WHAT IS INTENSE PULSED LIGHT (IPL)?
IPL Photorejuvenation uses light energy to improve and eradicate brown spots caused by the sun and aging, broken blood vessels and blotchy redness. Intense Pulsed Light is similar to a laser, but uses multiple wavelengths of light. This “Photofacial” also improves texture by stimulating collagen production in the skin. This makes pores appear smaller, and makes fine lines less noticeable. It works best in fair skinned patients. Generally 3-5 treatments spaced about 3 weeks apart are necessary to achieve the best results.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
Light of multiple wavelengths passes through a rectangular crystal into the skin. The entire face is treated in one 10 minute session. The neck, chest, arms and back of the hands may also be treated very safely and effectively.
IS IPL PAINFUL?
There is a slight stinging sensation with each pulse of light. A topical numbing cream may decrease discomfort. Topicaine, a very effective anesthetic gel, may be purchased in our office. Alternatively, LMX 4 or 5% cream (which is slightly more expensive than Topicaine) may be ordered from your pharmacy without a prescription. See Pre-IPL instructions for details.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS OR SIDE EFFECTS OF TREATMENT?
Slight redness and temporary darkening of freckles and brown spots after each treatment are expected. Occasionally slight swelling occurs under the eyes. More serious side effects are rare, but most can be avoided by proper sun avoidance before and after the procedure. Possible adverse effects include discoloration (lightening or darkening), prolonged redness, bruising, significant swelling or extremely rarely blistering or scarring. During the intense pulsed light treatment, shields are worn to protect the eyes.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO MAINTAIN MY RESULTS?
The best way to maintain results is to protect the skin from the sun. Rosacea patients may need to use topical or oral medicines to prevent blood vessels from returning. One or two intense pulsed light photofacials per year are helpful in some patients to keep brown spots, blood vessels and fine lines at bay.
The IPL Photofacial treats
- Sun Damage
- Brown Spots/Pigmentation