The IPL photofacial is a skin laser treatment that is used to penetrate into the skin and treat blemishes and pigmentation, among many other concerns. This treatment is gentler than other skin treatment options, but is still highly effective for skin conditions such as facial flushing, rosacea and reddening, age spots and sun spots, enlarged pores, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. Based on your skin condition, your dermatologist will determine if the IPL photofacial is the optimum solution for you and your skin. Here are some important things to know about it.
What is the IPL Photofacial?
The IPL photofacial, sometimes called IPL photorejuvenation, is a laser treatment that can effectively treatment pigment and unfavorable blemishes. It does this by delivering intense pulsed light deep beneath the skin where it can constrict blood vessels, destroy cells that produce melanin, and jumpstart your skin’s collagen production. It doesn’t require any downtime and you can immediately return to your regular schedule, making it preferable to other resurfacing laser or skin treatments.
Our IPL photofacial system uses the Lumenis M22 system, which allows us to perform many different laser treatments, including vein treatment and laser resurfacing, with only one system. This laser system comes with changeable handpiece filters and guides, allowing optimal treatment of your unique areas. This handpiece also contains sapphire lightguides to cool the skin as it comes into contact with the light energy, meaning the surface of the skin is not affected by heat. This makes our IPL photofacial treatments comfortable and worry-free– and with great results, of course.
Candidates For IPL Photofacial
Patients who wish to improve their skin drastically with a gentle treatment and no side effects should consider themselves as prime candidates for the IPL photofacial. However, patients who are very tan or have dark skin can experience complications and hyperpigmentation with this procedure and may be dissuaded. It’s important to cease using any Vitamin A products on the skin before this treatment, since this can cause complications (if you have any hesitations about certain products, be sure to ask). Certain active skin conditions can be cause for delaying this treatment, as well as any recent sunburn or sun damage. For the best determination of your candidacy, you can meet with our skincare specialists who can professionally recommend the best skincare treatment for you.
The IPL Photofacial Procedure
During this procedure, only the damaged skin is targeted and unwanted melanin is eliminated. This occurs through very quick pulses of intense light, which affects only the deeper layers of the skin. This is a fairly quick procedure and requires only around 30 minutes to complete, depending on your treatment area. Patients with lower tolerance may experience some discomfort during this procedure, but we can supply a topical anesthetic if needed. Most patients report feeling something similar to the snap of a rubber band against the skin. This can be accompanied by a warming sensation as the light energy is applied to the skin, but a cooling gel is also applied to prevent too much heat and allow the handpiece to pass easily over the skin. Protective eyewear is required for this procedure, and you will need to remove any contact lenses if you wear them.
Results and Recovery
You may experience some mild redness and swelling afterward, but these symptoms can be easily controlled with the help of an ice pack. You can return to your regular schedule immediately. Most patients undergo a package of 3-5 treatments for best results, spaced about 4 weeks apart in order to give your skin time to recover. It’s very important to care for your skin during the first few days after recovery, most importantly with the use of an SPF30+ when going outside, since your skin will be photosensitive during this time. It’s also important to keep the treatment area moisturized and avoid certain products like skin makeup or Vitamin A, as well as avoiding sweating, perspiring, or exposing the skin to hot water. As with any skincare treatment, do not pick or scratch the treatment area, as this can cause infection. After the initial recovery period, most patients see results with just one treatment.
If you’ve been struggling with pigmentation, wrinkles, scars, or acne, the IPL Photofacial may be your best option. To see what this and other skincare treatments can do for you, contact our office to schedule a consultation with our dermatologists who can recommend a treatment plan.