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
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.
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.
For best results, 3 treatments are typically recommended, about four weeks apart.
A photofacial is not a painful procedure, though some patients who are sensitive may describe a slight discomfort when asked. 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.
The length of treatment is dependent on the number of areas being treated. For reference, getting an IPL Photofacial on the face would take about 20 minutes.
IPL Photofacial results continue to improve over time, with best results 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.
Dr. Chaplik will ask you to thoroughly cleanse your skin, so you can either come with or without makeup. After the skin is clean, we apply a topical numbing gel to the area being treated. The laser is passed over the skin in a grid-like pattern, flashing the light about every centimeter. Depending on your need, we may overlap an area several times.
After the treatment, you will likely be slightly red and puffy, but there is no significant down time. You are free to reapply make up right away and return to your normal skin care routine. Be sure to stay out of the sun for at least the next week and be consistent in sun screen application.
As with any aesthetic treatment, there are risks; however, this is why you should only trust an experienced and board certified dermatologist. Patients with melasma will experience a darkening in those areas and should not be treated. Similarly, any patient who has been in the sun in the last 2 weeks may not be a good candidate.