Results Did Not Last for 40s Fair Skinned Patient

Mild freckling runs on my mom's side of the...

Mild freckling runs on my mom's side of the family, and in my teens, I laid out in the sun. In addition, I later took the pill for a number of years. All these factors contributed to melasma and uneven pigmentation, especially along the cheeks and sides of the face.

I underwent a series of IPL treatments at a spa. After first 3 treatments, it looked pretty good. There was a definite improvement, skin just appeared "cleaner" and brighter overall.

However, the results were extremely short-lived. Even though I wear a heavy-duty sunscreen daily and limit my time outdoors as much as I can (except for dog-walking), the pigmentation was back within 2 or 3 months. Further, the IPL did not remove any of the biggest spots.

Considering the money it cost and number of treatments required, I found it to be a poor investment.

My advice for those with stubborn spots is to get spot-laser treatment from a real dermatologist. I've done that before and with just one treatment, those spots were gone. (sure, new ones can form nearby but that's to be expected) Further, the spot treatment is much less expensive, usually just 200 - 300 depending on time required.

I find it extremely frustrating that it's almost impossible to get objective information on any cosmetic procedures. This allows spurious treatments and shoddy practitioners to flourish for years before the consumer 'catches on.'

IMO, the medical profession should be subjected to a Consumer Reports-type review, just like other products and services. Otherwise, all you get are anecdotal stories (mine included!) or hype from the doctor's website or (less objective still) the manufacturer of the treatment itself.

This site is a step in the right direction, but we really need a nationwide database that compiles results, and has a peer review process. Most people would be willing to pay $10 to join such a site, especially if it could save them thousands or prevent bad aesthetic outcomes.

Dermspa Laser

They are no worse than many such spas, I'm not down on the provider per se. I just wouldn't recommend many cosmetic centers as I think they overcharge and under-deliver.

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Comments (3)

I just wanted to respond. I have had 5 IPL treatments on my face and 3 on both my arms and hands. As far as the arms, I don't think I had enough done. I had severe sun damage from years of sun baking and tanning beds as a teen. With 3 treatments, I did see a 90% reduction in freckles though. In my hands, I did not see much of a difference after 3 treatments. Again, I most likely needed at least 5 to see a difference. As far as my face is concerned, I had 5 treatments done. I am fair-skinned and prone to freckling. After the treatments, I had clear and beautiful skin. I started the sessions when I was 32, and I am now 37. I am going back in for more treatments on the face as well as starting treatment on the chest for the first time. In my experience, if you have 5 or more sessions done in row, it will last for about 5 years. I hope this helps :)
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I have had IPL in the past. I am 37 now, and I was 32 at the time I received my first IPL treatments. I had the face, arms and hands done. I had 5 treatments for the face and 3 for the arms. I had extreme damage to the arms from sun baking and tanning beds when I was a teen, so I think I needed at least 5. It did get rid of 90% of the freckles though. As far as my face, I am prone to freckling, and after 5 treatments, my skin was clear and beautiful. As I mentioned, I am 37 now, and am going to go back in for 3 more treatments on the face. I would say that on average, wih 5 or more treatments, the IPL will last around 5 years. Hope that helps :)
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Thanks for your review. As a late 40's fair-skinned guy w/ fairly extensive sun damage, I am considering the (IPL) procedure. My concern is that the procedure seems largely temporary, & reoccurrence of of problem areas seems to occur after subsequent sun exposure (even w/ sunscreen). Patient reviews after some time has passed are most helpful to determine the extent of this problem. So, if you had IPL/PhotoFacial procedure done more than 3 months ago, please give us an update on whether your results are lasting, etc. Thanks...
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