What is an IPL or PhotoFacial?
Intense Pulse Light also known as a PhotoFacial, is an amazing
non-invasive, no down-time procedure that uses the power of light to
rejuvenate your skin. It addresses several issues such as the signs
of rosacea, flushing, sun damaged skin, age spots, skin texture, and
photo aging. Patients have also reported improvement with mild acne
scars, large pore reduction, correction of dark circles around the
eyes, and reduction of fine lines. Many body areas can be treated
including face, neck, chest, arms and other areas. The IPL is one of
the most powerful and effective treatments available to maintain a
more youthful and even complexion. Best results are achieved with a
series of treatments and a consultation is required.
How does an IPL treatment work?
An intense light is applied in a series of pulses over the treatment
area. The light energy safely targets the pigmented lesions such as
freckles, sun spots and age spots. Vascular lesions are also
targeted and gradually lightened over a series of treatments. The
brown spots will darken and come to the surface before sloughing off
over the next one to two weeks.
What can I expect when receiving a treatment?
First, your laser technician will cleanse the area that is being
treated and then apply a cool gel. IPL shields will then be placed
over your eyes and the actual treatment will begin. You may still
see a flash of light as the energy is being delivered. There is a
minimal discomfort that is associated with this treatment. After
treatment, the gel is removed, the skin cleansed, and a sun block is
applied. After the first treatment, a topical anesthesia can be used
for maximum comfort if desired. Your Laser Technician will also
recommend products for home care to maximize your skin rejuvenation.
What are the side effects of an IPL?
Side effects are minimal. Immediately following treatment, the skin
may appear flushed, brown pigmented spots may appear darker, and
capillaries may be more visible. You may also feel like you have a
light sunburn sensation for 2-3 hours after the treatment. In rare
instances, temporary swelling, bruising, blistering, crusting, or
thicker lesions can occur. Limiting sun exposure for several weeks
before and after treatment will greatly minimize the risk of
complications. The brown pigmented spots take approximately one to
two weeks to slough off.
What improvement will I see?
Patients will see a significant reduction of brown and red areas of
pigmentation in the skin as well as a reduction in small red blood
vessels after a series of 3-5 treatments. Improvement in tone and
texture of skin along with decreased appearance in pore size may
also be experienced. The skin will look refreshed and rejuvenated.
How many treatments will I need?
For optimal results, a series of 3-5 treatments are recommended with
3-4 weeks in between each treatment. After a series is completed, a
maintenance treatment is recommended 1-2 times per year or as
directed by our office.
Before and After Photos
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Photos Courtesy of Brian Stolley, MD