Rejuvenate your Skin With IPL Photofacial
About IPL Photofacial-Rejuvenation
IPL (Intermittent Pulsed Light) Treatment is often used to even out skin color and improve the skin’s texture and tone. It helps to tighten pores and decrease brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles. It can be used on the face, neck, decollete’, arms, back and legs. IPL is a type of laser that has a broader beam of focus than other types of lasers that make it useful for a broad spectrum of skin types and problems and it has become popularly known as the “photofacial” treatment of choice for many women and men.
* Individual results may vary
IPL can reverse sun damage and decrease hyperpigmentation and brown spots due to sun exposure. It does so by causing superficial damage to the skin at the level of melanin-containing cells. After an IPL treatment the dead, pigment-containing cells will slough off over a period of 5-15 days. There is some downtime for the brown spots to first darken, then disappear. At Dr. Katie’s Beautiful You, we want our patients to be prepared to “look worse before they look better” for a few days. This is generally mild downtime and one does not have to miss work but cover-up makeup and timing to avoid big events need to be considered.
Since the IPL light wavelengths can also be set to target blood vessels, it can treat vascular lesions such as broken capillaries and blood vessels, telangiectasias and rosacea. The result is a reduction of those lesions within a few days to weeks. IPL is not the best treatment for larger blood vessels.
In addition to treating many lesions of the skin including sun spots and acne, IPL stimulates reproduction of beneficial components of the tissues like collagen and elastin. The increased collagen and elastin cause a plumping effect of the skin, making it smoother with decreased lines and wrinkles for an anti-aging treatment.
IPL generally has best results if done in a series of treatments approximately 4 weeks apart. The number of treatments will depend on the degree of damage to the skin undergoing treatments, but often a series of 2-3 are recommended for optimal results. There is a mild “zapping” sensation and some warmth with the IPL application that is quite tolerable. A numbing gel can be applied prior to treatments for those who are quite sensitive or apprehensive.
The overall improvements in the skin after IPL treatments have led it to being a very popular treatment modality for many skin types. However, it is NOT appropriate for dark-skinned individuals or when skin has been recently tanned, either by the sun or with chemicals. Under those circumstances, the IPL may cause more stimulation of the melanin-containing cells which ultimately leads to more brown spots. Dark or brown spots can also be an adverse consequence of any skin type/color if the pre- and post-op treatment instructions are not closely followed. Hair removal can be done with IPL but there are other lasers that are faster for large areas.
PRE/POST OP INSTRUCTIONS
Pre-op instructions are mainly to avoid recent sun exposure, chemical tanning of the treated areas or light-sensitizing medications such as tetracycline or retinoids. Please inform your doctor if there is a history of herpes. Prophylactic anti-viral medication may be necessary to prevent an outbreak. Decreased hair growth may occur in the treated areas. Men should shave on the day of treatment to avoid the hair being targeted during treatment.
Following the treatment, temporary redness and a stinging sensation (similar to a sun or wind burn) may occur and last for 2-48 hours. Cool cloths or ice packs may be applied to the areas as well as aloe vera and moisturizers. Post-treatment instructions include gentle, topical moisturizers and effective physical sunblock (with zinc and/or titanium) as well as avoiding direct and undue sun exposure. Hats, gloves and an effective sunblock of spf 30 or greater should be re-applied every 60 – 90 minutes whenever sun exposure is unavoidable. Heavy exercise and hot water to the treated areas should be avoided for the first 48 hours. Our office suggests that our patients cleanse with Cetaphil (or another mild cleanser) 1-2 times daily for 3 days post-op and also avoid powders and liquid make up foundation immediately after treatments to decrease any chance of infection in those areas.
Contrindications to IPL or any laser treatment include many autoimmune diseases and also pregnancy. In addition, treatments will not be done on areas of active skin eruptions or open lesions. Anyone who has been on Accutane or isotretinoin treatments within the last 12 months needs to postpone treatments to a later date.
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