What is IPL Photofacial?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. Because light is involved, IPL treatment is also referred to as a photofacial. This nonsurgical, noninvasive procedure is performed in the office setting as a treatment for skin discoloration, rosacea, and other cosmetic problems that tend to develop on areas of skin that are exposed to the sun. The way that IPL treatment works is by emitting multiple wavelengths of light. Pass through the epidermis to affect the pigment-producing cells where spots and other concerns originate. When light is absorbed by the pigment in discolorations below the skin, it is drawn up to the uppermost surface where it can flake off easily.
Who Is An Ideal Candidate For IPL Photofacial?
Adults with a light to medium skin tone who have sustained visible sun damage make great candidates for IPL photofacial treatment. Sun damage, or photoaging, can present in a number of ways. Signs that you may be a good candidate for this treatment include:
- Gray, brown, or black, flat spots on your skin
- Irregular skin coloring
- Mottled skin caused by dilated capillaries
- Loose, sagging skin caused by the degradation of collagen and elastin
In addition to visible sun damage, IPL photofacial treatment is also a suitable way to treat:
- Spider veins
- Enlarged pores
- Mild acne scarring
- Fine lines and wrinkles
Common treatment areas include the:
What Are The Benefits Of IPL Photofacial?
IPL treatments are convenient and do not require a lot of downtime to recover. In addition, the safety and efficiency of this treatment have been proven through extensive clinical testing. The cosmetic benefits of IPL include brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin. The wavelengths in IPL treatment are effective at targeting the bacteria that cause breakouts, so treatment can both decrease visible scarring and also inhibit future acne flareups.
How Do I Prepare For IPL Treatment?
There are very few things that a patient needs to do to prepare for their IPL photofacial. After our consultation, we can provide detailed pre-treatment instructions. Expert tips to make the most of treatment include:
- Stop smoking weeks before treatment. The chemicals in cigarettes inhibit the proper circulation of oxygen to tissues. This can inhibit optimal healing after any type of surgery or cosmetic treatment, even IPL.
- Avoid sun exposure. Because IPL targets the pigment in the skin, it is best to schedule treatment when you do not have a tan. If you are undergoing a series of treatments, wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen every day.
- Avoid the use of retinoids and other skincare products that may be harsh on the skin.
- Do not apply skincare products or makeup the day of your appointment, if possible.
The IPL Photofacial Treatment
Before we begin treating the skin, we thoroughly cleanse the surface to remove oil and debris. This step is performed even if you arrive without makeup. A cool gel is then applied to the skin. This facilitates the transfer of light waves into the epidermis. A small handpiece is used to glide over the gel in a grid-like pattern. Pulses of light are administered approximately every centimeter across the treatment surface. In some cases, more than one pass is made over the skin.
IPL photofacial treatment involves the absorption of light energy into the deeper layers of the skin. Patients will feel this as a momentary snap that can feel like a rubber band on the skin. A warming sensation may also be felt. Patients express varying degrees of comfort during their treatment; some barely feel a thing and others find the snapping sensation mildly uncomfortable.
What Should I Expect After A Photo Facial Treatment?
Following the active portion of treatment, the skin is cleansed again to remove the gel. Patients should expect to look slightly swollen and red. Typically, this fades quickly enough to allow an immediate return to normal activities.
- Sunscreen is a necessary daily strategy after IPL treatment.
- Makeup can be applied immediately after treatment, if desired.
- Spots, freckles, and tiny blood vessels darken for several days after treatment.
- As spots reach the surface, they can become crusty and flake off. This may occur for a week to 10 days.
- Mild bruising may occur in some patients and can last a week or two.
How Soon Will I See The Results Of The IPL Treatment?
The results of IPL treatment appear gradually over 10 to 14 days as spots surface and slough off. Depending on the degree of improvement that is needed, some patients require more than one treatment to see noticeable results. IPL photofacial treatment achieves long-term results that last one year or more.
How Many IPL Treatments Will I Need?
Your provider can estimate the number of treatments you may need after observing your skin and discussing your desired outcome. Most patients achieve excellent results with a series of 3 to 5 treatments scheduled approximately one month apart.
Schedule a Consultation
If your skin has taken a beating from years of sun exposure, IPL photofacial treatment may be ideal for you. Learn more during a consultation at Vein Center Houston. Call (713) 349-8346 to arrange your visit.