What does an IPL laser do?
Well, that’s a trick question when it comes to skin treatments.
Keep in mind, an IPL is not the same as a laser – IPLs use various wavelengths of light to clear up your skin and treat a larger area than a laser would. A laser pinpoints specific areas for more dramatic results, like hair removal. Most patients seek IPL photofacials to clear up sun damage, age spots, rosacea, and facial spider veins.
How do IPL lasers work?
To go more in-depth, the IPL laser intense pulsed light machine is adjustable in order to provide the best results for each patient. This is an advantage over laser skin treatments, and it also can treat wider areas, thanks to its design. One of the main differences between IPL photo facials and laser skin treatments is the number of lights involved.
Where laser treatments only use one focused beam to treat problem areas, IPL face treatments use many light sources to modulate through many wavelengths of light. It is for this reason that IPL laser beams can reach the deeper layers of the skin and target discolored sun spots and age spots on the skin.
During the procedure, light targets cells that produce excessive melanin, a chemical that regulates skin color. The light passes through the skin to reach these cells. The light pulses turn to heat, which then destroys the melanin-producing cells.
After a few days, your skin brings the dead cells to the surface of your skin. During this process, you may notice some texture changes to your skin as the discolored spots begin to flake off. After the spots fall off, your skin will be left with a beautifully even tone.
How long do IPL laser treatments last?
On average, you can expect IPL results to last around 6-12 months. However, with proper maintenance and followup sessions results can be expected to last much longer.
How many sessions do you need?
The short answer is that it depends because everyone’s skin is different. For example, people with larger discolorations or wrinkles may require multiple treatments. However, most patients notice significant improvements after just one treatment. Many of our patients also choose to have an IPL facial regularly during the year, just for maintenance.
If your skin has multiple types of discoloration, you will need at least two visits. For instance, for patients who have brown liver spots and red marks on their face, we would use the first appointment to target one specific coloration, such as the brown spots. On your follow up appointment, we would then target the red spots.
Even for patients who see immediate results, one treatment will not get rid of all of your trouble spots. In reality, only time will tell how many treatments your skin will need in order to reach your goals.
However, you will need to work with your aesthetician to create a specific treatment plan for your skin. If done too often, the light from the IPL device can burn your skin, just as if it was exposed to the sun for too long. Therefore, you should only see a skilled and experienced aesthetics expert to help you take care of your skin.
What time of year is best for IPL treatment?
Fall through spring months are typically best for IPL facials. Any extended period of time that you know you won’t be exposed to the sun is ideal. However, if you’re willing and able to follow a strict low-to-no exposure to the sun regimen, then you’re one of the lucky ones who can enjoy IPL facials year round.
Is IPL treatment good for your face?
Yes, especially If you’ve spent a lot of time in the sun – you may have noticed a few unwanted sunspots on your skin. While catching a few rays can give you a nice tan, your skin may not tan all at once, causing too many freckles to form on the skin – or even worse with sun damage over time. A few freckles can be cute if that’s your goal. However, if you want to beautify your skin from the inside out and have an even skin tone, try IPL treatment for the face.
Not only are IPLs great for aesthetic results, but it can also help kill harmful bacteria. This is especially wanted in cases of inflammation, acne or acne scarring. In fact, the more IPL facials you have the better results you’ll see. It aids in the process of renewing your skin starting with the outer layer and working deeper into the dermis.
IPL treatments remove discolorations and leave your skin with a radiant and youthful glow. Sun spot removal is the main benefit of an IPL photofacial. The treatment is gentle enough to be performed on skin anywhere around your body. Although, the most popular goal for this procedure is removing sun spots on the face.
This includes both red and brown spots on the skin. However, there are even more benefits, which is why this is one of the most performed cosmetic procedures in the United States.
Younger skin can retain even pigmentation and hide signs of damage. However, as your skin begins to age, it loses some of its ability to recover from and hide sun damage. As a result, pigmentation and discoloration appear on the surface of your skin. This damage can happen when you’re exposed to the sun without proper sunscreen protection.
Thankfully, IPL laser makes it so you’re not stuck with these sun spots forever. Additionally, IPL treatments can remove unwanted freckles from your face as well.
What are the benefits of IPL facials?
The reason most patients pursue a photofacial is for skin rejuvenation and skin brightening. In fact, it’s one of our mainstay aesthetic services in Nashville where we practice. Some of the many benefits of IPL include:
Giving your skin that natural glow
Improve skin tone and skin texture
Stimulates collagen growth
Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
Uses for IPL Laser Treatments
Some people have found success in reducing broken blood vessels on the face and legs. Sometimes this might work for patients who have spider veins in these areas. However, due to the nature of IPL treatments, they won’t be as effective as sclerotherapy from a specialized vein doctor.
How to improve to color & texture of your skin with an IPL.
Our IPL Lumecca device by InMode offers a fast, reliable treatment for a more firm texture and even skin tone.
Will IPL Help Me Get Rid of Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles?
While it’s true that these treatments can improve fine lines and wrinkles, the skin around your eyelids is softer and more sensitive to light. As a result, we might be able to reduce some puffiness around your eyes with IPL facial treatments. However, for your comfort, we recommend working with Tracey Robinson to find the best products that will eliminate those dark circles.
What Are the Added Benefits of IPL Laser Treatment Photofacials?
