What is a Photofacial Treatment?
A photofacial is a noninvasive treatment that uses light to correct facial imperfections. These are not the same thing as laser treatments, which only treat surface-level issues. Photofacials consist of IPL treatment, which stands for Intense Pulsed Light. This type of treatment delivers visible light into the skin in short bursts. This light penetrates the skin, leaving the surface of the skin undamaged, and is absorbed by the unwanted discolored spots. The pigmented skin coagulates and tightens, darkening before sloughing off to reveal bright, fresh skin. The light used is delivered at a very specific range of wavelengths, depending on the nature of the problem area. The broad wavelength enables IPL devices to penetrate deeper in the skin, effectively removing the source of unwanted pigmentation, while leaving surrounding tissue unaffected.
For photofacial treatments, removing unwanted discoloration is only part of the goal. Brightening skin and increasing youthful elasticity is also important. For that reason, IPL is used in conjunction with collagen stimulation to banish fine lines and make sure the treated areas retain a youthful appearance. IPL is generally well-tolerated by most people and has causes only mild discomfort for the duration of treatment. Best of all, there is absolutely no downtime. IPL is completely safe and effective. Results can be seen anywhere from between one to three treatments, depending on the patient. For longer-lasting results, several treatments set five weeks apart may be effective for a much longer time period.
Although IPL is most commonly used on the face, it can be used on other problem areas. The neck, hands, chest, and back are all easily treatable using Intense Pulsed Light. The broad surface area of the light even makes it easier to treat big patches.
Photofacial reviews will reveal that it’s a well-tolerated, non-invasive procedure that is over relatively quickly. Typical treatment can take anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes. First, a numbing cream such as Lidocaine or Tetracaine is applied to the area that will receive treatment. After twenty minutes, a thin layer of clear gel is applied to cool and protect the skin. Protective eye shields are then put in place. The flat sapphire or quartz tip (also called a handpiece) that transmits the light is positioned in the gel, administering a series of quick pulses that are sequentially applied to the area. This may appear as several harmless bright flashes as the light transmits through the skin. Minor discomfort can occur in the form of a sharp, stinging sensation, like a rubber band snapping against the skin. Local anesthetic is not required as the treatment is very easy to tolerate. Once the treatment is finished, the skin is cleaned and protected with sunscreen. There is absolutely no downtime—you can immediately apply makeup, go outside, and continue with your skin care regimen.
IPL is viable for anyone with fair skin suffering from conditions such as rosacea, broken capillaries or blood vessels, sun damage, and discolored facial spots. Photorejuvenation can also treat enlarged pores and fine wrinkles. Patients with darker skin, spray-tanned, or tanned skin are not good candidates for treatment, as hyperpigmentation is more likely. Patients prone to cold sores should consider suppressive therapy prior to an IPL treatment to avoid any potential outbreaks.
There is no downtime with Photofacial treatment and patients may return to work the next day. Photofacial treatment side effects may include mild discomfort, similar to that of sunburn, on the affected areas for a few hours post-treatment. Hyperpigmentation may be an issue for patients, so it is advised to wear sunscreen and try to avoid long-term exposure to the sun. Your doctor will discuss with you the best ways to maximize your treatment and make it last for as long as possible.
What to Expect in a Consultation
A consultation is necessary to make sure treatment matches each patient’s specific desired outcomes. Every aspect of the patient’s goals is taken into account in order to pinpoint the exact method of treatment that will be most effective. Individual plans are drawn up for each patient’s unique treatment, including cost. Photofacial treatment pictures will be available, so you will know what to expect. Consultations are also a chance for doctors to discuss with patients the best skin care routine that will maintain results for as long as possible.
Choosing the Right Photo Facial (IPL) Specialist
Although noninvasive, photorejuvenation may still carry a certain level of stress. Choosing an experienced specialist is crucial to make you feel comfortable and guarantee you get the results you’re looking for. The Glasgold Group, located in New Jersey, offers detailed planning and consultations to capture the exact way you want your face to look. Each IPL treatment is as different as each patient, and the Glasgold Group is dedicated to finding the perfect treatment for you.