Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) / Photofacial
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), otherwise known as the Photofacial, uses a light-based device to target unwanted red and brown discoloration in the skin. The IPL wavelength is absorbed by the unwanted spot and breaks up the pigment. These fragmented pigments are either absorbed back into the body or flake off after a few days. IPL can be used for sun damage, brown spots, freckles, facial flushing and rosacea. Because it has been shown to stimulate collagen and improve pore size, it is also used to rejuvenate the skin. The sensation of IPL is described as the “snap of a rubber band” and, at times, can be a little startling. Three to five treatments are typically recommended at intervals of one month apart. It is important to stay out of the sun and refrain from using tanning creams during your IPL Photofacial treatments.
Before IPL Photofacial:
- Avoid sun exposure, tanning, and self-tanning creams or sprays for 4 weeks prior to treatment.
- Discontinue use of all retinoid, glycolic acid, alpha-hydroxy acid and exfoliation products for 1 week prior to treatment.
- If you have a history of oral herpes, please notify your laser professional to obtain a prescription of Valtrex 500 mg for use before and after treatment.
After IPL Photofacial:
- Side effects are generally minimal, with no downtime after treatments. You may return to work the same day and resume most of your regular activities.
- Redness or flushing may occur and usually subsides within a few hours.
- Brown spots may turn darker for a few days before flaking off.
- To cleanse the area, wash with mild cleanser and gently pat dry. Apply a soothing moisturizer.
- Use 30-50 SPF to protect the treated area from sun exposure for one month following treatment. Tanning after treatment sessions is not recommended since it may result in hyper-pigmentation.
- Makeup may be applied immediately post-treatment. Mineral makeup is preferred and provides additional sunscreen.
- Please contact the Skin Center at 415-831-2171 with any questions or concerns.