There are several other uses for IPL treatments, making it one of the most versatile aesthetic skin care treatments. Because the skin is the body’s largest organ, it can sustain a lot of small noticeable physical damage over time.
Acne and Scar Treatment
Firstly, if you have any acne troubles, IPL facial treatments can treat active acne by stimulating the skin’s regenerative properties and allowing more oxygen into deeper layers. Second, for patients who have had acne problems in the past, IPL is perfect for treating acne scars. This skin rejuvenation treatment can also lessen the appearance of other forms of scars.
There’s laser hair removal, and then there’s IPL hair removal. When compared to each other, laser hair removal is generally more effective because the laser specifically targets and destroys hair follicles at their roots. In contrast, IPL scatters light through the skin in a broad spectrum of light. As a result, it is generally weaker than laser hair removal but provides good results so long as the wavelengths are tuned properly.
Facial Spider Vein Removal
With the scattering of light through the skin, IPL can also treat surface-level spider veins. With the proper light frequency, the heat from the light waves can break down the small diseased blood vessels that cause vascular damage to appear around your face.
Everything You Need to Know About AN IPL Facial Treatment
How Does the Intense Pulsed Light Machine Work?
As the light is applied to your face or skin, your doctor will give you a countdown so you can expect each pulse. Most patients experience some discomfort during this procedure, however, it is very tolerable. Usually, patients compare the sensation to a rubber band snapping over the area.
The length of the procedure depends on the size of the treatment area and if you want to treat multiple areas. Usually, a facial treatment can be completed in as little as 15 minutes.
If you’d like to hear more about photo facials from people who’ve received them, check out IPL LASER FOR PIGMENTATION by The Beauty Surfer on YouTube.
How to Prepare for IPL Treatment
Your skin care specialist will look at your skin and condition. Based on their observation, they will let you know what you can expect from the IPL procedure. This is a good time to let them know if you have skin conditions like inflammatory acne, eczema, or anything else that can affect how your skin heals.
The specialist may also give you a list of activities, medications, or skin care products to avoid for two weeks prior to the treatment.
Before the procedure, you will also want to avoid:
- Tanning beds
- Tanning lotions
- Spending time in direct sunlight
- Waxing treatment area
- Chemical peels
- Cosmetic injectables (botox, collagen, dermal filler)
- Blood thinners like aspirin or anti-coagulants like ibuprofen
- Topical or oral medicines that increase sun sensitivity, like doxycycline
- Skin care products that contain retinol, vitamin A and its derivatives, or glycolic acid
What to Expect During the Treatment
When you come in for your treatment one of our Nashville aesthetics experts will cleanse and massage your skin in preparation for the IPL. You’ll be given eye protection to shield your eyes from the light and a cooling conductive gel will be applied to the treatment area.
What Can I Expect After My IPL Treatment?
You can expect your skin to feel a little dry and tight. Therefore you need to make sure you moisturize gently and avoid any irritating products that you would use as part of your regular routine.
You will most likely notice that your brown spots will start to look bigger after the treatment. Don’t worry because it’s a natural part of the process!
The sun-damaged spots from your treatment will begin working themselves to the surface of your skin and slough off naturally.
Does IPL have any side effects?
In terms of side effects and recovery time, there’s no downtime at all for an IPL photofacial. However, your skin will probably feel warm to the touch and be more sensitive to sunlight.
Make sure you have adequate sun protection and apply it for a few days after your treatment. You should also make sure your skin is adequately hydrated. If you need help finding the best Nashville skin care products, talk to our resident skincare specialist Tracey Robinson.
Minor side effects, like temporary skin changes, are normal and go away on their own in a few days. These side effects cause no concern.
Possible side effects include:
- Sunspots or sunburn
In rare cases, the skin may become darker or lighter. Lighter patches of skin may look like scars, but are usually not permanent.
If you have any concerns about these side effects, feel free to ask our expert Garza Plastic Surgery skincare staff.
Are Photofacials Safe and Effective?
Yes! When performed properly by a professional provider, IPL facial treatments are safe for most types of skin. As we mentioned, this is a highly effective procedure! Although, the results of just one visit will differ between patients. Melanin levels in the skin occur at different levels in everyone, so what one patient sees after one treatment may require two or three treatments for you.
Who Should Not Get an IPL Facial Treatment (Photofacial)?
Generally speaking, if you are pregnant, have a serious skin condition, or have skin cancer, a photofacial might not be right for you. Also, if your skin is highly sensitive to light, then you may not benefit from a photofacial.
However, if you would like to brighten your skin, ask us about Hydrafacial with Perk or the brightening serum, BrightAlive by Z-O. Also, if you use a retinol-based product, then you should wait a few days after your facial before using it again.
IPL Facial Alternatives
If you cannot have an IPL facial, or would prefer a different treatment, you have several options. To treat discoloration, redness, and fine lines, you can opt for microdermabrasion or chemical peels.
Microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals to buff the top layer of skin. This treatment removes dead, dull skin to reveal healthy skin beneath. The exfoliation also promotes collagen production to fade fine lines, scars, spots, and uneven texture.
Chemical peels have the same effect as microdermabrasion, but use a chemical solution applied to your face.
See how IPL Photofacials can help you!
Request a FREE consultation for IPL laser treatment in Nashville at Garza Plastic Surgery. We will customize a treatment plan perfect for your aesthetic goals.