Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Photofacial is a laser light treatment that targets pigment issues, such as brown spots, sun damage and red spots, and Rosacea. The bright light passes through the epidermis, drawing out the pigment producing cells and dispersing the uneven pigment. IPL Photofacial can be used on the face, neck, chest, shoulders, back arms, legs and just about anywhere else. Photofacial is also an effective treatment for broken veins and spider veins. According to Stanford Medical University, the long-term effects of Photofacial actually reverse the signs of aging (PDF).
What Does IPL Photofacial Treat?
- Brown and Red Spots
- Sun Damage
- Spider Veins
- Rosacea (enlarged facial blood vessels)
- Pigment Imperfections
How Does IPL Photofacial Work?
IPL Photofacial is Intense Pulsed Light that emits multiple wavelengths into the skin and effectively targets pigment producing cells below the surface of the skin. The light energy is converted to heat energy and destroys the hyperactive melanin producing cells in the layers of your skin, eventually dispersing pigmented areas. The spots are pulled to the surface, eventually turning into a coffee-ground-like texture that eventually flakes off revealing beautiful, radiant skin beneath.
Who Is/Is Not a Good Candidate for IPL Photofacial?
Those with a higher Fitzpatrick score, those with a tan and those with melasma are not good candidates. Because the light rays are attracted to pigment, darker skin tones can actually become discolored and melasma patches can become darker.
How Many IPL Photofacial Treatments Do I need?
For best results, 3-5 treatments are typically recommended, about four weeks apart.
Is IPL Photofacial Painful?
Photofacial would not necessarily be called painful, but it can be a a little uncomfortable. Patients liken the feeling to a rubber band snapping on their skin. The light from the laser is also quite bright, which may be uncomfortable for some with light sensitivity.
How Long Do IPL Photofacial Results Last?
Photofacial results perpetually improve over time, with best results being seen three months after the last treatment. Sun protection and skin care maintenance are essential to the longevity of the results. Sunburns and over exposure will bring back old spots and freckles and dullness will return if proper exfoliation during daily routines are neglected. A new series of treatments are recommended every year for optimal results. Those with an ongoing condition such as rosacea should have annual treatments to maintain their results.