WHAT IS IPL?
Intense Pulsed Light IPL, is also known as photo-facial, fotofacials, and photo rejuvenation. It is a state of the art system in photofacial therapy. This treatment is perfect for skin that shows signs of early aging. There’s no downtime involved. The IPL system delivers high intensity, smooth and powerful pulses of light (not lasers) that enhance your results of skin rejuvenation. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is an extremely successful method of treating blemishes like sun damaged skin, age spots, sun spots, broken capillaries that are close to the surface of the skin, uneven pigmentation, dull skin, fine lines, wrinkling and facial redness due to rosacea. It is also a wonderful treatment for flushing the redness that people often experience after eating spicy food, heat, drinking alcohol or after a stressful or emotional event.
IPL treatments leave a rejuvenated, soft, smooth and even-toned appearance without a lengthy healing time. IPL does not have the side effects of past laser treatments such as scarring, downtime, pain or oozing. IPL is one of the most popular treatments because of the improvements it provides.
Approximately 3-6 treatments are needed to achieve the desired results. Most patients are extremely happy with the cosmetic results.
How does it work?
Each treatment takes about 20 – 30 minutes. The skin is pre-treated with a cool gel. Then, a hand-held device emits small intense bursts of light to the skin. The targeted areas such as blood vessels, brown discolorations, port wine stains, hyperpigmentation, age spots, sun spots, freckles, flat pigmented birthmarks or redness absorb the light wave, heat up and then are broken down. The penetration depth and degree of heat is highly controlled to minimize complications. The procedure is continued until all of the abnormal skin has received the small pulses of light.
An additional bonus is that the treatment causes inflammation of tiny blood vessels in the skin which stimulate the production of new collagen. It is possible to shrink oil glands, and pore size, with repeated treatments. The number of treatments necessary to achieve these results vary from patient to patient.
Other areas that can be treated effectively are:
mild acne scars, acne, facial and leg veins, selectively targeting hair follicles and angioma.
How is the IPL Photo rejuvenation treatment 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 an even longer time to complete healing.
Does IPL Hurt?
There is a slight discomfort associated with the treatment. Each pulse of the IPL feels like an elastic band snapping against the skin. Numbing creams such as EMLA and Maxilene can be used prior to treatment, but are generally not required. When will you notice an improvement? You will notice results after one or two treatments, depending on the nature of the problem. Some skin problems will require several treatments before you will see any difference.
What areas of the body can be treated?
Any area can be treated. These may include the face, neck, chest, back, hands, arms, legs and feet.
How many treatments should you have?
We recommend a series of 3-6 treatments for most skin types and body areas. Treatments are usually done 3-4 weeks apart. Your technician will determine the number of treatments that your specific skin type and condition will require at the time of your consultation and treatment. We like to combine your photofacial treatment with a Microdermabrasion treatment immediately prior to IPL. This is an ideal treatment for anyone looking for improved skin conditions.
Who is a good candidate?
IPL is an excellent choice for women and men of all ages considering treatment for various skin problems including:
Brown spot, age spots and sun spots.
Fine lines and wrinkles Hyperpigmentation
Facial spider veins
Enlarged oil glands (sebaceous hyperplasia)
Mild acne scars
Abnormal skin pigmentation
Port wine stains
We do NOT recommend IPL Photofacial treatments if you have any of the following conditions:
Tendency to form keloids (thick raised scars)
A tendency to develop increased skin pigmentation when healing
A dark skin colour (South Asian, African)
A dark tanPorphyia (a blood disorder that makes you sensitive to light)
Extreme sensitivity or allergy to light
What are the advantages of IPL treatments?
The treatment is gentle. There is no interruption of routine activities
There is often no recovery time required and no need to take time off work
There are no stitches, cuts or bleeding to worry about
Improvement is subtle.
That way your friends, family or spouse won’t have to know that you’re having treatments, unless you want them to know.
What are the risks?
Some mild swelling or bruising may occur. Swelling is more common in patients with very red or pink toned skinthat are having treatments to reduce redness. Bruising may occur if many large facial blood vessels are being treated. Although it’s rare but 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 to 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 – no case has ever been reported after an IPL treatment.
It is impossible to get permanent results?
Even though the skin may be “rejuvenated” for long periods, the aging process continues. The skin will usually improve with further treatment. It might be impossible to remove a lesion forever or get permanent results, even though a lesion may be diminished or “disappear” for 3-6 months at a time, just remember, it might return in the future. The fact that the lesion responded to treatment but recurred usually means that it will improve with further treatments.
Does it Hurt?
There is some discomfort associated with the treatment. Each pulse of the IPL feels like an elastic band snapping against the skin. Numbing creams such as EMLA and Maxilene can be used prior to treatment, but are generally not required. To make the treatment more comfortable, we will cool the area with ice prior to your treatment.
When will you notice an 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 will see any difference at all.
What areas can be treated?
The face, neck, chest, back, hands, arms, legs and feet.
