Photofacial IPL

An IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) therapy is also known as photofacial of photorejuvenation and is used to treat sun damage, wrinkles, stretch marks, age spots & redness/rosacea. Treatments are performed to erase mild sun damage, brown spots, freckles or irregular pigmentation on the face, neck, or even chest.

At Skin Appeal we use Lumecca IPL. It is the most powerful intense pulsed light (IPL) targeted to treat brown and red skin pigments on the deeper layer of the skin, making it ideal for treating broken capillaries, sun damage and other impurities.
It involves a handheld device that emits pulses of broad spectrum light through direct contact with the skin. Heat energy targets and breaks up pigments, leaving small “coffee grain” speckles to come to the surface, sloughing off naturally as a part of the skins regular renewal.

How IPL photofacial works: the light is soaked up by the hemoglobin (red blood cells) and melanin (pigmentation) in the skin, intentionally damaging these areas. The damaged melanin breaks up and is absorbed by the skin, decreasing its appearance on the skin’s surface. The damaged hemoglobin stimulates blood flow, causing the melanin to be absorbed more efficiently

Intense Pulse Light does not involve any abrasion to the skin’s outer layer, resulting in less redness, swelling and post-healing, ideal for clients who want minimal down-time. Once the redness dissipates, your skin will appear firmer and more evenly textured. This treatment also prompts the production of collagen, which helps skin appear firmer and plumper.

What are photofacials used for?

Generally speaking, photofacials are used to treat skin blemishes and pigmentation issues. However, there are several specific conditions that fall under these categories. IPL photofacial treatments can be used to treat the following:
• Broken capillaries (blood vessels)
• Rosacea
• Sun damage (sun spots)
• Hyperpigmentation
• Spider veins
• Freckles
• Fine lines

What is getting an IPL photofacial like?

A typical treatment over the entire face takes about 20 minutes. A layer of cooling gel is applied to the treatment area and the patient dons protective goggles. The hand piece is placed on the skin and the IPL is transmitted in controlled pulses.

How long do photofacials take?

IPL photofacials are performed in a series, with each treatment lasting from approximately 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the amount of skin being treated. Typically, patients receive between three and six treatments spaced roughly one month apart.

How do I prepare for treatment?

For starters, with IPL photofacials you need to be tan-free. Tans can prevent the machine from accurately detecting the specific blemishes that you want addressed, and put you at greater risk of being burned. You also need to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, anticoagulants, alcohol, and anything else that thins the blood. Additionally, be sure to notify your treatment provider if you’re taking antibiotics or any supplements.

What parts of my body can I have treated?

Most people get IPL photofacials to treat their face, neck, shoulders, back, and hands. Essentially areas that are frequently exposed in public. However, photofacial treatments can be performed on any part of the body except the eyelids and the area just above them. Photofacials have the potential to be very bad for eyes, so treating areas close to this region is heavily discouraged.

Do IPL photofacials hurt?

IPL photofacials may be mildly uncomfortable depending on the patient. The sensation of each pulse is often compared to the snapping of a rubber band and is generally well tolerated without the use of any analgesia. The Inmode Lumecca has a unique sapphire tip that cools and soothes the skin area being treated with each pulse. Patients have also reported feeling like they have a mild sunburn in the treated area for several days after treatment, while others do not feel anything at all.

How will my skin look after a treatment?

While some redness and swelling may occur, this should subside within 24 hours. Results are gradual with improvements to the skin beginning to appear in the days and weeks following treatment.

After a single treatment, your skin may feel smoother and appear to have a more evenly distributed tone. However, results only appear gradually and multiple treatments will be required for them to become truly dramatic.

How long does it take to recover from an IPL photofacial?

There’s no real recovery time to speak of except the darker patches appear darker immediately after the treatment. It may take up to 14 days for dark patches to exfoliate off. Nevertheless, expect to resume normal activities immediately after treatment, including applying your usual facial creams and makeup. We do ask that you refrain from using retinol and glycolics for 3 days post treatment.

What are the side effects?

• Redness – This is fairly common. It’s a sign of irritation and generally goes away after a few hours.
• Brown spots – If you underwent the procedure to treat dark spots and are suddenly faced with darker ones, don’t fret. This is normal. The dark spots may last for up to a week but will then fade.
• Crusting – Some of the dark spots you’ve treated will grow hard and begin to flake. This is normal and temporary.
• Bruising – This side effect is fairly uncommon and mild when it does occur.

Remember that it will take several weeks (and several treatments) before you start seeing truly significant results.

Is there any risk of serious complications?

It is important that your treatment provider does a proper skin type assessment prior to a treatment. Clients with darker skin or who tan very easily must be treated with caution. The amount of melanin in the skin increases the chance of burning during the treatment. We do not do a treatment before assessing what skin type you are and how easily you burn or tan in the sun.

How long do the results last?

This is a tricky question. With so many factors acting on the skin, like sun exposure, age, and genetics, it’s difficult to guarantee any specific amount of time.  Typically, however, the results of an IPL photofacial will be apparent for six months to a year. We recommend maintenance treatments every six to 12 months to help prolong results. According to a 2013 study on the anti-aging effects of IPL photofacials, two to three treatments a year are enough to develop and maintain younger looking skin with renewed collagen growth.

What can I do to prolong results?

The answer is simple: Avoid things that damage your skin. That means limiting direct exposure to the sun, wearing sunscreen, and taking optimal care of your skin with moisturizers and face washings.  Of course, keeping up with your scheduled maintenance treatments won’t hurt either.