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Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) also known as photo-facial, fotofacial, and photo rejuvenation is a state-of-the-art system and the latest technique in photofacial therapy.
What is Intense Pulsed Light?
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) also known as photo-facial, fotofacial, and photo rejuvenation is a state-of-the-art system and the latest technique in photofacial therapy. The IPL system delivers high intensity, smooth and powerful pulses of light (not lasers) that greatly enhances the results of your skin rejuvenation. For skin therapy, IPL stimulates new collagen growth resulting in smoother, more even, healthier skin how does it work? A highly advanced computer regulates the light pulse to a specific wavelength range, which in turn heats a portion of the skin. This removes the unwanted tissue while it spares or avoids the surrounding healthy or “normal” tissue. The penetration depth and degree of heat is highly controlled to minimize complications.
With IPL fotofacial rejuvenation the light pulses are directed at the blood vessels, age spots, freckles, flat pigmented birthmarks and other types of discolorations. Depending on the wavelength used, the tissue targeted is either hemoglobin (red blood cells) in the dermis (deeper layer of the skin) or melanin pigment in the epidermis (uppermost skin layer). The unwanted tissue is heated and damaged or destroyed, thereby eliminating it. An additional bonus is that the treatment causes inflammation of tiny blood vessels in the skin which stimulates the production of new collagen. It is possible to
shrink sebaceous glands (oil glands), and pore size, with repeated treatments. The number of treatments necessary to achieve this result varies from patient to patient. Most patients require 5 treatments on average.
How is the IPL photo-rejuvenation different from co2 or erbium laser resurfacing?
IPL photo rejuvenation is a noninvasive, safe method to improve the look and feel of the skin without undergoing the pain and downtime associated with deep laser resurfacing. Deep laser resurfacing removes the entire epidermis leaving the skin vulnerable to infection and requires 3-4 weeks of patient downtime and post healing. We also combine fotofacial with Levulan in a procedure called PhotoDynamic Skin Rejuvenation. This is the ideal treatment for moderate to severely sun-damaged skin. If you have pre-cancerous skin lesions (Actinic Keratoses) or if you have had them treated in the past this is an excellent way to improve your skin.
Who is a good candidate?
IPL is an excellent choice for men and women of all ages considering treatment for various hair or skin problems including: Brown or age spots, Facial spider veins, Rosacea Skin pigmentation, Reducing Pore Size, Shrinks enlarged oil glands (sebaceous hyperplasia). If you are prone to keloids, increased or decreased skin pigmentation, are dark-skinned, darkly tanned, or do not react well to burns, you may not be an ideal candidate for Intense Pulsed Light Therapy. Many shades and types of skin can be treated successfully, Dr. Hester can determine if you are eligible for treatment. Mediterranean and darker skin shades need to be treated more gently with IPL to minimize the risk of lightening or darkening of the skin following treatment.
What are the advantages of IPL treatments?
The treatment is gentle, there is no interruption of routine activities. There is no recovery time. No time needs to be taken off work. There are no stitches, cuts, bleeding to worry about. Bruising is very rare. The treatments make the skin look younger by improving and removing age spots (sun-induced freckles) and telangiectasia (broken blood vessels). Improvement is subtle. In this way your friends, family and spouse don’t have to know that you’re having treatments, unless you want them to. how are the treatments done? During the fotofacial procedure you will wear protective eyewear. A topical anesthetic cream will be applied to the area that is being treated. After the treatment area is “numb” a cold, soothing gel will be applied and a glass prism (pyramid) will then be placed over the gel and treatment area. An intense flash of light, or pulse, is flashed through the prism where it is directed at the area to be treated. This initial treatment may not be as aggressive as your following treatments so as not to possibly damage the skin and to determine your skin’s tolerance for further fotofacial treatments. Fotofacial treatments are usually performed every 3-4 weeks. Any area such as the face, neck and hands can be treated. You may need a spot or test patch to make sure there are no negative reactions. Your treatments are conducted only after your skin has been assessed by Dr. Hester. He will select the treatment protocol that best suits your skin type.
What are the risks?
IPL is a simple and fast technique. There is minimal discomfort. You may feel some warm sensations or a very mild stinging during treatment. After treatment, you can resume your normal activities. There is no down time. Although rare, blistering or slight bleeding is possible as is hypo- or hyper-pigmentation (lightened or darkened areas of skin). If pigmentation problems occur, it may be anywhere from 3-12 months before normal skin tone returns. This is especially so with hypo-pigmentation (lack of colour). Some patients may experience permanent skin pigmentation changes. Scarring has never been reported after an IPL treatment. what can you expect after the treatment? Since there is no real “downtime” you may resume your normal activities after an IPL treatment. You may have some pinkness or redness in or around the treatment area immediately after the treatment. Also, there may be some mild swelling, crusting or bruising which will go away after a few days, and if not you should inform your doctor. In addition, you will need to protect the treated area from sunlight, tanning beds, or other UV light.
When will you notice improvement?
You will start to see results after one or two treatments, depending on the nature of the problem. Some skin problems will require several treatments before you see any difference.
What areas can be treated?
Any area can be treated. This includes the face, neck, chest, back, hands, arms, legs and feet.
How many treatments should I have?
A series of 5 treatments is usually recommended for most skin types and body areas. Dr. Hester will determine the number of treatments that your specific skin type and condition will require at the time of your consultation or treatment. what specifically should be my skin care after an IPL treatment? I have included below the contents of my after-care handouts for 3 different skin concerns that are treated with IPL. The content between them varies slightly.