IPL / Photorejuvination, also known as intense pulsed light or photo facial.
Photorejuvenation is a skin treatment that uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology to reduce the appearance of some of the most common skin blemishes and skin conditions including: melasma, rosacea, sun spots, brown spots, broken capillaries, stretch marks, texture problems, spider veins, excessive flushing, and large, visible pores. There’s very little recovery time, only mild pain and very few side effects which make photorejuvenation a popular procedure.
How is it performed?
Photorejuvenation uses a unique technique known as pulsed light therapy to treat skin blemishes. Intense pulsed light technology works by shining an intensely bright light on various areas of the skin.
During the procedure, your doctor presses the Intense Pulsed Light apparatus on areas of the skin to be treated, emitting a light that heats up the layers of collagen beneath the skin, encouraging the body to produce more collagen. Enhanced collagen production fills in the wrinkles and fine lines on your face, and can even be an effective treatment for shallow acne scars.
IPL technology can also help reduce discoloration and flushing on the skin. Your aesthetic surgeon may also recommend some complementary treatments to help you achieve your aesthetic goals, such as a chemical peel or laser skin resurfacing. An IPL emits a broad range of light waves which means it can reduce brown spot discolouration, diffuse redness in the capillaries and remove hair.
What does IPL feel like?
Photorejuvenation may cause some mild discomfort, similar to having rubber band being snapped against the skin.
What are my options?
Some patients opt for a treatment known as ELOS (electro-optical synergy) in addition to photorejuvenation, which combines a high intensity radiofrequency treatment with the basic IPL technology.
Is it right for me?
If you suffer from any of the problem listed below, photo rejuvenation may be the solution for you:
- Hyperpigmentation (brown spots)
- Texture problems
- Large visible pores
- Excessive flushing
- Freckles, age and sun spots
- Broken capillaries
- Spider veins
- Stretch marks
If you are in good overall health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations of surgery, then you will probably be a suitable candidate for this procedure.
What result can I expect?
Basic IPL treatments usually require several procedures spread over a number of weeks (normally over a month). Photorejuvenation often significantly reduces most common skin issues such as brown spots, flushing and spider veins in the long-term. You should remember that none of these treatments actually prevent your skin from aging, so it’s likely that given enough time, new wrinkles and blemishes will appear. Some patients prefer to undergo pulsed light therapy multiple times a period of years to prevent this.
- Almost no recovery time
- Results are long-lasting and provide improvements in the appearance of skin
- Is suitable for use on any area of the body
- You may find you need several treatments before you can see the full effects
- Will not be as effective on darker skin tones
- Skin is sensitive and must be protected from sunlight for a time after treatment
Immediately after your treatment, you will experience sensations similar to a sunburn although these symptoms usually subside within 24 hours. Generally, patients will not experience any side effects in the first days after the procedure, although it’s likely that scabs or blisters will appear after a photorejuvenation treatment. Your physician will advise you to avoid prolonged sun exposure and hot water for up to two days after your procedure.
It is essential you follow all patient care instructions given to you by your physician. This should include advice on which painkillers you are allowed to take, how to protect your skin and the safe level of activity you can perform. They will also give you information about how to spot any potential complications.
Most patients find the immediate effects of treatment subside during the first couple of days after the procedure. Some patients may find their skin remains blemished for about 2 weeks or so, as the skin gets rid of all the dead and destroyed cells. Remember that because everyone has a different physiology, they will take different times to heal fully.
Limits & Risks
One of the reasons photorejuvenation is so popular is because it carries very few risks. Your specific risks will be discussed during your consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. You can minimize the risk to you by carefully following the instructions and advice of your plastic surgeon before and after your cosmetic surgery procedure.
Photorejuvenation comes with the specific risks of:
- Light scabbing blistering or crusting
- Very rarely patients some slight bruising or bleeding can occur
- Sometimes IPL treatments can cause an outbreak of herpes (if the patient is already living with the virus)