• 2016-4-960

    What is a dermatologic surgeon?

    Part of a progressive medical subspecialty, ASDS member dermatologists perform medically necessary and cosmetic procedures to improve the health, function and beauty of skin through every stage of life.

  • 2016-3-960

    From forehead furrows to frown lines…

    Performing more than 5 million cosmetic procedures each year, ASDS member dermatologists offer many treatments that are less intense, safer and have quicker recovery times than ever before.

  • 2016-2-960

    3 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year

    Any suspicious new growths or changes should be examined by a dermatologist immediately. ASDS member dermatologists are trained to select the best treatment choice based on the individual patient.

  • 2016-1-960

    From excess fat to wrinkles…

    Offering a range of office-based cosmetic procedures, ASDS member dermatologists can select the appropriate treatment choice to meet your individual goals.

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In This Section

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for Aging Skin

Intense pulsed light therapy is a non-ablative treatment option. It uses an intense but gentle beam of light to treat aging skin conditions without damaging surrounding tissue. Pain and recovery time are typically minimal.  

Why choose intense pulsed light therapy for aging skin

Laser/light therapy can be used to lessen the appearance of such aging skin conditions as: 

  • Wrinkles 
  • Scarring 
  • Blemishes 
  • Sunspots 

Possible risks

As with any treatment, there are risks associated it, though they are minimized in the hands of a qualified ASDS dermatologist. These include: 

  • Pain 
  • Swelling 
  • Discoloration 
  • Bleeding 
  • Infection 
  • Scarring 
  • Crusting 

Estimated cost

The average cost for intense pulsed light therapy is about $700 to $1,200. Since this type of therapy is considered a cosmetic procedure, treatment usually isn’t covered by most medical insurance companies. Factors affecting cost include: 

  • Type of skin condition being treated. 
  • Size of skin condition being treated. 
  • Location of skin condition being treated. 
  • Number of offices visits required for treatment. 
  • Need for anesthesia, tests or prescriptions. 

How to prepare for the procedure

Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will usually review the patient’s medical history and conduct a physical exam. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. Patients also should: 

  • Avoid sunbathing, tanning beds, waxing, chemical peels or collagen injections for two weeks prior to the procedure. 
  • Avoid perfumes, deodorants or any potential irritants in the treatment area before and after treatment. 
  • Avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements due to increased risk of bleeding. 

What to expect after the procedure

Patients may not see any significant changes until several weeks after the surgery. Other post-procedure issues include: 

  • Treated area may be pink or red for four to eight hours or longer after treatment. 
  • A slight stinging sensation, similar to a mild sunburn in the treated area. This sensation usually subsides within four to six hours. Cool packs or moist cloths may be applied to reduce the sensation. 
  • Mild swelling in the treatment area that usually dissipates within several days. 

In addition, patients should:

  • Avoid applying makeup or lotion to the treated area for either 24 hours or until all signs or redness and stinging have dissipated. 
  • Apply a good moisturizing lotion to the treated area twice daily for the duration of the treatments and for at least three months after final treatment. 

Find a doctor for your aging skin treatment

Visit “Find a dermatologic surgeon” and choose "Light Therapy” from the dropdown menu. In 2013, ASDS dermatologists performed nearly 2.25 million laser/light/energy-based procedures, up from 1.68 million in 2012. Because ASDS dermatologists are trained in a variety of the best and latest techniques, they are the most qualified to evaluate and select the best treatment choice based on the individual patient’s condition. 

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