Say Goodbye to Sunspots: How IPL Treats Skin Discoloration

Sunspots and various forms of skin discoloration can affect the skin’s appearance, creating an uneven tone that many find undesirable. At Trouvaille Med Spa in Bourbonnais, IL, we offer a range of options tailored to address these specific issues, so you can get the care you want for your skin.

IPL treatments, or intense pulsed light therapy, can target and mitigate skin discoloration issues and help patients have a more uniform skin tone. This treatment can be a suitable option for patients seeking a non-invasive way to improve the look and feel of their skin.

What Causes Different Types of Skin Discoloration

Sunspots and Age Spots

Sunspots, also known as liver spots or solar lentigines, predominantly appear on skin that has been exposed to the sun over a long period of time. These small, darkened patches are the result of an excess production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. While commonly occurring in older adults, hence the term “age spots,” they can affect younger individuals too, especially those who spend considerable time in the sun.

Rosacea and Redness

Rosacea is an irritating and chronic skin concern where the skin can be red and have small, red, pus-filled bumps. It often begins after age 30 and can worsen over time if untreated. The exact cause of rosacea remains unknown, but it may be linked to hereditary and environmental factors such as sun exposure and extreme temperatures. This condition is not simply cosmetic but can cause discomfort and, in severe cases, skin thickening.


Hyperpigmentation involves darkened areas of skin resulting from the overproduction of melanin. Various factors can trigger this condition, including exposure to the sun, inflammation, other skin injuries, or conditions such as acne. Unlike localized discolorations like sunspots, hyperpigmentation can occur in larger areas of the skin. This condition affects people of all skin types, but it can be more prevalent and lasting in those with darker skin tones.

What Is IPL Treatment?

Intense pulsed light therapy uses a broad spectrum of light to address various skin concerns. This versatile approach allows for the treatment of different types of skin discoloration by targeting the melanin or blood vessels responsible. During an IPL treatment, the light energy is absorbed by the targeted areas, initiating the body’s natural healing process without damaging the surrounding skin.

What Can IPL Treat?

  • IPL for Rosacea: This treatment can help reduce the redness and flushing associated with the condition, soothing irritation and improving the appearance of the skin.
  • IPL for Hyperpigmentation: IPL can target dark areas and places that have increased pigmentation due to previous injury or scarring. 
  • IPL for Sunspots: We use IPL for age spots and sunspots to help diminish the appearance of damage caused by sun exposure.
  • IPL for Redness: This treatment can help minimize overall facial redness and reduce fine blood vessels.

How Can IPL Treat Skin Discoloration?

IPL treatment works by emitting light energy that specifically targets colors in the skin such as brown, red, and pink. This light energy is absorbed by pigmented areas or visible blood vessels, causing them to heat up and be broken down by the body. For instance, in sunspot treatment, the light energy focuses on the darker pigmented areas, effectively breaking them down over time and allowing the darker portions to slough off after several days. The treatment is adept at distinguishing between normal skin and irregular pigments, ensuring that only the areas of discoloration are affected.

The IPL Treatment Process for Skin Discoloration

Examining and Diagnosing the Areas of Discoloration

The first step in the IPL treatment process involves a careful examination of the skin to identify the specific areas and types of discoloration. This stage helps us determine the most effective approach to treatment. By understanding the depth and cause of the skin changes, a tailored plan can be developed to address each patient’s unique skin concerns.

Pre-Treatment Skin Preparation

Preparing the skin for skin rejuvenation begins with ensuring it is clean, dry, and free of any products. Patients may be advised to avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, and certain skincare products that could affect the skin’s sensitivity or reaction to the treatment. This preparation phase is essential for minimizing risks and maximizing the effectiveness of the IPL session.

Adjusting the IPL Device Settings

Before starting the treatment, the IPL device settings are meticulously adjusted according to the patient’s skin type, the area being treated, and the specific skin concern. This customization of IPL treatment parameters is vital for honing in on the discoloration effectively while preserving the surrounding skin’s integrity.

The IPL Treatment

During the IPL photofacial, the device emits light pulses that penetrate the skin to reach the areas of discoloration. Patients may feel a mild snapping sensation as the light hits the skin. The treatment usually lasts from a few minutes to half an hour, depending on the size of the area being addressed. Post-treatment, cooling gels or packs may be applied as advised by your doctor to soothe the skin.

Tips for Reducing Coloration Changes in Your Skin

  • Protect Your Skin From the Sun: Always wear sunscreen and seek shade when the sun is at its peak to reduce the risk of developing sunspots and premature aging. You can also consider hats and other types of clothing to shield the areas you want to protect. 
  • Do Not Pick Acne: Picking or squeezing acne can lead to scarring and hyperpigmentation. To prevent long-term discoloration, treat acne with appropriate skincare products and resist the urge to pick.
  • Exfoliate Your Skin: Regular exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and can improve the efficacy of topical treatments. This process can help you achieve a more even skin tone, complementing the effects of an IPL photofacial by preparing the skin and promoting healthier, rejuvenated skin.

Treat Your Skin to an IPL Photofacial in Bourbonnais, IL

IPL treatment offers a non-invasive solution to various skin discolorations, enhancing your skin’s natural beauty and uniformity. At Trouvaille Med Spa in Bourbonnais, IL, we use this technology to effectively address your skin concerns. For more information or to schedule a consultation, reach out to us via our online form or call us directly at (815) 680-5757.

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