment $50/ Spot
Solar lentigo, or as more commonly known, age spots, sun spots or liver spots are blemishes on the skin associated with age and exposure to UV radiation from the sun. They range in color from light brown to black and are located in areas most often exposed to the sun, particularly the hands, face, shoulders, arms, forehead, and the head if bald. Light-based technology helps in safe and quick removal of those spots.
How Do Pigmented Lesions Form?
Pigmented lesions, or age spots are caused by an increased number of pigment-producing cells (Melanocyte) in the skin. They occur in response to long-term sun (UV radiation) exposure and associated with aging of the skin. The skin tends to get thinner with age. This causes older people to have pale, translucent skin. Melanocytes activity tends to increase and more melanin is produced. Chronic sun damage speeds up the development of these spots.
How Does The Treatment Work?
The melanocytes absorb the energy of the light pulse. This light energy turns into heat energy that coagulates the melanocytes selectively. New cells are later formed without this high concentration of melanin and the skin is renewed.
Vascular (Facial) Treatment $50/ Spot
The appearance of spider-like capillaries is one of the signs time leaves on our skin. They may be found anywhere on our body surface, but usually bother us most when found on our face.
How Do Spider-Like Capillaries Form?
Telangiectasia, or broken capillaries get their color from clotted RBC (Red Blood Cells).
These capillaries can be seen and get their color due to weakness of the one-way valves found in the veins.
Once the valves are weak, vein blood with little oxygen can stay in the capillarie instead of being pumped to the heart. Since these capillaries are very narrow, blood cells may get "stuck" in them.
Other RBCs that flow into the same capillary get stuck behind the first ones, forming a layer of clotted blood, which gives the capillary its color.
The capillaries are best seen when they are near the skin surface, or when the skin becomes too thin due to a decreased collagen production.
How Does The Treatment Work?
Two treatments are administered in order to treat the capillaries:
Breaking the layer of clotted blood and re-opening the capillary, resulting in free blood flow through the capillary and the disappearance of the purple color.
Stimulating the collagen layer to produce more collagen, resulting in thicker skin which conceals the capillaries.
Acne is a cause of suffer and discomfort to many people around the world who have to deal with it daily.
The introduction of light-based technology solutions created a revolution in Acne treatment. The treatments are much shorter, easier and more effective.
How Does Acne Form?
Increased activity of the sebaceous glands which secrete more sebum.
The opening of the hair follicle gets blocked.
Lack of oxygen causes the rapid multiplication of the P. Acne bacteria that lives inside the hair follicle.
The immune system reacts by fighting the bacteria, leading to an inflammation.
This inflammation results in the appearance of pimples and lesions that might develop into scars.
As long as the bacterial activity continues, the inflammation continues and the acne flourishes.
How Does The Treatment Work?
As part of a routinely metabolism process, the P. Acne bacteria generates an organic compound called porphyrin. High intensity broad spectrum light (Especially blue light) triggers the porphyrin to release single oxygen atoms (Free radicals).
These free radicals are seeking other atoms to attach themselves to.
They make connections to molecules they are not supposed to connect to, and by doing so they ruin the functionality of these molecules.
The activity of many single oxygen atoms destroys the P. Acne bacteria.
What Is Tattoo Removal?
Tattoo removal is the process of getting an area of permanently injected ink removed from a section of skin on the body.
While there are several ways to remove tattoo ink from the skin, laser tattoo removal is by far and wide the most effective and popular method due to its high success rates and lack of serious side effects.
However, tattoo removal hasn’t always been possible.
While recent technological advances have allowed various tattoo removal processes to become more affordable and mainstream over the last 20 years, anybody wishing to have a tattoo removed before this time will have been stuck with their ink until the day they died unless they decided to undertake drastic self-harm measures in to remove the inked skin clean from their bodies.
How Does Laser Tattoo Removal Work?
The ink particles in tattooed skin are very difficult to get rid of. In fact, your body is always trying to do it but simply can’t. It recognizes the ink particles as foreign objects and sends an army of white blood cells to break them down and eliminate them.
But because those ink particles are so much larger, these white blood cells are powerless against them. (The most they can do is slowly erode it – which is why your tattoo will eventually fade – but they’ll never succeed in eliminating it).
Clearly, those ink particles are tough stuff, which is why it takes something as strong as a laser to get rid of them. And not just any laser – using a laser designed for hair removal on your tattoo isn’t going to do much other than waste your time.
Tattoo removal requires a specialized type known as a ultra-short pulse laser. These lasers work by emitting extremely hot blasts in short, quick bursts to heat up and break apart the ink particles.
