Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Photofacial Procedure

Nicole Hill, PA-C talks about IPL and addresses frequently asked questions

IPL is a non-abrasive and non-invasive skin procedure designed to produce younger and healthier looking skin. IPL technology is very effective on red blemishes that originate from blood vessels as well as brown pigments in the form of freckles, age spots and sun damage. It has also been used to reduce the appearance of mild acne scars and fine lines around the eyes and mouth. Multiple treatments are recommended, usually 3-5 performed on a monthly basis.



What skin conditions can IPL improve:
• Sun damage
• Age-induced brown pigment spots
• Freckles
• Large pores
• Rosacea
• Birthmarks
• Unsightly veins
• Rough and dull looking skin
• Unevenly pigmented skin
• Fine lines and wrinkles

IPL benefits include:
• Long-lasting results
• Non-invasive with no downtime
• 30-minute procedure
• Minimal discomfort
• Provides gradual, natural looking improvements
• Able to treat skin problems and rejuvenate simultaneously

How does IPL Photorejuvenation work?
The light beam passes through the skin and is absorbed by either hemoglobin or melanin, resulting in damage to the vessel wall or fragmenting of melanin pigment. These tiny vessels and the melanin pigment are then absorbed by the body, thus rendering them less visible. Collagen deposition is also stimulated, leaving the skin with a smoother texture while brown and red spots disappear and broken veins close.

Which areas can be treated with IPL?
IPL is most often performed on the face; however, excellent results can also be seen on the neck, chest and hands.

How many treatment sessions are needed?
Although results are visible after the first treatment, most patients need a series of 3-5 sessions spaced one month apart to obtain desired results. The more sun damage or redness you have, the more likely you are to need more treatments.

What can I expect during my treatment?
Protective eye shields are applied to your eyes to protect them from the pulsed light. Then, cool ultrasound gel is applied to your face and the smooth lens of the IPL handpiece is gently applied to your skin section by section, covering your face with flashing pulses of light. The procedure should take approximately 30 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated. At the end of the treatment, the provider will wipe off the gel, clean your skin with a wet cloth and apply sunscreen. Makeup can be applied immediately after treatment, if desired.

Do IPL treatments hurt?
There may be mild discomfort in the form of a stinging sensation during the treatment, especially the first treatment. As your skin begins to clear with repeated treatments, the procedures become more comfortable.

What should I expect after my treatment?
After your first treatment, you can expect to see some redness, darkening of brown spots and maybe some light swelling. These symptoms will resolve in several hours to several days. Makeup can be applied immediately after the treatment, if desired. Your skin will feel smoother and will have a more even tone after your first treatment. A gradual decrease in overall redness, flushing, age spots and fine lines will be more visible after each treatment.

How long will the results last?
That depends on how much sun exposure your skin gets after the treatment. If you are in the sun a lot and do not use sunscreen, the redness or brown spots will likely return; however, if you take good care of your skin and keep it protected from the sun, your skin will continue to look good with annual maintenance treatments.


If you are interested in learning more about IPL Photofacials or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation to further discuss this procedure and whether or not it is right for your skin, please call our office at (407) 352-8553. 


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