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What's Better for Dull, Uneven Skin, Acne and Sunspots, a Peel or IPL? (photo)

I'm 37 with light skin and some skin laxity. I have adult acne, no acne scarring, and tend to redden around my nose and mouth. I've had one Vitalize peel, which went well and helped with texture, but didn't do much for the issues I mention above. I'm wondering what the best use of my funds is - continue with a course of Vitalize peels, deeper peels, or a course of IPL treatments?

Doctor Answers 5

Peels are great options for Dull Skin after Acne

Chemical peels can offer great benefits to remedy dull skin from acne or sun-damage . Chemical peels exfoliate the top layer of skin and can quicken cell turnover and prevent pores from becoming clogged. Glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid can be  used to control  acne, lessen  acne scars and reduce large pores. It is recommended to come in for a consultation so that the best treatment regimen can be determined.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

IPL for dull skin and sun spots

Use your funds for a course of IPL treatments that will help with redness and will stimulate some collagen.  You should see a dermatologist to help control your acne with topical prescription medication.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

IPL or Peel for uneven skin

Based on your pictures, I would choose a combination of Microdermabrasions and IPL sessions.  They will work together to improve all your concerns, with little or no downtime.  The microdermabrasion will keep your skin clear (help prevent acne and buildup) while the IPL will work on the sun spots and the redness you mentioned.  IPL is exceptionally effective at removing brown pigmented lesions such as age spots, sun spots, freckles and Melasma as well as diffuse redness such as rosacea leaving clearer, younger looking skin.
Treatments should be performed every 3-4 weeks for best results. Good Luck!

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Dull uneven skin sunspots and acne

It is hard to treat all of the above (Dull uneven skin, sun spots and acne) with one method.

For the sunspots (yours seem to be a combination of redness and pigmentation) IPL treatments would be very useful. The Aurora by Syneron would be a good choice.

It is unclear from your photos if you have a mild case of Rosacea (and Acne Rosacea). The IPL would be quite useful for Rosacea also.

Your acne seems to be mild.  It would probably respond to medical treatment.

Eugene Mandrea, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

I would recommend IPL

Based on your pictures, I would also note (and I'm sorry!) that you have a red, uneven skin coloring. I would suggest that IPL would be wonderful for you. Fair-skinned people with general tone and texture problems do very well with IPL. I would seek an experienced office (as in they have done at least a few thousand IPLs!) with different modalities (i.e., a few different machines) so that they can address multiple areas of concern for you. I prefer the Syneron FotoFacial SR/SRA machines as they have a few treatment heads on them for IPL that can address deeper browns as well as surface redness, most machines only do one or the other. I think if you find a good office, you will be very happy with IPL. I don't think the peels will do enough for you.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.