Why Do Men Bet On IPL?
No, not the cricket one! Aesthetics for men is buzzing with Intense Pulse Light (IPL) treatments to reduce visible sun damage and signs of ageing. It’s a bet that will not go wrong.
“Who O who knows the art of getting men to use skincare?” That’s the lamenting cry of women as they try to get their fathers, brothers and husbands to follow a proper skincare routine. Having lived under the cloak of misconception that skincare is for women and models/actors, men are slowly waking up to the fact that they need to invest time and effort in maintaining their skin’s health. Pumping iron in the gym is simply not enough. Skincare is a part of holistic wellness and men better get serious about it real soon.
But why the urgency? That’s because you men wake up every morning, rinse your face with soap or facewash and walk out in the sun, leaving your skin exposed and ready to be photo-damaged. Harmful UV rays can cause pigmentation, melasma, wrinkles, dryness, open pores, laxity and increase chances of skin cancer. If you have been subjecting your skin to this onslaught, stop immediately. Make moisturiser and sunscreen a part of your daily routine, and learn more about Intense Pulse Light (IPL) to reverse the damage to your skin.
What is IPL?
“IPL a.k.a photofacial or photorejuvenation also helps in stimulating collagen production and can be great for sun damaged skin or even just ageing skin,” clarifies Dr Apratim Goel, Medical Director and Founder, Cutis Skin Studio, Mumbai.
It is a popular treatment to reduce signs of ageing, unwanted hair and scars. It is an in-clinic treatment that involves the use of the IPL device, which has to be operated by a trained practitioner only. Unlike a laser, the IPL device delivers multiple wavelengths and uses light energy to treat the affected areas. The IPL device can cover larger areas than a regular laser device.
Dr Goel states, “IPL uses light energy to target certain skin cells. Depending on the wavelength of light, it can reduce vascular lesions, treat acne, remove unwanted hair or treat pigmentation. Men suffer from pigmentation, sun damage, open pores, and skin laxity due to their skin type and internal and external factors that work on the skin.”
How does it work?
“The mechanism behind IPL is that the light energy in the wavelengths of 1200 nm spectrum (visible spectrum) are absorbed by the dermis, triggering a reaction, which stimulates formation of new collagen and elastin,” explains Dr Goel.
As the light energy is used to target pigmented cells, the heat from the wavelength breaks down the cell, leaving the body to discard the damaged cell naturally. As men have a different skin type and texture to women, and are more prone to sun exposure, the damage to their skin is also intensive. This makes it difficult for topical applications to single-handedly undo the damage. In-clinic treatments such as the IPL help in resolving the damage faster. “It works best for textural irregularities, fine lines, and wrinkles,” says Dr Goel.
The IPL treatment is administered using a handheld device. While you might experience a pinching sensation as the light energy passes through, the overall treatment is quite pain-free. In certain cases, the dermatologist might apply local anaesthetic or a cooling gel. After effect of the treatment is slightly reddened sensitive skin, and in some cases, there might be mild swelling. Ask your doctor for topical applications to take care of these symptoms.
Although IPL is a day procedure and there is no downtime as such, there are a number of steps that are to be followed for minimal discomfort during the treatment. Make sure you are not partaking in activities such as sun bathing, waxing, subcutaneous injections and chemical peels. Avoid using deodorant or perfume on the treated area. Avoid working out, lifting heavy loads or any other physical activity that might result in excessive sweating. Inform your doctor of all the medicines, including supplements and Ayurvedic/herbal medicines, that you might be taking before the IPL treatment.
Your dermatologist will decide upon the number of sessions that you may require depending on the area of skin under treatment and the extent of the damage. For men, an IPL treatment works quite well as it takes into account their skin texture, works effectively on photo damage and signs of ageing, is a lunch-time procedure and comes with minimal post-treatment care. IPL can also be combined with other aesthetic treatments and focused skincare at-home to get rid of major skin concerns that men have including dryness, loss of elasticity and tanning. So, if there is one in-clinic treatment you can bet on for great results, it’s IPL!
*Consult your dermatologist for contraindications.
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