Intense Pulse Light (IPL)
What is Photo Rejuvenation?
As we age, the effects of sun damage become more apparent. People get red and brown blotches on their skin. The skin becomes rough and develops uneven skin tones. We all associate this with “looking older”. Using the lumenis M22 IPL machine much of this sun damage can be reversed. The intense pulsed light (IPL) targets this damage and can restore a more youthful skin appearance. This treatment is often called a photofacial.
IPL treats a wide variety of skin conditions:
- Broken facial capillaries
- Ruddy complexion
- Facial sun damage (hyperpigmentation)
- Age spots
- Sun-induced freckles on the hands, chest
- Treats uneven skin tone
How does the IPL work?
The IPL targets the enlarged blood vessels and abnormal brown pigment in the skin. It can destroy this damage gradually reducing it over a series of 3-4 treatments. Patients see a 70-90% improvement in redness, brown color and skin tone.
What happens during a Photofacial?
First a cool gel is applied to the skin. Then there is a series of light pulses that feel like a mild heating of the skin. The treatment takes 15- 20 minutes. Afterwards there is often a mild redness of the skin that lasts for a few hours. Discomfort is minimal and patients return to their daily activities immediately. The treated blood vessels and brown spots may appear temporarily darker and will fade over 1-2 weeks. Sun protection before and after the treatment is very important.
- No sun exposure or use of tanning products for four to six weeks before and during treatment. If you are tan you will need to postpone your treatment.
- Sun protection with high SPF (30 or above) UVA/UVB sunscreen prior, during, and after treatment.
- Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, or other blood thinning medications to help minimize possible bruising.
- Discontinue use of Retinol or Hydroquinone (if treating face), and sun sensitive medications such as certain antibiotics, one week prior to treatment.
- Contraindications include pregnancy, breast feeding, tan skin, use of photosensitive medications.
IPL Skin Post-Treatment Instructions
- Gentle skin care. Don’t scrub or scratch treated area.
- Use mild facial cleanser if face was treated.
- Makeup can be applied immediately after treatment.
- Apply cool compress or ice for 24 hours if swelling occurs.
- Facials can resume two weeks following IPL treatment.
- Hair removal can resume two weeks following IPL treatment.
The interval between follow-up evaluation/treatment is four to six weeks.
Is IPL safe?
The IPL is a complex machine and if used incorrectly can cause adverse effects. In skilled hands the IPL treatment is very safe. All IPL treatments at Advanced Specialty Care are evaluated by a physician and are performed under physician supervision.
What can I do to help maintain the Photofacial improvement?
Since the damage comes from sun exposure strict sun protection is necessary. Additionally a skin rejuvenation cream such as Neocutis Journee or SkinMedica TNS complex is recommended to continue the rejuvenation process. A maintenance IPL treatment once or twice a year can also be helpful.
Contact our office today to schedule a consultation at one of offices in Connecticut.