The pigment of the ink also matters. Different pigments absorb different wavelengths of light. So, for the laser to break down the ink, it has to be set to the right wavelength. Tattoos with different pigments will need to use more than one adapter to break down every type of ink particle.
But the laser doesn’t work alone. Remember those white blood cells attacking the ink particles? They’re still hard at work. Once the laser breaks the ink down into smaller pieces, the white blood cells seize them and carry them to the liver so they can be flushed out along with other foreign objects and toxins in your body.
How Effective Is Laser Tattoo Removal?
Laser tattoo removal is generally an effective procedure, and almost everyone who undergoes it will be able to completely get rid of their tattoo (or come extremely close).
But that doesn’t mean you can get it removed in one session. It will take multiple visits to a credible laser tattoo removal shop before it's completely erased.
How many sessions will it take?
The standard answer is anywhere from six to twelve, depending on the specifics of your situation. Removals that require more than a dozen sessions are rare but not unheard of.
Between each session, you’ll need to give your body at least six weeks to heal. Remember, the laser just breaks down the ink particles; you still need to give your body enough time to flush them out and recover from any (temporary) damage done by the laser.
If your skin has a darker complexion, you could be looking at an eight-week healing time. Some professionals even recommend going as long as three months, just to be sure.
Here are a few factors that will determine how many sessions you’ll need.
Color of the Tattoo
Your tattoo’s color is a big factor in how effective the laser treatments are going to be.
Darker pigments take fewer sessions to break down than lighter ones. That might sound counter intuitive. Dark colors usually leave the worst stains on your clothes, so you might think, the darker the ink, the more indelible it is.
But tattoo ink doesn’t act like chocolate stains on your white shirt, and lasers don’t work the way your chemical stain remover does.
Remember that a laser is essentially amplified light. Black ink, like any black surface, will absorb the most light – the entire spectrum, in fact – which means the laser will have its maximum effect on it.
Lighter colored tattoos, on the other hand, are more reflective. That means more light will bounce off of them, including the light from the laser. Less light being absorbed means the laser will be less effective. Yellow and purple ink are some of the most stubborn ones to remove and they may require a few additional sessions.
You’ll have the hardest time if you have any tattoos with fluorescent ink (often known as UV or black light tattoos). Because they’re so light and reflective, laser treatment might be entirely ineffective.
Thankfully, they’re invisible under normal lighting conditions, so as long as you avoid a black light, it’s like they’re not even there. But if you don’t want to be reminded of them every time you step into a nightclub, you could consider alternative removal methods.
Location of the Tattoo
Where the tattoo is on your body also makes a difference.
The parts of your body with the most blood circulation are also those where your tattoos will fade the fastest. That’s why the tattoos that are furthest from your heart – say on your hands or ankles – are the ones that will stay looking vibrant for a longer time.
If you’re removing a tattoo from somewhere on your torso, that will work in your favor. But if it’s on your arms or legs – and especially on your wrists, ankles, hands, and feet – it will be harder to take off and will slow down your post-laser healing time.
Effective but Not Immediate
So, the short answer is yes, laser tattoo removal works but it takes a while before it does. If you want to remove that tattoo of a black panther on your chest that you got done during your hair metal phase in the ‘80s, you’re probably looking at only a handful of sessions before it’s off your skin.
But even in the best case scenarios, laser removal will take a while. If you have to sit through eight sessions with at least six weeks of healing between each one, it will be almost a year before you’re rid of your tattoo.
Age of the Tattoo
Tattoos are permanent but they do fade over time. The older and more your tattoo is faded, the fewer sessions you’re looking at.
So, if you want to get rid of a tattoo you got a couple of decades ago, you will have to spend less time under the laser. But if you’re already regretting that tattoo you got last month, expect to need a few extra appointments to get it removed.
Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?
Everyone who ever got a tattoo has had to put up with someone asking them if it hurt.
When that question comes your way, you probably roll your eyes. It’s a needle stabbing into your skin – of course it hurts!
And something similar can be said about laser tattoo removal. All you’re doing is applying concentrated light to your skin, so you might be optimistic enough to hope that you won’t feel a thing. But let’s be real: you’re undergoing a treatment involving an ultra-hot laser – it’s not just going to tickle.
The real question is: how much is the procedure going to hurt?
That’s a difficult one to answer. Everyone’s tolerance for pain is different and that’s reflected in the reports from people who have undergone laser removal.
Some people claim to have experienced some discomfort from it, while some say the pain is comparable to the pain they endured when getting the tattoo in the first place.
