Intense Pulse Light (IPL)

photofacial

IPL (aka Photofacial) is a technology similar to laser used to diminish pigmentation and treat diffuse redness. Instead of a single wavelength of light as with a laser, IPL uses a bright light and the light energy penetrates just below the skin's surface, damaging either the melanin (skin pigment) or blood vessels. The body's natural repair mechanisms then remove the damaged tissue and produce a smoother skin appearance. IPL is great for age spots caused by sun damage, but not wrinkles. It will usually take multiple treatments (3-6 treatments) to see a significant result and treatments can be spaced out every 3-4 weeks. *IPL is NOT recommended for darker skin type V-VI

 

HOW DOES IT FEEL:

IPL can be uncomfortable at the time of treatment. Some say it feels like a rubber band snap on your skin. Post treatment, IPL has been described to feel like a sunburn. If you have a low pain tolerance and feel you may not be able to tolerate the IPL, be sure to voice your concerns to you provider during your consultation. The number of treatments need vary from patient to patient. A consultation is needed to determine if you are a candidate for IPL.

 

COMMON SIDE EFFECTS:

The most common side effects effects are mild, temporary swelling, redness, temporary darkening of pigmentation, scabbing/crusting, and an occasional bruise or small superficial blister (like a sunburn blister). Not everyone will experience all common side effects. There is a possibility of wounds (burning/blistering/bleeding of treated areas), wound/infection, and scarring. All are a possibility any time a treatment causes disruption of the skin surface. If you notice burns, blisters, bleeding, or signs of infection, call you provider immediately.

 

1 week post 1st IPL treatment.
*Pre-lightened with Hydroquinone 6% before IPL session.

BEFORE IPL:

  • Avoid sun exposure (apply sunscreen daily and do not tan at all) for 4-6 weeks before and after treatment.

  • Do not apply self-tanners or spray tans for 4 weeks before treatment.

  • Do not use any retinol or retinoid products before treatment.

  • Tell your provider if you have a history of post inflammartory hyperpigmentation. Depending on your skin type, a pre-lightening treatment may be prescribed 2-6 weeks prior to treatment.

  • If you have a history of cold sores in the area being treated, notify you provider.

  • You must notify the provider if you have any cosmetic tattooing on or near the area to be treated.

  • You must notify if you are on aspirin, ibuprofen, iron supplementation, anticoagulants, vitamin E, or herbal supplements such as gingko, garlic, ginseng, fish oil, vitamin E. Try to AVOID these products for 2 weeks prior to your procedure unless your primary care provider has placed you on them for a medical condition.

  • Avoid alcohol for 1 week.

  • Not for pregnant/breastfeeding women

  • If possible, come to your appointment with the treatment area clean and make-up free.

 

AFTER IPL:

  • A mild sunburn-like sensation is expected. This usually lasts 2-24 hours but can persist up to 72 hours or more. Mild swelling and/or redness may accompany this, but it usually resolves in 2-3 days. Over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream or 100% aloe vera gel may ease redness or inflammation.

  • Minor crusting or peeling of the skin is a common side effect. In rare cases blistering may occur. A double or single antibiotic ointment may be applied to the affected areas twice a day until healed.

  • Keep the area clean. Wash gently and avoid aggressive scrubbing or use of exfoliants, scrub brushes, and loofa sponges until the sensitivity and colored of the treated area has returned to normal.

  • Avoid direct sun exposure, including sun lamps and tanning beds, for 2-3 weeks after treatment. If exposed to the sun, protect the treated areas with a full spectrum sun block of 30 SPF or higher, used regularly between treatments and after the treatment course is completed.

  • Wait till the next morning to apply make-up or till most, if not all redness has subsided.

  • Avoid hot showers/baths for 24 hrs. Quick warm showers instead.

Interested in IPL? 

Call and schedule a free consultation! 

 

951.588.1652