Beauty Clinic: Will IPL treatment work on my pigmentation?
Q. I am so frustrated with the amount of money I have wasted on products to get rid of my pigmentation. After a consultation, I have just made an appointment for IPL - planning three sessions at a total of £350. This includes medical microdermabrasion before each session and some samples of Epionce products. Does it really work? I don't mind spending the money if it does. A. We asked dermatologist Dr Stefanie Williams, Medical Director at European Dermatology London (www.eudelo.com) for her expert advice on this issue. She says: ‘in general people have to be realistic with their expectations as treatment [of any kind, salon or over the counter products] will usually lighten pigmentation, but not totally resolve it. So “getting rid of pigmentation” is not a realistic expectation.’
‘Any pigmentation treatment will take time and patience, as it can take six months to show best results,’ she continues. ‘And because your individual tendency to develop pigmentation naturally has not gone, there will always be the need for a maintenance treatment, to keep up the results.’
‘With regard to your question about IPL - it depends on the exact type of pigmentation whether a course of IPL treatments might be helpful. For certain types of pigmentation such as a melasma, I would be reluctant to recommend IPL as there is the possibility to aggravate it. Laser treatment is another energy based treatment alternative to IPL, but I would recommend seeing a dermatologist with a special interest in laser treatments first to decide which one is best.’
‘Topical products can work for pigmentation, even over-the-counter ones, if they are good. (I can’t comment on Epionce products specifically, as I haven’t worked with those particular ones.) However, a good topical OTC product such as Medik8 White Balance Click Intense Brightening Serum, which contains kojic acid, arbutin and several other pigment inhibitors, can successfully reduce pigmentation.’
‘One of the most important things to remember is that no pigmentation treatment will work without broad-spectrum sun protection. You will need to use an SPF 30-50 every single day - reapply frequently during the day – and you will also need to actively avoid sun exposure. A single day of excess sun can undo months of treatment.’
‘I would suggest the over-the-counter treatment first, but if that is not enough, see a dermatologist for prescription treatment,’ concludes Dr Williams.
Medik8 White Balance Click Intense Brightening Serum/£45 for 20 ml at www.medik8.com - buy here