People who have undergone the laser tattoo removal often say that it hurts about as much as a rubber band repeatedly snapping against the skin.
But again, depending on your pain tolerance, that could either be mildly annoying or painful enough to make you clench your teeth through the whole procedure.
There may be some lingering pain or discomfort after the lasering. It’s been described as similar to a burn or a blister. So, not excruciating but not exactly pleasant either.
One thing’s for sure: it’s not a walk in the park. Everyone experiences some discomfort or pain from the procedure. But if you’ve already braved the pain that comes with getting tattooed, you’ll be able to put up with anything that the laser has in store for you.
Can You Re-Tattoo Over a Lasered Area?
Some people who are considering laser removal want to get rid of a specific tattoo but still want to have tattoos.
If you want to replace the tattoo with something more current, leave yourself open to new tattoos in the future, or simply don’t want a blank spot on your arm when you’re working on a full sleeve, you might be worried that lasering a tattoo will jeopardize your future tattoo plans.
Well, you don’t have the worry. You can still get a tattoo on any skin surface that you have lasered.
In fact, many people get a tattoo lasered precisely because they want to re-tattoo over that area. Lasering is a standard step when getting a cover up. A partially faded tattoo is easier to retouch and update, and it’s impossible to tell that it’s been done on a previously lasered patch of skin.
As we saw above, laser removal works by breaking down and getting rid of the ink particles in your skin. There’s no reason you can’t get a new tattoo and inject new pigments into those now-vacant spots once those particles have been cleared out. It might frustrate your white blood cells, but it will look just like any other tattoo.
Scarring’s Another Story
That being said, there is one exception. If your laser treatment results in any scarring, it might cause some trouble when getting a new tattoo.
Scarring isn’t typical, but the odds of developing scar tissue is higher if you don’t follow proper after-care instructions following the removal procedure.
It’s not impossible to tattoo over scars, but it can be tricky to get it right. Your tattoo artist will be dealing with an uneven skin surface and the ink will not distribute itself in the way it normally does.
Because of that, the tattoo might not look as good as you hoped it would. If you’re dealing with scars from lasering, be sure to work with a highly skilled tattoo artist, preferably one who has experience working on scar tissue.
Even if your tattoo comes out looking great, there’s still one more issue: getting a tattoo over scarred tissue is often more painful. Most people, however, don’t find it unbearable and it doesn’t stand in the way of them getting a new tattoo.
What Are the Risks of Getting Laser Tattoo Removal?
By and large, laser tattoo removal is entirely safe, so long as it is performed by a competent, trained dermatologist or plastic surgeon using the right equipment.
Still, before undergoing the procedure, it’s important to know what the common side effects are.
Hyperpigmentation and Hypopigmentation
The most common side effect is a change in skin pigmentation, especially for people with darker skin tones. The body sometimes responds to laser treatment by producing either too much or too little melanin in the affected area.
The result is a darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation) or lightening of the skin (hypopigmentation). These conditions cause the treated area to have a different shade than the complexion of the skin surrounding it. This sometimes results in a noticeably blotchy patch of skin.
These issues are cosmetic only and are not associated with other adverse health effects. Still, it is important to consider that your skin may not look pristine immediately after you get your tattoo removed.
Hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation are only temporary, with most cases resolving themselves within six to twelve months of the laser removal procedure.
Naturally, the process of attacking the ink particles in the skin with a heated laser will have some effects on your skin.
Redness, tenderness, and swelling are common after the procedure. Bruising and blistering can occur as well. While it is healing, the treated area is also at greater risk of infection.
Like hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, these issues will resolve themselves over time as the affected area undergoes its natural healing process.
There is, however, one permanent potential side effect: scarring. Thankfully, it occurs in a vanishingly small number of cases.
After-care makes a big difference here. Scarring isn’t common, but that’s assuming you’re taking the proper steps to treat the lasered area to ensure it heals as it should. As mentioned above, blisters and scabs might form.
Picking at scabs or failing to treat a blister properly can result in permanent scarring – and it’s no different when those scabs and blisters are caused by laser tattoo removal.
A Safer Alternative
If some of these side effects have you worried, keep in mind that laser treatment is still the safest option for tattoo removal.
More traditional methods like excision (surgical removal), dermabrasion (scrubbing off the top layer of skin), and acid peels (just like it sounds – dissolving skin layers using acid) put you at greater risk. And milder approaches, like applying tattoo removal cream, just don’t work all that well (if they work at all).
Basically, if you decide not to get laser treatment because you’re worried about the risks, you’re left with two options: going with a riskier method, or learning to live with your tattoo.
Why Do People Choose To Remove Their Tattoos?
