Non Surgical Treatments

IPL Photorejuvenation Laser

What can IPL Photofacial  be used for?

Photorejuvenation (IPL-Intense Pulsed Light) laser treatments are most commonly used for:
•    Lightening and removing “sun spots”, “age spots”, and brown blotches on the face, neck, chest, hands and other areas of the body
•    Lightening and reducing redness, rosacea, dilated blood vessels and “broken” blood vessels on the face, neck and chest
•    Helping to control flushing
•    It also has a lesser effect of improving skin texture through collagen stimulation and improves pore size minimally by temporarily reducing oiliness

Do I need a single treatment or a series of treatments?

The best results of IPL photofacials are achieved when a series of 3-5 treatments are done, usually one every three to six weeks.  The benefits of IPL photofacial treatments are achieved with little discomfort and minimal risk.  Single treatments can be done but results will not be as dramatic as when a series is performed.

How does the IPL Photofacial laser treatment work?

Laser energy is directed at a target.  In the case of the IPL the device emits a range of lightwaves that are then turned and targeted at hemoglobin (the red blood cells in the blood vessels) or melanin (the brown pigment in freckles and age spots). The light beam passes through the skin and is absorbed by either hemoglobin or melanin resulting in damage to the vessel wall or fragmenting of melanin pigment.  These tiny vessels and the melanin pigment are then absorbed by the body, making them less visible.

How long does it take for IPL Photofacial treatments to work?

You will see some improvement about a week out of each treatment.  The maximum results will be visible 3-5 months out if you do a series of treatments about 1 month apart each.  It is not unusual to have your results vary with each treatment.  Typically the energy is tuned up with each treatment so that each treatment in a series becomes more aggressive then the one prior.  This is based off of your result to each treatment.

The more sun damage or redness you have, the more likely you are to need a full five treatments.  Some cases of severe redness or brown spots require more than 3-5 treatments.  Expect to see gradual clearing over time.

What does it feel like to get an IPL Photofacial?

The Photofacials are not painful at Portica because of our advanced laser technology.  Our IPL is equipted with a cooling system so that when the light is pulsed onto a spot on your face, that spot is also immediately chilled.  This really takes the sting out of the procedure.  You may feel some mild discomfort but it is typically less with each treatment.  The first treatment may feel the “zingiest”. As your skin begins to clear, the treatments usually become even more comfortable.  Treatments usually take about 30-45 minutes and depend on the size of the treated area.

What can I expect to look like as I heal from an IPL Photofacial?

Generally, your skin may look slightly red after the treatment for a couple of days.  You should be able to go out and about and not be embarrassed by your appearance, but you would not want to do an IPL right before a big event.  Makeup can be used immediately after the treatment as long as it is applied and removed in a gentle manner.   For freckles and age spots, the spots will look darker for about 3-7 days.  Crusting can occur, which may last up to ten days.  The spots will then begin to clear and will generally resolve in about 2 weeks.  Once you are healed your skin will feel smoother and have a more even tone.  A gradual decrease in overall redness, flushing, age spots, and fine lines will be more visible after each treatment.

What should I do to prepare for my IPL Photofacial treatment?

•    For 2-4 weeks prior to your treatment, avoid self-tanners and excessive sun.
•    You may be asked to discontinue minocycline, tetracycline, doxycycline or Retin-A several days prior to each treatment.
•    You may be asked to avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or Aleve one week prior to treatment unless medically indicated to help prevent bruising
•    Protect your skin before and after the treatment with sunscreen every morning.  Hats and sunglasses are also good protection from the sun.

How long will the results from an IPL Photofacial last?

That depends on how well you protect yourself from sun exposure after your treatments.  If you are exposed to a lot of sun after the treatments then the underlying issues, whether they are redness or brown spots, will return.  But if you take good care of your skin and keep it protected from the sun then your skin will continue to look good with annual maintenance treatments.

If you want to maintain collagen growth, we currently recommend a treatment every 6-12 months.  Other conditions are more variable.  If you are very red, once or twice a year may be needed.

How does an IPL treatment increase collagen?

The light bypasses the outer layer of skin (epidermis)  and gently heats the cells in the deeper layer of skin (dermis).   In the deeper layer of skin there are cells called fibroblasts which produce collagen.  When these cells are stimulated by the laser light and heat they produce more collagen which improves texture and fine wrinkles.

Will the IPL Photofacial treatment make me more sensitive to the sun?

No, it does not.  You can have the treatments done any time of the year but summer is more difficult if you pick up color easily in the sun.  The good effects of the treatments won’t last very long if you are getting much sun exposure.  So wear your daily sunscreen and protect your new freshly treated skin with hats and staying out of the sun in peak hours.

Are there any side effects of IPL Photofacial?

The more pale your skin and the more you have stayed out of the sun in the weeks prior to IPL treatments, the safer the treatments are.  The main side effects are mild, temporary swelling, redness, an accentuation of the brown spots, crusting, and an occasional bruise or small superficial blister (like a sunburn blister).  There are other more serious and rare side effects which can occur if sunless tanner or sun exposure occurred just prior to the IPL treatment.  If you have dark skin then the IPL may not be the best choice for treatments as the risk for side effects increases in highly pigmented skin.

Portica Body & Face

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