How many treatments should you have? A series of 3-6 treatments is usually recommended for most skin types and body areas. Treatments are usually done 3-4 weeks apart. We will determine the number of treatments that your specific skin type and condition will require at the time of your consultation or treatment.
What other treatments complement IPL Photo Rejuvenation?
Superficial chemical peels – AHA glycolic acid or salicylic acid – can improve IPL results by about 15%. Peels done a week before each IPL session strip off some superficial skin cells, thus allow better IPL penetration.
How should you prepare your skin prior to an IPL treatment?
IPL treatments can NOT be done on TANNED skin. Treating skin with a tan can produce white “striping” which can take several months to fade.
Your skin MUST NOT and CAN NOT BE TANNED.
Stop the use of all Retin-A, Reversa, glycolic acid products and toners a week before your treatment. Please do not wear makeup when you come in to get this treatment done. We recommend that even though most people do not have a significant down time after IPL.We ask that you do not plan any major events for 2 to 3 days after your fist IPL treatment. This will give you a chance to see how your skin reacts and how easily you can incorporate IPL treatments into your schedule.
What is the procedure for IPL-Intense Pulsed Light or photofacial therapy?
1. At your first visit, we will provide a free consultation. During the consultation, we will discuss the benefits of IPL therapy, explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. Furthermore, we will explain how the procedure works and how many treatments you will need, and provide you with a price quote. We will ask you a series of questions to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure and will determine your skin type and sensitivity.
2. If you decide to go ahead with a treatment, photographs will be taken of the treatment area. These photographs are strictly for your chart and will not be released or used without your permission. Your privacy is of utmost importance to us.
3. IF you wear makeup, it will be removed.
4. Your skin will be cleansed and any remaining make-up will be removed.
5. You may purchase a topical anesthetic cream to be applied prior to the light exposure, but it’s not necessary.
6. Your eyes will be covered with special goggles during the treatment.
7. Prior to the treatment we will place a cold ice pack on the area to be treated for about 5 minutes.A cold, soothing gel will be applied as well before we place the IPL hand piece 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 photo facial treatments.
8. You may need a spot test or patch test to make sure there are no negative reactions.
9. During the treatment you may feel stinging, tingling, prickling, or burning of the lesions, but this should go away after the treatment.
10. After treatment with Intense Pulsed Light, the gel will be washed off the skin.
11. You will be provided with a pamphlet of after-care instructions and the technician will recommend specific products to take care of your skin after the treatment.
What should you expect after your treatment?
There will be redness, and occasionally even mild blistering or bruising of the treated areas which can last anywhere from several hours to 3-14 days. The treated area might “crust”, “flake”, or look like a “cat scratch.” This will depend on the sensitivity of your skin and the severity of the problem being treated. Most people are completely healed within 7 days. There may be some mild swelling, crusting or bruising which will go away after a few days. If it doesn’t disappear, you should inform your technician. The dark areas or freckles may crust, turn black then “peel off’. This is normal and should resolve within 7 to 10 days. Your skin will be more sensitive anywhere from a few days up to a couple weeks after your treatment. There will be some discomfort, but there should not be significant pain. You can return to your normal activities.
What should a person do if they get significant redness, swelling, or pain after a treatment?
1. Apply very cool or cold compresses to the face every 15 minute.
2. Take Tylenol for the discomfort.
3. Avoid the sun or bright lights as much as possible.
4. Call the office where you had your treatment done. The technician will be happy to help you and answer your questions.
5. If you are concerned that you have had an abnormal reaction, have a cold sore, or an infection – call the location immediately.
Precautions for the first seven days after your IPL treatment:
Avoid hot water on the treated area. Keep the area moist and protected with Anthelios 60 sunscreen. Stay out of the sun, avoid ultraviolet light and tanning beds, especially for the next 48 hours to minimize the risk of getting increased pigmentation in the skin. If sun is unavoidable, use Anthelios 60 sunscreen for at least 4 weeks after the treatment. For the first 2 days wear a wide-brimmed hat or similar covering of light-opaque material. Sun exposure may lead to the production of blotchy dark pigmentation which may take several months to fade. Avoid any aggressive skin care products such as scrubs, exfoliants, alpha or beta hydroxy acid products. Avoid excessive heat exposure such as saunas, steam rooms, hot showers or baths, and strenuous exercising for 24 hours. This prevents the risk of blistering. Keep clothing from rubbing against the treated area and avoid other irritation to the area. Do not get hairspray on the treated area. In case of prolonged redness, excessive puffiness, or other unusual side effects, please contact your IPL technician.
WHO does the IPL photo rejuvenation treatments?
Bozana, my laser technician is also a trained medical esthetician. She’s been servicing our clients for the last five years and has gained our clients confidence over that period of time. She does the IPL treatments at the spa as well as microdermabrasion treatments.
Since my announcement in the last newsletter about our Hyaluronic Acid injectable fillers to treat wrinkles etc, we had a lot of inquiries about that service as well.
Be a Perfect “10”
Shanette & staff
L’Exquisite Day Spa