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What is IPL? A Complete PhotoFacial Guide

Jan. 06, 2020 2:13 pm | by Dr. M. Tahsini

What is IPL?

Best IPL PhotoFacial in Torrance and South Bay Los Angeles

Sunspots, also known as age spots or liver spots, are flat patches of brown, gray, or black spots on the skin. Are you bothered by such annoying spots on your skin? If that’s the case, we think you’ll find this guide quite useful. Read on and find out why IPL has become one of the most popular treatments to address damaged spots on the skin.  

They are harmless; however, they can be unsightly. You are more likely to develop sunspots after the age of 40. They typically appear on the face, back of the hands, shoulders, upper back, and forearms; however, they can appear anywhere. They are the same texture as your skin and do not cause any physical pain or discomfort.

Prevent Sunspots With Less Sun Exposure

Always apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF before going outdoors and reapply it every two hours. Choose makeup products that contain sunscreen to help protect your skin. We ask you to trust science here, but if you want to learn more about the science of sunscreens in this article from Harvard University.

Most people who suffer from damaged skin want to reduce the visibility of sunspots, freckles, broken capillaries, liver spots, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, or other areas of hyperpigmentation, and that’s where IPL Photofacial comes to play!

IPL Stands For Intense Pulsed Light

The bright light creates energy that is used to cauterize or close red vessels/blood vessels and break up pigmentation, reducing the appearance and color of red and brown spots. Most areas of the body can be treated with an IPL; however, the sun-damaged face, neck, chest, and arms usually get the best results.

 

Who is a good candidate for IPL?

For individuals with skin that is Fitzpatrick type 1-4, IPL treatment is extremely safe and should have minimal side effects and recovery time; however, individuals with Fitzpatrick skin types 5 or 6 are not good candidates for an IPL treatment. If you are very tan, or if you have darker skin tones, then you may not be able to get an IPL treatment because IPL works by targeting pigment in the skin.

You cannot receive an elective IPL treatment if you have an active herpes breakout or have used Accutane within the last 6 months. Those with a history of seizures are warned about the bright light that occurs at the beginning of the treatment and depending on the seizure history, possibly advised against treatment. Furthermore, pregnant or nursing women are advised to postpone treatment.

Prepare For IPL Treatment

For 3 days prior to your treatment, do not use Retinols. Additionally, for 2 weeks prior to treatment, you must avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear sunscreen. Your provider may turn you away if you have a recent tan, as IPL could target such pigments.

Does IPL hurt?

During the process, you may feel a warm sensation at the treatment site.

Most patients get the treatment without any numbing cream because the sensation is very mild and produces little to no discomfort. However, if you are sensitive to pain, or if you need a cooling gel, talk to your medical professional to see what options are available.

 

How Long Does IPL Take?

IPL treatments typically take between 15 and 30 minutes; however, the amount of time may vary depending upon the area or areas being treated. The arms can take as little as 15 minutes while areas on the face may take 20 to 30 minutes. The number of treatments depends on the level of pigmentation in the treated area. While some patients are happy with the results after only one session, cosmetic doctors recommend 3 sessions of IPL to get clearer and brighter skin.

What Side Effects Does IPL have?

There are typically little to no side effects with an IPL Photofacial.

Some redness is common after the treatment. Immediately after the procedure or in 1 to 2 days, the areas of pigmentation may darken and look flaky before becoming lighter. You can cover these areas with makeup or tinted sunscreen. You shouldn’t need any time to recover; however, you may notice the treatment area becomes slightly darker following treatment. To guarantee an optimal appearance, we recommend that treatments occur 2 to 4 weeks prior to any important event that you want to attend.

How to recover from IPL?

The most important thing to remember is to moisturize and protect yourself from the sun after the procedure.

Avoid peeling, scratching, or using dermabrasion on the treated areas. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and, if you must be out in the sun, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Do not engage in watersports or get into a hot tub, a swimming pool, or the ocean for 1 to 2 weeks after your procedure.

Talk To Your Cosmetic Doctor

It is important to discuss your IPL PhotoFacial or laser treatment options with a board-certified doctor. Always share with your doctor what treatment options you are currently using, including herbal and over-the-counter medications.

Not sure if IPL PhotoFacial is right for your skin? You may want to check some similar treatments like Laser Genesis.

 

 

Read more like this:

Turn Back the Clock With an IPL Photofacial

How to Get Rid of Sun Damage on Face?

What is Laser Resurfacing?

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