What is an IPL Photofacial?
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is intense pulsed light used for photorejuvenation of discolored, botchy skin, sun damage and age lines. It is nonsurgical treatment to fade sun damage, age spots, melasma, rosacea, broken capillaries, and diffuse redness. Treatment areas can include the face, neck, chest, shoulders, back and hands. It is a great way to clean up sun damage and redness and gain a radiant complexion.
How does IPL work?
IPL therapy uses an intense, yet gentle beam of light to penetrate the skin and obliterate problem spots without damaging the surrounding skin. The result is a more even skin tone, and skin brightening for a refreshed appearance, and glowing skin.
The IPL device also gently heats the cells in the dermis (deeper skin layers) stimulating them to produce more collagen, which smooths texture, and age lines.
How many IPL treatments will I need?
That depends on your specific condition. For best results, Dr. Powell may recommend a series treatments to reach your goals.
What are the risks?
IPL treatments are very safe and in qualified hands there is little risk of problems.
Who is a good candidate for IPL?
People who have age spots, brown spots, freckles and vascular lesions like small blood vessels, and redness, as well as enlarged pores and wrinkles. Treatment can stimulate a herpes breakout, so be sure to tell Dr. Powell and he will prescribe medication to protect against that. IPL is not recommended for people of color.
How to prepare for your IPL treatment
You may be asked to prepare for treatment by avoiding the sun, using a high SPF sun screen, and discontinuing the use of any anti-aging creams, topical Retin A, vitamin C or acids, or exfoliation one week before treatment. Dr. Powell may recommend that you use a bleaching agent before treatment.
The IPL procedure
A topical anesthetic will be applied and will take 30 min to take effect. The light handpiece will be applied to the areas to be treated, and you may feel a sensation like snapping rubber band.
The treatment draws out the microscopic pigmentation, even if it is not visible at the start, and may take longer to resolve than the more superficial spots. Treatment on the face is aimed at getting deep or multilayered, and usually requires a series of treatment to achieve the best results.
What to expect after IPL treatment
Treatment may cause some temporary swelling and pinkness for a day or two. You will feel like you have a sunburn that usually subsides within a few hours. Dark spots will get darker and then flake off around 7-10 days after treatment.
After each treatment, it is essential that you stay out of the sun, and wear sun screen because your skin will be sensitive to sun for several weeks. This is why fall and winter are often called the best times for IPL, and this is also a good time to adopt good sun protection habits. Remember that it in large part your red and brown spots and discolorations are result of sun damage. Mineral based sun screen is the least irritating to the skin.
At Powell Cosmetic Surgery in San Diego we offer innovative nonsurgical procedures that offer significant improvement with minimal downtime and without going under the knife. When you are considering how to address your sun damaged, aging skin, an IPL photofacial at Powell Cosmetic Surgery can restore healthy skin and rejuvenate your appearance.