Who Benefits From a Photofacial?
Almost anyone with fair to light brown with skin discolorations in the form of browns or reds. Browns can be called age spots, liver spots, melasma, solar lentigines, hyperpigmentation, and other names. The IPL sees them all as darker than the surrounding skin and be can be quite effective in lightening or removing them- at least temporarily, and can last months or years.
Not all IPL devices are the same. Our device is manufactured by Palomar Medical, considered the gold standard in our industry for IPL devices.
Intense Pulsed Light is not laser, but it is a form of light based treatment.
There are different spectrums for IPL, and the Rejuvalux is utilized for the treatment of discolorations on the skin, particularly the face, neck, chest, arms and hands.
The browns in our skin are typically caused by reactions of our melanocytes. Melanocytes give our skin color, and hyperactivity of them can cause too much color- they don’t match surrounding skin. Complete destruction could cause white spots on the skin- a permanent loss of pigment, so the goal is never complete removal, but rather a correction back to the natural baseline skin color. To maintain this correction long term, an ongoing commitment to a minimum of SPF 30 sunscreen is imperative to prevent reactivation of the melanocytes that have a tendency to be over reactive.
Never have this treatment done when you are tanned or are wearing self tanning products. The device is looking for browns, and the heat is delivered to the browns to lift them off the skin. Having this treatment done when tanned or wearing self tanning products can actually increase your chance of having a blister or burn. Our device features the newest technology to prevent this type of outcome. We are able to measure the amount of color in the skin and be guided to use lower settings in this situation. However, the best outcomes are achieved when we can use the optimal settings on untanned skin.
When treated by the Rejuvalux, it is not uncommon for the browns being treated to become darker and almost crusty by the next day. Then over the next several days for the face, (and for a few weeks for the neck, chest, hands and arms), the brown crusty areas slough off leaving skin that has returned to itss natural baseline color, except for some pinkness which may persist for a few days or rarely, a few weeks. It is common for our patients to reach their desired outcome in just 1-2 treatments, unlike 4-6 commonly required by other devices. This is why we prefer not to sell IPL packages, but rather, just treat on a need-based basis. On rare occasions, a patient may have a minimal response to IPL, and in that case, we would suggest moving to a different treatment option.
A potential side effect of any light based treatment utilizing heat in the skin can be a type of darkening weeks after the treatment called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). This side effect is minimized by the pre and post cooling built into the Palomar Rejuvalux IPL. In darker skin types, the use of certain topical prescriptions which minimize the risk of hyperpigmentation may be required for a few weeks before and after the treatment.
The other color treated with Rejuvalux is redness. This can be in the form of Rosacea, broken capillaries or blood vessels in the face, cherry angiomas (little red dots on the skin), flushing, etc. Rejuvalux settings are changed to focus on redness. Treating reds often leads to initial swelling for a few days, but once the swelling resolves, the redness is typically minimized or resolved. Redness can return over time, especially for issues such as Rosacea, which is currently manageable, not curable. The need for retreatment can be months or years later. Treatment for redness frequently requires 2-4 treatments, typically more than we need for browns.
What to Expect During Treatment?
Photofacial IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments can be uncomfortable and are often described as feeling like rubber band snaps on the skin. Therefore our nurses often use a topical anesthetic to soothe any possible discomfort especially when treating the skin for redness.
What to Expect After Treatment?
The Palomar Max G IPL hand piece is considered the gold standard in the industry for treatment of browns on the skin and it utilizes state of the art liquid cooling throughout the treatment to soothe the skin and accelerate the healing process. Recovery will vary depending on your skin type; for example, some people respond to even a minor treatment with redness, similar to sunburn. This fades quickly and can easily be covered with makeup while it lasts. Some people have freckles throughout the skin and can expect them to darken and float to the surface of the skin. This will last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks but will flake off eventually leaving the skin looking clear and beautiful.
Dignity Medical Aesthetics is proud to serve the Cameron Park area. We are located in beautiful El Dorado Hills, California. Contact us today!