What Is It?
The overall appearance of aging skin is primarily related to the quantitative effects of sun exposure with the resultant UV damage. Photo damaged skin is more than just wrinkles; it is a combination of hyperpigmentation, skin laxity, enlarged pores, wrinkling, and telangiectasias – all of which can be effectively improved with IPL treatments.
IPL Photorejuvenation is a dynamic, non-ablative process that uses non-coherent, intense pulsed light in a low energy manner to rejuvenate the skin. The IPL wavelengths range from 550nm to 1200nm, and are limited by a filter that selectively blocks and defines the lowest wavelength. The shorter wavelengths are effective in removing vascular and pigmented lesions, and the longer wavelengths help rejuvenate the skin.
The IPL energy is applied non-invasively to the skin. The light energy is then converted to heat energy in the target tissue (hemoglobin in vascular lesions, or melanin in pigmented lesions). The target is damaged, and then broken down and absorbed, without injury to the surrounding skin. The skin surface becomes smoother, brighter and healthier. Redness, flushing and dilated capillaries are reduced. Hyperpigmentation fades, pore size is decreased, and the skin develops a smoother texture and even more tone. IPL treatments are not painful, are non-ablative, do not interrupt a patient’s lifestyle, and produce long-term results with a high measure of patient satisfaction. IPL is even safe for some pigmented skin.
IPL FotoFacial™ and FotoBody™ treatments rejuvenate the skin of the face, neck, chest or other body areas that show signs of redness, irregular pigmentation or photo-aging. Low energy IPL treatments given in 3-week intervals have been shown to produce consistant and dramatic improvements in redness, flushing, dilated/broken capillaries, rosacea, irregular pigmentation, and the visible signs of sun damage and aging. For those individuals prone to rosacea or who have telangiectasias, IPL is the most effective treatment today. Histological studies correlate with the clinical findings and demonstrate a dramatic reversal in photo damage and age-related skin changes.
For optimal outcome, the treatment is administered in 4-6 procedures at approximately 3-week intervals. The entire face is usually treated to obtain a uniform and aesthetically pleasing result. The patient may return to all activities immediately after the procedure. Results can be improved with the continuous use of a skin care program.
For this procedure a classification system of extrinsic and intrinsic cutaneous aging and photo damage changes is used to guide the treatment process:
Type I skin damage includes: hyperpigmentation and mottled pigmentation from sun damage, lentigines; as well as benign vascular changes including telangiectasias, flushing, and redness that is the result of early to moderate photo damage, rosacea, or laser resurfacing.
Type II skin damage includes dermal and epidermal structural changes of collagen and connective tissue origin such as fine lines and wrinkles (rhytides), large pores, and elastic fiber, collagen and connective tissue changes.
Type I Photorejuvenation is used for Type I skin damage, and Type II Photorejuvenation is used to treat Type II skin damage.
Care and Treatment
- A pretreatment consultation and evaluation will be necessary to determine what type of therapy is right for each individual. Preparation with a skin care program will optimize the treatment results. It will be necessary to avoid alphahydroxy acid products for at least 72 hours prior to treatment. On the day of treatment makeup and moisturizers should be avoided.
- It is absolutely necessary that the area to be treated, be protected with a sunscreen (SPF 30) that blocks both ultraviolet A and B rays for 6 weeks prior to treatment. Individuals with a recent tan will need to avoid further sun exposure for 4 weeks prior to treatment. Sunless tanning products should also be avoided.
- IPL™ treatments will produce mild stinging or burning sensation similar to sunburn. Mild redness may be present for 1-2 days following treatment. Pigmented areas will become darker before they begin to lighten. Cool compresses or aloe vera gel may be applied to the treated area to ease temporary discomfort.
- Gently cleanse the treated area with mild soap and water twice daily; gently blot the area dry. Quick warm showers are recommended. Hot baths are not recommended for 24 hours, if areas other than the face are treated.
- If the skin is broken or a blister appears, apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment, and notify the office. The area should be kept clean and lubricated with antibiotic ointment to prevent crusting or scabbing.
- A sunscreen (SPF 30 that blocks both ultraviolet A and B rays) or sun block should be applied each day. Protective clothing should be worn in the sun. If further treatment is needed, a commitment to stay out of the sun is necessary.
- Makeup may be applied as long as the skin is not broken or crusted.
- Apply sunscreen prior to application of makeup.
- Patients generally do not require any time off from work