How to Prepare for a Photofacial

Date Published: March 15th, 2022
Blog Category: Photofacials

If you’ve been considering a photofacial to address your skin concerns, then you’re in the right place. It’s important to know more about the photofacial and what to expect ahead of your consultation with our laser team, so here’s a quick guide to the photofacial and how it can help you achieve clear, radiant skin.

What is a photofacial?

A photofacial is a non-surgical laser treatment that uses intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy to rejuvenate the skin. It works by targeting age spots and other pigmentation on your skin, including redness caused by broken capillaries. It works by targeting pigmentation in brown spots and blood vessels with light energy, causing heat to build up and damage the cells. They are then expelled from the body and the pigmentation fades from the surface of the skin.

What to expect during the treatment

Your first step in treatment is a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist and our laser team to assess your skin quality, your goals, and determine whether or not you are a good candidate for this procedure. Ahead of your photofacial treatment, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

Sun exposure should be avoided

You’ll need to stay out of the sun for approximately one week prior to your procedure. If you’ve already been exposed to the sun or gone tanning, your doctor may recommend a different laser treatment to help improve your skin. Otherwise, you may need to postpone your treatment. Sun exposure can prevent the photofacial from working correctly and increase the chance of side effects. If you must go out in the sun, be sure to wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

Avoid certain medications

Your dermatologist may recommend you stop taking certain medications ahead of your procedure. For example, patients who take Accutane (isotretinoin) may need to stop using it. You should also avoid taking blood-thinning medications like ibuprofen for two weeks ahead of your procedure since this can cause excess bruising.

Refrain from using some products

Certain products should also be avoided before your photofacial treatment. You shouldn’t use any products containing Retin-A (tretinoin), Renova (tretinoin emollient cream), Differin gel (adapalene gel), Tazorac (tazarotene), or glycolic acid for two weeks before your treatment. You should also avoid waxing any body hair in the area.

Schedule an Appointment

The photofacial is one of the most effective ways to reduce pigmentation and achieve clear skin. To learn more, schedule an appointment with our team at our Seattle-area offices by calling or filling out our online form.