We use several different names to refer to skin damage caused by the sun, including photoaging, photodamage, solar damage, or sun damage. Sun damage happens when ultraviolet (UV) light hits skin unprotected by sunscreen.

Sun damage shows up as dark spots or hyperpigmentation on the surface of the skin. 

If you have any of the aforementioned problems, an IPL photofacial could be the key to resolving them.

What Is An IPL Photofacial?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment, is a non-invasive procedure that uses intense pulses of light to improve the appearance of the skin. It is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, such as:

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for an IPL Photofacial?

IPL Photofacial is best for lighter skin types (ideally skin types 1-4 on the Fitzpatrick scale). To treat sun damage, the laser is searching for a contrast of melanin in the skin. In darker skin types with more melanin, the laser can’t differentiate between the normal pigmentation in the skin and the build of melanin caused by sun damage.  For the same reasons, IPL Photofacial is not recommended for patients with an active tan or patients using self-tanner. 

What Happens During An IPL Treatment?

To come up with the right treatment plan, your provider will assess your skin and discuss your concerns and objectives during your initial consultation.

Here’s what to expect during the treatment:

  1. Your provider will gently cleanse your skin.
  2. They’ll ask you to put on protective goggles.
  3. Your provider will apply a cooling gel or topical anesthetic before moving the device across the treatment area.

Is the treatment painful? According to some patients, the light pulses feel like the snapping of rubber bands against the skin, but otherwise, the sensation is pretty tolerable.

An IPL Photofacial is a relatively quick procedure, typically taking 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area. Multiple sessions are typically needed for optimal results, and the number of sessions required will depend on the client’s skin condition and desired outcome.

An IPL Photofacial is considered a safe and effective treatment option, with minimal side effects. Some common side effects include redness, swelling, and mild discomfort, but these usually subside after 24-48 hours.

The Results

IPL helps get rid of pigmentation by transmitting heat to the area/s of concern. The underlying pigmentation is pulled to the surface and will flake off over the next few days. The device also emits heat to stimulate the body’s natural collagen production, leaving you with smaller pores and firmer, smoother skin.

It’s important to protect the treated area from sun exposure and to use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 for about a week after the treatment to avoid post-treatment discoloration. Following your provider’s aftercare instructions will also help the results last longer.

It’s important to seek treatment from a qualified and experienced provider, as an IPL Photofacial can cause burns, discoloration, or other complications if not performed properly. 

If age spots, wrinkles, and freckles are a big concern for you, visit us here at Metro MedSpa in St. Louis, MO, and let our highly trained providers assess if you’re a good candidate for an IPL photofacial treatment.

Call us now and schedule your appointment today!

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