I have finally decided to tackle the problem of my dark/sun-damaged face via the route of Photorejuvenation, which is Intense Pulsed Light or I.P.L. treatment.
Often referred to as a laser treatment, but it differs in that "The IPL™ photofacial skin procedure involves the use of an intense beam of broad-spectrum light, as opposed to lasers, which operate within a very specific wavelength"
Put as simply as possible, a machine blasts this intense light down into and under the skins surface to the dermis and helps to corrects a number of skin issues including sun damage, age pigmentation, freckles, acne scarring, some birth marks, fine lines, redness, rosacea, acne.... basically it improves the colour, tone, consistency and texture of the skin.
Another happy result of this treatment is that it stimulates the skin to produce more collagen, and in turn filling out any fine lines in the areas.
My main issue is the pigmentation of my skin which was caused by sun damage from travelling in hot countries and not taking enough care of protecting my skin from the sun.
I went to the Galway Laser and Skincare Clinic which is just outside the city centre and came highly recommended by many people I know who have gone there for various treatments.
I had actually gotten the treatment done on a smaller area around my eyes last year and was very happy with the results from just the one treatment, though I had never followed it up.
This time I am going through a course of full face treatment, which will include 2 to 3 sessions with intervals of 4 to 6 weeks for the full benefit.
The treatment for full face costs €200 per session (€80 for a specific single area on the face) and I was in and out in about 45 minutes.
There is no down time after the treatment, side effects being mild enough and lasting only a couple of days.
These include red and puffed face immediately after, but the redness will fade within a couple of hours once the heat escapes from the face. Any pigmentation marks on the face will grow dark and more noticeable than normal, but these will come to the surface and flake off after a few days, leaving a lighter more even-toned base.
During the treatment your eyes are covered to protect you from the intense light, a cold gel is applied to the the area, and the light is 'zapped' into the skin, which feels like a very hot elastic band being snapped against the skin. For the most part it is very mild and very bearable, but certain areas, like just around the eyes and around the nose are more intense in sensation. Saying that though, I still found it very bearable, and once it's done, it's totally forgotten about.
The face was a little hot to the touch after, but I was given an ice pack to hold against it for a while before a cooling Aloe Vera Gel was applied to the entire area.
Here are a few photo's of before and immediately after.....
Immediately after the treatment.....
(Shiny face from the Aloe Vera gel)
The following morning.....
(Pigmentation is darkening)
My nose freckle fell off while cleansing!!!
I will post periodic updates on this blog over the next few months, and when the courses are totally finishes I will of course do a before and after.
'Til next post,