A clear complexion is something many people want, but even with the most meticulous skincare regimen, blemish-free skin can be difficult to achieve. Photorejuvenation, which uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology, can help reduce the appearance of some of the most common skin woes, including brown spots, melasma, broken capillaries and sun spots. This minimally invasive skin procedure can also treat signs of aging such as wrinkles or age spots. There’s very little recovery time and few side effects, making it a popular procedure.
When to Consider IPL / Photorejuvenation
If you have redness, brown spots or scarring on your skin
If you would like to reduce pore size, fine wrinkles and improve skin texture.
How is a ipl / photorejuvenation procedure performed?
Photorejuvenation (IPL- Intense Pulsed Light) laser treatments are most commonly used for:
Lightening and removing “sun spots”, “age spots”, and brown blotches on the face, neck, chest, hands and other areas of the body.
Lightening and reducing redness, rosacea, dilated blood vessels and “broken” blood vessels on the face, neck and chest.
Helping to control flushing.
It also has a lesser effect of improving skin texture through collagen stimulation and improves pore size minimally by temporarily reducing oiliness.
Photorejuvenation, when done properly, almost always consists of a series of 3-5 treatments, usually one every three to six weeks. The benefits of photorejuvenation treatments are achieved with little discomfort and minimal risk.
Photorejuvenation treatment can improve the appearance of rosacea, age spots and freckles.
Most people need 3-5 months, which consists of a full series of 3-5 treatments about 1 month apart. You can see some improvement with each treatment, but it’s common for your response to be slightly different to each treatment. The more sun damage or redness you have, the more likely you are to need a full five treatments. Some cases of severe redness or brown spots require more than 5 treatments. Expect to see gradual clearing over time.
There may be mild discomfort during the treatment, but most patients tolerate removal of dilated blood vessels or age spots/freckles and fine lines very easily. The first treatment is usually the “zingiest.” As your skin begins to clear, the treatments usually become even more comfortable. Treatments usually take 30-90 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area.
Though most physical side-effects will subside within forty-eight hours, patients may find that the blemishes on their skin darken for a period of up to two weeks. This is because the skin needs to shed for the results to be visible. Eventually skin blemishes will fade to a lighter appearance than before the treatment. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
One of the reasons photorejuvenation is so popular is because it carries very few risks. Your specific risks will be discussed during your consultation.
Most patients will experience slight burning after the procedure, and some will see light scabbing, blistering, or crusting. These issues are normal and will typically subside within a few days, but if they persist it's important that you get in touch with your regular doctor. Very rarely, patients will experience bruising, slight bleeding, or scarring, but these issues typically only arise if treatments are spaced too closely together, or after excessive use of IPL technology.
To Prepare for a Photorejuvenation Procedure
In advance of your procedure, you should:
Moisturize regularly, avoid too much exposure to the sun, and wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to promote better healing.
Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding.
Refrain from taking certain antibiotics and topical creams such as retinoids (Retin-A) that affect skin sensitivity.
If you are living with the herpes virus, your plastic surgeon may ask you to take antiviral medication to reduce the chance of an outbreak on the day of the procedure.
Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after treatment for safe recovery.
The morning before your photorejuvenation procedure, you should not apply any makeup or skincare products. Your face will need to be thoroughly cleansed before the treatment can begin, but this may be done at the office before treatment. It's possible that your doctor will apply a topical anesthetic prior to treatment.
Photorejuvenation is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after treatment and to stay with you at least the first night.