While there are 1001 reasons why somebody might decide to have their tattoo erased from their skin forever, there are a few specific reasons that pop up time and time again:
Bad Life Decision
This is by far the most common reason why people choose to have a tattoo remove.
Many people get tattooed at an extremely young age thinking they’re getting something extremely envious, when in-fact, the tattoo very often turns out to be highly regrettable.
Getting a tattoo when drunk is also a hugely bad life decision for many who’ve have the unfortunate experience of this happening to them. Getting a tattoo while under the influence of drink or drugs is seldom a good idea, and very often leads to a lifetime of regret (not to mention it’s also illegal in many countries).
The Tattoo is Poor Quality
Sometimes you will like the tattoo design that you have, but unfortunately it’s just been executed really badly.
There are several reasons why a tattoo might look very poor in quality, but the main reason is due to poor workmanship on the tattooists behalf.
For every 1000 amazing tattooists around the world, there are unfortunately 10,000 bad ones. Normally, you get what you pay for, and if you’ve cheaped out on a new piece of ink, then the likelihood of your tattoo turning out awful is very high.
Poor tattoo aftercare can also cause a tattoo to turn out badly due to poor healing around the area.
The Tattoo Has Faded
Tattoos can fade surprisingly quickly under the right circumstances, and once a tattoo has faded, there’s not much else you can do to improve the look of it besides either getting a touchup over the tattoo, or getting the whole thing removed.
While the durability of tattoo ink has come a long way compared to several decades ago, frequent sun tanning, skin rubbing, and chemical exposure can still cause serious fading if you’re not careful.
Potential career changes can sometimes be the catalyst for getting rid of your tattoos. Many corporate jobs, as well as most roles in the military, require anybody joining up to have no showing tattoos when fully kitted up, meaning that any hand, wrist, neck, and head tattoos will all have to go.
Your Tattoo Doesn’t Reflect Who You Are Anymore
People change as they go through life, and what you may have thought was a good fit to your character when you was younger, may not be a good fit to the person you are today. For this reason, old tattoos symbolizing something you don’t agree with anymore are very often the type to be erased first through the process of tattoo removal.
You’ve Gotten Bored Of The Tattoo
Although you may not think it, when you see the same piece of artwork on your body day in, day out, for decades of your life, it can sometimes become very boring to look at.
You Have An Ink Allergy
Although relatively rare, some people can become allergic to various pigments and metals within the tattoo ink. While some people will display symptoms soon after the tattoo was done, some people can wait years before developing symptoms. Red ink is one of the main perpetrators.
While some allergies are mild, some people can suffer extreme side-effects such as intense itching, and large, unsightly groups of white spots appearing around the area. It is these people who are the most likeliest to want to get the ink blasted out of their skin to stop the constant suffering.
You’ve Run Out Of Space
It’s true - some people are so full up with tattoos that there isn’t an extra inch on their bodies left for new ones. In this scenario, these people will usually pick some of their least favorite tattoos to get removed so they can start again over the top of the old ones.
You Want To Become A Blank Canvas Again
Some people feel like they need a fresh start in life, and for this to happen, they sense that they must remove everything that is holding them back from this fresh start. For these people, they believe that their tattoos represent the past in which they are trying to forgot, so in order to be able to feel like they’re able to start again, they will get all of their tattoos removed for their bodies so they once again become a complete blank canvas.
So, should you get your tattoo lasered off?
There’s a significant time commitment involved, to be sure. Your tattoo won’t disappear over the course of one session, no matter how small or simple the design.
Even if all the right conditions are in place – your skin is light and your tattoo is dark and located near your heart – you’re still going to need about half a dozen sessions.
If you decide to incorporate your tattoo into a larger design or give it some modifications instead of eliminating it entirely, you might still be required to go through a few months of laser treatment and recovery to get it faded to a point where it can be re-worked.
There are some risks, but they’re not very serious and mostly temporary. If you give yourself plenty of time to heal between each session and follow your laser removal professional’s care instructions, you might have temporary blotchy skin, swelling, and bruising – but not much more.
All in all, those are some pretty small things to put up with considering you’re undergoing a procedure that is designed to remove a permanent design from your skin.
There might be some pain involved, too, but it’s nothing extreme. And it’s unlikely to be much of a deterrent. After all, you’re the person who once heard the buzz of a tattoo machine and thought, “Bring it on.”
And the lasered area can still be tattooed over again. If you miss your old tattoo after erasing it, get back with the ex whose name you lasered off your skin, or don’t want to leave the lasered space blank, you’ll be able to restore the old tattoo or get a brand new one. All you have to do is make sure that you let your skin heal completely before going under the needle again.
