Photofacial is a non-laser medical device used to deliver a series of gentle pulses of light to the skin. As opposed to Laser light which only allows one color of light, this innovative technique allows for the energy levels of many colors of Intense Pulse Light to target and eliminate damaged areas and effectively reduce or eliminate:
- Reds: rosacea, broken capillaries, and redness to the neck and chest
- Browns: age spots, freckles and uneven pigmentation
- Pore size, fine lines and wrinkles.
This will leave your skin feeling softer and looking younger.
The Aging Process in California
As you age, multiple things happen to the skin. Daily sunlight exposure slowly penetrates through to the fatty layer under the skin and essentially melts everything in its path. Over time this results in a thinner dermis which wrinkles easier. Blood vessels rise to the surface and become more apparent, thus showing up as spider veins. Pigment gets lost and appears as white spots, while remaining pigment cells huddle together and appear as age spots. The answer to the aging question is multi-fold.
- Make sure to eat more fruits and vegetables so that your body has natural antioxidants that will resist the aging process.
- Wear sunscreen during daylight hours.
- Utilize an exfoliative skin care line to slough off all the old skin cells and allow new ones to take their place.
- More aggressive treatment of the skin would involve IPL treatments. This will initially prevent and eradicate uneven facial coloration very quickly. As your treatments progress there is less dispigmentation for the light to absorb and it will begin to stimulate the skin to produce more collagen which helps alleviate fine lines and shrink pore size. All this will happen with a minimum of down time and your friends will be asking you what you have done to make your skin look so pretty!
Who is a good candidate?
Photofacial treatments are for anyone who wants to have visible improvement in facial redness and flushing as well as the reversal of the signs of sun damage and aging, with little discomfort and minimal risk. People who suffer with rosacea see an improvement in redness and breakouts; often they are able to decrease or discontinue their medications. These treatments are designed for people who don’t want any disruption from their normal activities or the down time required to heal from laser resurfacing or chemical peels.
What is a typical treatment like?
Each treatment takes approximately 30-90 minutes, depending on the area being treated. This includes time for the application of numbing cream. Specific settings are selected for each treatment to achieve maximum results. A mild amount of discomfort can be expected. There is no discomfort after the procedure. A series of five or more treatments is performed at three to four week intervals for optimal improvement.
How many treatments will I need?
We recommend one and a half treatments per decade of life. So a 40 year old would need 6 treatments. Many people wonder why it canot be done in a single visit. In the past, physicians used older model lasers to burn off the skin in one setting. This resulted in uneven pigmentation and long healing times. Medicine now understands that it is best to use newer devices to slowly heat the skin and safely apply energy slowly over a series of treatments.
When will I see results?
After your first treatment, your skin will feel smoother and will have a more even tone. Immediately following a treatment, the skin may appear red and brown spots may appear more visible, but these changes gradually fade over a period of hours to a few days. After a few days, redness and dispigmentation of the skin are greatly diminished. Anti-aging effects like wrinkle reduction and pore shrinkage begin to be more dramatic after the third treatment. This is because it takes three months for collagen molecules to fully develop and at the third month you have had the additive effects of three treatments.
What can be treated?
The face, neck and chest have the most favorable response. IPL can also be used to treat age spots on the back of the hands and arms.
What is the downtime?
Since the IPL energy is safely administered over several months, it allows us to tailor the energy to your desires and skin type. Oftentimes there is only an afternoon of redness. If a deeper treatment is desired there can sometimes be a few days of bronzing, similar to a sun burn. Makeup can be worn immediately.
Is maintenance required?
Your results will be with you for several years. Unfortunately you will continue to age because the sun damage you experience is from your exposure 10 years ago. We recommend maintenance treatments between one and three times per year, depending on your current solar lifestyle.
What else can I do?
Photofacial treatments can be enhanced with Microdermabrasion for faster results, Botoxª for wrinkles of the upper face or Restylane, Juvederm or Radiesse for deeper wrinkles of the face. Your provider can discuss which one of these fillers is best for you.The combination of treatments will enhance the results of the IPL Photofacial procedures and provide the healthiest and youngest looking skin possible that will be the envy of all your friends!