Intense Pulsed Light – Photofacial
Removes the unwanted pigment and redness yielding younger, more even skin
IPL is the most common way to treat Pigmented Lesions (brown spots), Rosacea, and small blood vessels. The light heats the darker area, damaging either the targeted melanin (skin pigment in dark spots, for example) or desired blood vessels/diffused redness, and lifts the melanin to the surface of the skin where it sloughs off.
IPL, or intense pulse light, is a technology similar to laser, but instead of a single wavelength of light as with a laser, IPL uses a bright light with a filter that filters out all wavelengths except those taken up by pigment and blood vessels. The light energy penetrates just below the skin’s surface, and the body’s natural skin repair mechanisms then removes the unwanted pigment and redness yielding younger, more even skin.
Anti-Aging Centers carries two different IPL systems to address different skin types: the Ellipse and the Candela Syneron ELOS SRA.
(1) Initial Consultation
Before your first treatment, you will come in for an initial consultation where we will discuss realistic expectations, explain how IPL works (removal of pigmented lesions, brown spots, vessels, and diffused redness), contraindications, and how your skin is affected.
If you have not already done so you, you will fill out Forms (which you can bring with you when you come in or fill out in office), and set up your schedule. If you are in compliance with the pre-treatment instructions and have no contraindications (see below), we may be able to do a test patch the same day to determine the most effective and safest settings for you and your skin. Otherwise we will schedule a test patch for another day. After this, an appointment will be made for your full IPL treatment as early as 2-5 days after your test patch.
(2) Before Your Treatment
- Fill out all relevant forms on our FORMS page.
- Make sure to stay out of the sun and tanning booths for 4-6 weeks for IPL treatments.
- Be sure you are not taking any medications that might make you sun sensitive such as antibiotics or Retin-A products for 1-2 weeks prior to your treatment.
- No harsh products (acids/exfoliants/NAIR/bleaching creams/sunless tanners) 1 week prior to your appointment.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us when you call to make your appointment or anytime afterward.
(3) First Treatment
At your service appointment, you and your technician will wear safety eyewear to protect your eyes from the photo light, and your laser technician will guide the IPL to the treatment areas with a small handpiece. Some patients are more sensitive than others, and be sure to discuss pain management with us if it is a concern of yours. For some patients, a topical anesthetic may be used prior to treatment.
(4) What To Expect
A treatment could take from 20 minutes to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the area. The number of sessions depends on the treatment you require and the condition of your skin. Many factors impact the efficacy of individual IPL treatments, including the severity of the condition being treated, your ability to stick to the prescribed appointment schedule to maximize treatment benefit, and following safety guidelines. All of these things will be discussed with you in greater length during your thorough initial consultation.
- Expect to feel as though you have a severe sunburn for 1-2 hours. This feeling should dissipate entirely after these 2 hours are up.
- Avoid exercising for 24 hours
- Avoid tanning booths and sun exposure (no change in color of skin) post-treatment, and wear sunblock (SPF 40+) for 4 weeks after treatement.
- Book your followup appointment before you leave so that you can remain compliant with your IPL schedule for best results. Clients typically need 1-3 treatments, and they are most often spaced 4-6 weeks apart.
Additional post-treatment instructions will be given to you at the time of your first treatment and are always available on our Forms page.