What is an IPL Photofacial?

Intense pulsed light is a nonsurgical skin renewal skin treatment, that uses a laser light device to deliver light energy into your skin, targeting unwanted pigmentation which will slowly disappear as your body’s natural healing process progresses.

IPL™ is a non-invasive procedure that uses pulsed light therapy to treat many different dermatologic problems including:

  • Dilated blood vessels
  • Rosacea
  • Red cherry angiomas
  • Freckles & Sun spots (Brown spots)
  • Acne

What to expect from Treatment

Prior to treatment, your practitioner may have you eliminate the use of certain skin care products for a short period of time to ensure that your skin is at it’s most resilient. On the day of treatment, your skin will be cleansed and prepped with a toner to remove any oils for dry and clean skin. To start, the applicator of the laser will be pressed firmly over the treatment areas and light will be emitted and absorbed by the skin. Your practitioner may do another pass if they feel it’s necessary.

Results and Recovery

Post-treatment, your skin may feel slightly sensitive or warm to the touch with some redness. These symptoms will quickly fade over the next couple of hours. An important aftercare step is to keep your skin protected from the sun. Your skin will be particularly sensitive for the next few days, and for best results, you will want to stay out of the sun.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the IPL Photofacial?

The IPL Photofacial uses intense pulsed light to selectively treat pigmented areas of the skin. Once the IPL energy is administered to the pigmented skin, it’s absorbed by the pigment and generates heat. This heat causes damage to the melanin cells, where they are periodically expelled by the body’s natural cell turnover. This technique causes no damage to the surrounding skin, making it one of the best and most effective treatments for unwanted pigmentation.

How many treatments will I need?

Multiple treatments may be necessary in order to get optimal results. The frequency and number of treatments will depend mostly on your goals and individual treatment areas, but most patients benefit from a package of 3-5 treatments spaced around one month apart. However, many patients see results after only one treatment.

How much does the IPL Photofacial cost?

The cost of your IPL treatment can vary based the area that is being treated. The IPL Photofacial can be more expensive than traditional skincare treatments like chemical peels or microdermabrasion, but can often produce superior results. During your consultation, you’ll be given a full estimate of the cost of your IPL treatment package.

What is the recovery period for an IPL Photofacial?

Although there is no downtime required after an IPL treatment, it’s important to protect your skin to ensure your skin stays healthy during your recovery period. This means using only gentle products on your treated skin and keeping the skin moisturized and protected from sun exposure. IPL treatments can cause your skin to become photosensitive, leading to further pigmentation if not protected. Most patients experience some flaking in the days following treatment, with the treated skin fully recovering within a few weeks.

Is the IPL Photofacial safe?

IPL technology has been in use for nearly two decades and is highly effective and safe. IPL treatments do not generate radiation or UV energy, meaning it carries no risk of causing skin cancer.

Do I have to shave my face before IPL?

If you have hair in the treatment area, you should shave it the day before your IPL appointment.

Does IPL remove wrinkles?

IPL stimulates collagen production. This results in a smoother overall texture and improved elasticity for reduced wrinkles.

Is IPL good for your face?

IPL has several benefits for the face. It can reduce acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and other common concerns.

Does IPL tighten neck skin?

IPL is a suitable treatment for tightening the neck.

For more cosmetic dermatology options, please see our dermal filler, sclerotherapy, or fractional CO2 skin resurfacing services. If you’d like to schedule a consultation, contact Seattle Skin & Laser today to speak with a skin care professional.  Seattle Skin and Laser also treats patients from Mercer Island and the Issaquah area.

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