Bottom line: if you want to get rid of your ink, laser tattoo removal is safe, effective, and probably your best option.
IPL for Rosacea:
• Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder characterized by facial flushing and visible blood vessels
• IPL treatments use intense light waves to constrict and destroy these blood vessels to ease redness
• Treatments are noninvasive but may involve some social downtime
• On average, it takes 3–6 treatments to achieve optimal results
Rosacea is an autoimmune skin disorder characterized by skin flare-ups that cause flushing of the facial skin, irritation and pus-filled bumps. It is caused by dilated and broken blood vessels beneath the skin. Symptoms are cyclical, but without treatment are likely to progress with time.
Intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) for rosacea is a treatment that can effectively destroy these blood vessels using high intensity light sources to eliminate unwanted redness.
What Is IPL?
IPL is a noninvasive broad spectrum light therapy used to treat a wide range of skin concerns such as wrinkles, dark spots, age spots and unwanted body hair. It can also treat birthmarks, varicose veins and rosacea. Once treated, skin has improved color and texture.
Using a handheld device, light energy is converted into heat energy that penetrates the upper levels of skin where it is absorbed by melanin, pigmented cells that are both at the skin’s surface and within deeper tissue.
The technician can precisely apply the therapy by controlling not only the wavelength but pulse duration and sequences, as well as pulse delay time. These features allow for control, precision and versatility when providing treatment.
The energy produced by the light waves breaks down pigmented skin cells, and constricts and destroys superficial blood vessels which are then slowly flushed out of the body. It also effectively reduces hair growth by destroying targeted hair follicles.
In contrast, traditional laser treatments use a single wavelength of concentrated light which penetrates deep within the skin and requires some downtime as opposed to broad spectrum IPL which addresses concerns at the surface level.
How Does IPL Work to Treat Rosacea?
While rosacea can not be completely cured, it can be effectively controlled with IPL. The intense pulses of light increases the temperature of oxyhemoglobin in the blood which destroys damaged capillaries near the surface of the skin. It also causes visible blood vessels to constrict and shrink.
Both actions work together to reduce the appearance of redness and irritation caused by rosacea. This in turn reduces pimples and bumps, and calms the irritation and itchiness which often accompanies this skin disorder.
How does it feel?
Your technician will put a layer of gel over your face and provide you with eye protectors. During the treatment, they will pass a handheld device over your entire face, delivering short pulses of light to the treatment area. Typically, they will make three passes to ensure full coverage is achieved.
With each pulse, you will notice a short burst of intense red light, some warmth and a sensation similar to being snapped lightly with a rubber band. The pulse of light is not continuous, but measured, as your technician monitors your skin and methodically treats your entire face.
The entire session should take no longer than 30 minutes. Afterward, it is important to moisturize your skin well, twice a day, as your skin will likely dry out and peel slightly as it heals.
After each treatment and between treatments it is essential to protect your skin from the sun; wear a zinc broad-based SPF50 and a hat or cap.
How long does it take to work?
IPL is a very effective treatment for rosacea. You should notice an improvement in just a few days after the first treatment but optimal results will be seen with 3–6 treatments scheduled about 1 month apart.
One study demonstrated that after an average of 7.2 treatments, 80% of patients saw a reduction in redness; 78% had less flushing and an improvement in skin texture; 72% saw an improvement in acne breakouts.
Is there a recovery period?
You can expect several days of social downtime following treatment due to redness and swelling, and possible bruising. Your skin may feel itchy and dry. You may also notice a darkening of age spots or freckles which will develop a crust, dry up and slowly flake off.
These are expected and temporary side effects that will all resolve within 1 week.
You may apply makeup immediately after a treatment but you must forgo exfoliative products and topicals that contain retinol or glycolic acid for 1 week; this is to allow your skin sufficient time to recover.
IPL is an effective and noninvasive solution in treating the chronic symptoms of rosacea. It works by delivering pulses of light energy to the skin which constricts superficial blood vessels and eliminates blood vessels close to the skin’s surface.
Eliminating the blood vessels reduces the flushing, redness and irritation as well as pimples and bumps that are common features of this skin disorder. The result is smoother, even-textured skin and complexion.
IPL is considered a safe treatment for rosacea with some minimal social downtime as the skin slowly heals from the treatment. You can expect redness and some swelling, and darkening of dark spots and age spots; this will resolve in about 1 week.
The number of sessions needed will depend on your skin condition as well as your response to treatment, but typically 3–6 sessions are recommended to achieve the bestresults