Photofacials are for those bothered by sun damage, age spots, melasma, broken blood vessels, freckles and fine lines.
Both the pleasures and stresses of life, along with the simple passage of time, tend to cause our skin to appear older. And the signs of aging and sun damage are typically most visible on the face. Intense Pulsed Light is a non-ablative, non-wounding, laser which is intended for patients desiring evenness of color in their complexions, or those showing signs of sun damage and photoaging.
IPL treatments utilize intense visible pulsed light to effectively treat skin conditions. The experienced physician, physician assistant or technician of a pulsed light device can customize settings to select the wavelengths, number of pulses, duration of pulses, delay between pulses, and power delivered to best match the relative depth, size, and absorption characteristics of the imperfection. This flexibility and variability allows the knowledgeable physician to maximize results and minimize side effects -- a much broader range of possible settings than available in any single or even in many combinations of laser treatments.
The process begins with a consultation, a treatment plan and schedule is designed for specific skin types and areas that will respond best to IPL technology. The informed consent process involves a discussion of the procedure, enumeration of risks, discussion of anticipated results, and presentation of alternative options. During this consultation, you have an opportunity to ask questions. Your understanding of benefits and risks is necessary for informed consent to take place.
By dividing the full program into several treatments, the procedure provides gradual improvement. Skin texture becomes smoother, skin tone more even and pore size and wrinkles will be reduced. This procedure is for people who don’t want to take time off to heal from laser resurfacing or deep chemical peels indicated for active people who don’t want to interfere with social or outdoor activities.
Indications for Treatment:
The IPL treatment receives a high degree of satisfaction because there is no downtime, no scarring and discomfort is minimal.
Conditions for IPL treatment include:
1. Young patients with milder degrees of skin damage or early aging changes
2. Rejuvenation of skin of the face, neck, chest, arms or hands
3. Pigment changes/sun damage or aging skin
4. Ruddy skin appearances ("dyschromia") - rosacea, red chests and necks
5. Enlarged pores
6. Fine lines and wrinkles
7. Telangiectasia (veins)
8. Unwanted freckles
9. Hyperpigmentation or brown spots
The area should be cleansed and all makeup or creams removed
A topical anesthetic may be applied 2 and 1 hour prior to treatment
Each treatment takes approximately 25 to 40 minutes
It is very important to avoid tanning before and after treatments
What to Bring to Each Appointment:
Sun Block with 30-45 SPF protection, Hydrocortisone Cream
The Procedure will include
The following risks include:
when a shot is triggered, some patients experience various degrees of discomfort. Some describe the sensation as stinging, while others liken it to a rubber band snap. A burning sensation may last for up to an hour after treatment. Most adults and older children are able to tolerate this discomfort, but some patients may require a topical anesthetic such as emla cream or ice.
Damage to natural skin texture
A crust or blister may form, which may take from five to ten days to heal.
Change of pigmentation
There may be a change of pigmentation in the treated area. Most cases of hypo- or hyper-pigmentation occur in people with darker skin, or when the treated area has been exposed to sunlight before or after treatment. In some patients, hyper-pigmentation occurs despite protection from the sun. This discoloration usually fades in three to six months. Hypopigmentation may last up to 12 to 24 months, and in rare cases may be permanent.
There is a very small chance of scarring on dark skin, such as enlarged hypertrophic scars. In very rare cases, on genetically predisposed skin, abnormal, large, raised keloid scars may appear. To reduce the chance of scarring it is important to carefully follow all post-treatment instructions.
Immediately after treatment, the skin may swell temporarily, especially on the nose and cheeks. Swelling usually subsides within three to seven days.
The skin at or near the treatment site may become fragile. If this happens, makeup should be avoided and the area should not be rubbed, as this might tear the skin.
Treatment may cause a blue-purple bruise at the treated area, which may last from five to fifteen days. As the bruise fades, there may be rust-brown discoloration of the skin, which usually takes one to three months to fade.
If any of the above occurs, there may be chance of infection at the site
there may be some change in color of the pigment in the site area
There is a rare possibility of scarring in the site area
There may be poor cosmetic outcome
Cold packs may be used for ten minutes after treatment for delicate skin
Immediately following a treatment, the skin may appear pink and flushed
Gentle cleansing and sun protection are important while the skin is sensitive
No bruising, swelling, discomfort or downtime
Shows gradual improvement with very low risk
Post Treatment Care for Photofacials
Cold (not frozen) packs can be applied immediately after treatment, to cool the treatment site, reduce swelling and ease discomfort. Chemical cold packs are not recommended, if their temperature is below 4° C.
In most cases, the low energy, low risk nature of IPL Skin Treatments make it safe to resume virtually all regular activities.
Exposure to Sunlight
Patients should use a high factor (30-45 SPF) sunblock, protect the treated area from exposure to sunlight and avoid artificial tanning for at least one month following treatment. Tanning after treatment sessions may enhance melanin regeneration, which may result in hyper-pigmentation.
Avoid wearing makeup for a 2-3 hours following treatment. The skin may be sensitive during this period, and removing makeup, especially if it is difficult to remove, may damage the skin and predispose the site to infection. If the treatment site scales or cakes notify office immediately and stop wearing makeup.
If there are any adverse effects, treatment should be discontinued until the treatment site has healed and the reason for the adverse reaction is understood.
Patients should return for a subsequent treatment in approximately four weeks. In general one treatment per decade of life then one treatment annually is recommended.