A Guide to IPL Photofacials

While virtually everyone wants to have brighter, smoother, and more youthful looking skin, not all are prepared for the risks or recovery time that come along with some cosmetic procedures.  The competitive market of anti-aging procedures has taken note of this fact and continue to create beneficial treatments that require little if any down time.  Photo rejuvenation is the latest in modern dermatology and allows patients to transform their complexion with just a few treatments.  IPLs have been offered at dermatologists and spas for years now, but they are still among the most effective and beneficial treatments that both men and women of all ages can undergo.


IPL photofacials, also known as Pulsed Light Therapy, use a handheld device that emits pulses of broad spectrum light through direct contact with the skin.  IPL photo facials act on the deeper layers of the skin and are ideal for treating broken capillaries, sun damage, and other impurities.  Patients with the following may also benefit from an IPL:

*  Rosacea

*  Liver (age) spots

*  Hyperpigmentation

*  Spider veins

*  Freckles

*  Fine lines

*  Acne breakouts

*  Texture changes

During a photofacial treatment, high energy light waves are used to reduce or in some cases completely eliminate many common effects of aging, including wrinkles and skin discolorations.  The IPL works by breaking down the brown and red pigment in the cells beneath the skin’s surface.  The pigment is responsible for most facial blemishes.  The IPL light also stimulates the production of collagen, a natural protein that fills in wrinkles.  The addition of collagen is beneficial as it helps to create a more supple and youthful look.

So what can one expect before, during and after an IPL photofacial?  Before the procedure, the client will be given protective eyewear to protect from the bright flashes of light.  A cool gel is applied to the treatment area to lubricate the handpiece while at the same time cool the epidermis during the treatment.  During the procedure, the client will feel a warm sensation brought on by the handpiece.  The sensation from the light has often been described as that of a “snap” from a rubber band.  The number of pulses received will depend on the size of the area being treated.   Intense pulse light therapy is most commonly performed on the face, however, the neck, shoulders, back, and even the hands are treatable areas.  Essentially any area that is exposed to the sun and the elements is a candidate for the treatment.

Immediately after the treatment, the treated area will appear slightly red or flushed.  This is quite normal.  Because there is very little damage done to the skin during the treatment, the recovery time from an IPL is minimal.  The side effects of an IPL photofacial will dissipate shortly after the treatment but for some patients, the redness or dark spots may take up to a week to fade.  This is more common for patients with severe acne who are being treated more aggressively.

Photofacial treatments can give excellent results but it is imperative that the client protects their skin for several weeks after treatment.   It is important to avoid the sun for several days and to wear plenty of sunscreen following an IPL.  It is suggested that one receive five full face IPL sessions spaced three weeks apart for optimal results.  With each treatment, however, the results become more pronounced so it is not unusual to see the benefits of this treatment early on.

Ideal candidates for photofacials are those with white, untanned skin that is still somewhat elastic.  When performed on the right person, the procedure will effectively improve skin texture, eliminate discolorations, reduce pore size, and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.  IPL treatments have also been proven to greatly benefit those who have rosacea, a condition that causes blotchy redness in the face.

People with tanned or dark skin may experience changes in skin pigmentation after an IPL which is why they are not always good candidates for the procedure.  Those who have darker skin tones may wish to discuss possible side effects with their treatment provider prior to the procedure.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of an IPL is that it treats a wide range of skin problems.  With an IPL treatment, clients can have a single treatment and address multiple skin conditions, rather than having to undergo several procedures and address problematic areas one at a time.   In addition, it has a smaller risk of burns and scarring than other laser treatments.

At dermani MEDSPA®, we are committed to helping our clients achieve all of their skin care goals.  If you would like to see if you could benefit from an IPL photofacial, call us today to schedule your free consultation at 770-212-2242 or go online to schedule at dermanimedspa.com.

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