A photofacial is a 30-minute procedure in which intense pulses of light are used to penetrate deep into the skin causing a.) collagen and blood vessels below the epidermis to constrict, reducing redness and age lines. or b.) fragmentation of excess melanin deposits. The procedure involves only minimal discomfort, while the redness and swelling that sometimes occur after treatment disappear shortly. Most benefits of a photofacial occur gradually in the weeks following treatment.
Photorejuvenation (IPL- Intense Pulsed Light) laser treatments are used for:
- Lightening and removing “sun spots”, “age spots”, and brown blotches on the face, neck, chest, hands and other areas of the body
- Lightening and reducing redness, rosacea, dilated blood vessels and “broken” blood vessels on the face, neck and chest
- Helping to control flushing
- It also has a lesser effect of improving skin texture through collagen stimulation and improves pore size minimally by temporarily reducing oiliness
IPL packages consist of a series of treatments, usually one every four weeks. The benefits of IPL treatments are achieved with little discomfort and minimal risk.
The laser/IPL device emits a range of lightwaves that are then tuned and targeted at hemoglobin (the red blood cells in the blood vessels) or melanin (the brown pigment in freckles and age spots). The light beam passes through the skin and is absorbed by either hemoglobin or melanin resulting in damage to the vessel wall or fragmenting of melanin pigment. These tiny vessels and the melanin pigment are then absorbed by the body, rendering them less visible.
Most people need a full series of at least 3 treatments about 1 month apart. You can see some improvement with each treatment, but it’s common for your response to be slightly different to each treatment. The more sun damage or redness you have, the more likely you are to need a full series. Some cases of severe redness or brown spots require more than 3 treatments. Expect to see gradual clearing over time.
After your initial series of treatments it is possible that a follow-up treatment in two or more years depending on skin care maintenance. Patients with rosacea may require regular maintenance treatments due the nature of flare-ups of this skin condition. Frequency depends on the severity of the condition. We will educate you in ways of caring for your skin to help diminish the need for future treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect to see after treatment and is ther any downtime?
Recovery with IPL Photofacial is minimal. Your face may be mildly red following the procedure but this will subside. Pigmented areas on your skin will become darker initially and then flake off over the following several days. You should be able to resume your daily activities immediately. With the treatment series, this procedure provides progressive treatment with very low risk. You will need to avoid sun exposure before, during and after IPL therapy. No treatment should be provided if you tan or continue to tan as the treated skin is highly sensitive to sun damage. Sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 40 is necessary for skin protection.
How does Palomar Pulsed Light work?
Palomar Systems use specialized handpieces which filter light from different parts of the spectrum. Each band of the spectrum has a wavelength that’s is ideal for different treatments, such as sunspot removal and vessel clearance. The Palomar Photofacial handpieces emit pulses of light into the skin. The light is absorbed by the pigment in sunspots and the blood in visible vessels, and converted to heat. The heat dissolves the cells and create the pigment and shrinks the vessels.
How is Palomar Pulse Ligh different from laser?
Pulsed light systems and lasers are very similar, but Palomar Pulsed Light Systems use a much larger treatment window than most lasers. This spreads light over a wider area of skin and allows faster coverage of the skin and quicker treatments as a result.
How do laser skin treatments rejuvenate the skin?
The Lux 1540 laser delivers heat to the deeper layers of the skin. This initiates the body’s natural healing process to promote new collagen and elastin production. This new collagen and elastin helps to improve the skin tone and texture, while also helping to re-volumize the skin.
What body areas can I get treated?
Any area, except directly around the eyes. The face, neck, chest, arms, back, and legs can all be treated.
What are Palomar Photofacial treatments like?
Your treatment provider will move the handpiece over your skin, pulsing it all the while. Each pulse will send a beam of light through your skin. A flashing light, an audible tone, and a mild sensation on the skin will tell you when the handpiece is being pulsed.
How many treatments will I need?
The Icon Photofacial treatments are more effective if performed in a series of sessions. Clinical studies indicate that an effective treatment regimen involves 3 to 5 treatments, spaced 4 weeks apart. Individual needs will vary based on sun damage and broken capillaries. You Laser Technician will be the best to recommend how many treatments you will need and what to expect.
Whay should I expect after treatment?
Immediately after treatment, you can expect a mild sunburn-like sensation, possibly accompanied by some minor swelling. This usually last 2-24 hours, and can be soothed with cold gel or ice packs.Sunspots/Sun Damage: The sunspots will darken after treatment and be naturally shed from the skin within 1-2 weeksRosacea: Skin tone will be more normal, with less pronounced redness within a week after treatment.Facial Veins: Vessels may disappear after treatment or they may appear darker and then fully or partially fade within 10-14 days. Typically, several treatments will be necessary to achieve complete clearance of sunspots, rosacea, and vessels.