IPL Laser Treatments

Photorejuvenation

At the Belfast Skin Clinic’s dedicated laser suite, we have installed the Lumenis M22 IPL laser for the treatment of over 30 skin conditions. The appearance of sun spots, age spots, spider veins, rosacea, capillaries and redness can all be reduced significantly.

Redness/Facial marks

Facial redness appears for several reasons: sun damage, acne scarring, rosacea, other types of scarring, sensitive skin and genetics. The redness can be constant or become more noticeable with certain trigger factors such as heat, wind and exercise. An increased number of superficial blood vessels, combined with sensitive skin or skin that flushes easily, leads to an increased red appearance of the skin.

Leg and Face Thread Vein Removal

Thread veins, or spider veins, are very small veins which can be seen on the skin as thin bluish-red lines and often appear on the face and legs. Whilst thread veins do not cause any symptoms or pain, their visibility can cause distress and insecurity in those affected. Our advanced laser technology is able to provide a highly effective treatment which yields quick and permanent results. Thread veins occur naturally but their appearance can be exacerbated by several common factors including age, overexposure to the sun, pregnancy and rosacea (skin redness).

Sun Damage (Photo-ageing)

Our IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) technology gently and effectively minimises the appearance of sun damage, discolouration, facial thread veins and conditions such as rosacea. Most people can safely receive IPL but a consultation with your healthcare professional is always recommended to understand how the process works and manage expectations in terms of results.

How it works

The laser emits a range of lightwaves that are then tuned and targeted at haemoglobin (the red blood cells in the blood vessels) or melanin (the brown pigment in freckles and age spots). The light beam passes through the skin and is absorbed by either haemoglobin or melanin resulting in damage to the vessel wall or fragmenting of melanin pigment. These tiny vessels and the melanin pigment are then absorbed by the body, rendering them less visible.

The treatment

Your medical specialist will put glasses or eyepads over your eyes to protect them. A cool gel is then placed on the skin being treated. The smooth glass surface of the handpiece is gently applied to your skin and pulses of light flash. You may feel a very slight sting, like the snapping of a small rubber band.

At the end of the treatment, the nurse wipes off the gel, cleans the area with a warm cloth, and applies a moisturiser with sunscreen. If there is any mild swelling, you might be given a cold pack to apply for five or ten minutes.

Laser Hair Removal/Reduction

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light to remove unwanted hair. During laser hair removal, the laser emits a light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. The light energy is converted to heat, which damages the tube-shaped sacs within the skin (hair follicles) that produce hairs. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.

Results vary significantly and are difficult to predict. Most people experience hair removal that lasts several months, and it might last for years, but laser hair removal doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal. When hair regrows, it’s usually finer and lighter in colour. You might need maintenance laser treatments for long-term hair reduction.

The basic principle is that the pigment of the hair, but not the pigment of the skin, should absorb the light. The laser should damage only the hair follicle while avoiding damage to the skin. Therefore, a contrast between hair and skin colour — dark hair and light skin — results in the best outcomes.

Prior to treatment

Before treating the selected area, care must be taken to closely shave the area being treated. This allows the laser to focus on the follicle below the skin surface and improve overall results. We would advise patients not to wax or use depilatory creams to get rid of unwanted hair as these can completely remove hair root from the follicle meaning the laser has no hair root to target. Patients are also advised to refrain from tanning and the application of fake tan prior to treatment.

What happens during treatment?

As with photorejuvenation, cold gel is applied to the skin and as light pulses are administered, you may feel moderate stinging or heat. As the gel is removed following treatment, much of the hair comes away with it while the remaining hair in the treated area, will shed over the following several weeks.

How many sessions are required?

The IPL hair removal treatment is generally recommended in courses of four to six sessions to achieve the best long-term results. Many report significant hair reduction after just one session.

Following Treatment

You may experience some redness and swelling of the area immediately following treatment. This is a positive indication that the hair follicles have responded to the laser treatment. Although you may resume normal activities straight away, we do advise remaining out of direct sunlight for several days and applying sunscreen for added protection.