Frequently asked questions about Laser: IPL for Dark, Age, and Liver Spots (e.g. photofacial).
What are the side effects for M22: Advanced IPL side effects
It is common for patients to feel heat and burning immediately after having an IPL treatment. This heat will go away after a few hours. Any dark spots will become darker, will then crust, and will eventually fall off. The dark spots will fade by may not completely erase the first time. To continue fading them away, patient are recommended a series of treatments.
How long between IPL treatments?
Health care professionals typically recommend IPL treatments every 4 to 6 weeks while treating existing browns and reds. After the initial series of treatment, patient are also recommended to receive maintenance treatments every 6 - 12 months.
Are there treatment alternatives to IPL?
Yes. Some other alternatives include skin care products, prescription products, and also chemical peels. Although these can be effective, the results may take longer to achieve. Furthermore, patient that would like to try alternatives must observe a high level compliance and consistency.
When does peeling start after receiving an IPL treatment?
When patients receive IPL treatments for sun damage, they will typically experience pigment flake rather than peel. This can happen a few days and even a few weeks after the treatment. Peeling is not an expected side effect after an IPL treatment. The only "peeling" would be the crusting and falling off of dark spots.
IPL Vs. photofacial: what's the difference?
The IPL is a light based device. A photofacial is a type of treatment. A photofacial is one with an IPL device. The term photofacial is very generic and is why there exists some confusion. It is important to note that photofacial is one treatment among many that can be treated with an IPL device.
How much does a photofacial cost?
The photofacial cost can range anywhere from $130 - $600 per session. The costs can be influenced by the facility, the clinician, and also the treatment protocol. Most patients will need several treatment in order to achieve the desired results. It is important to consider these series in the final cost and expectations.
How many IPL sessions do patients need to see results?
With the optimal setting, most patients will see some improvement after the first treatment. The number of sessions required will highly depend on level of sun damage and also skin type. Skin types that are darker will have lower setting to avoid any burns.
The majority of patients will see positive outcomes with 3-4 sessions. Re-treatment will also depend on patient sun protection practice. If a patient like to sun tan and does little to protect themselves, then they will need treatment much more frequently.
Hyperpigmentation looks worse after photofacial?
If a patient experiences a worsening of hyperpigmentation after numerous treatments, we highly recommend that they stop treatments. The hyperpigmentation might be melasma. Many patients mistakenly think that melasma is sun damage. Melasma does get worse with IPL treatments.
Risk of scarring from IPL after scabs fall Off?
Some of the common effects of an IPL treatment are crusting, flaking and inflammation (reddish/pinkish skin). Patients can apply a variety of topical skin care products that can reduce inflammation. It is extremely important that patients use sunscreen afterwards to protect from hyperpigmentation.
How long after Botox Cosmetic or Dysport should I wait to get a photofacial?
The light from the IPL device does not penetrate through the skin. Patients can receive Botox Cosmetic or Dysport treatments 24 hours apart.
Recurring brown spots after Photofacial treatments
Patients that have brown spots will most always reoccur. The are likely to come back because the skin cells in the area are permanently damaged and will turn brown. Once a successful IPL treatment is given, patients must make an effort to protect themselves from the sun to minimize this reaction. Most health care professionals will recommend not only a series of IPL treatments, but also maintenance treatments.
How come I didn't see any results after 1 treatment?
One session is sometimes not enough to see any results. We recommend patients to go through a series before determining it the treatments were effective. Patient must also remember that healthcare professionals will usually use low settings during the first treatment to determine skin reactions. Because there is a danger of burning, it is better to start off slow and ramping up the setting as the treatment progress.
Can patients receive a photofacial while breastfeeding?
A photofacial treatment uses visible light and will have direct effect on breastfeeding. However, it is common to use a topical anesthetic before the treatment. This topical anesthetic can be absorbed by the skin in small amount. Therefore, many healthcare professionals recommend to hold off on receiving a photofacial treatment.
What is the recovery time for a IPL: Photofacial treatment?
This treatment has no downtime. Patients will experience some possible scabbing and crusting of the dark spots.
Can a patient use IPL to treatment melasma?
Melasma, depending on the depth, can be treated with IPL. However, a careful treatment protocol must be used because the melasma may get worse if treated incorrectly. We recommend to first treat the areas with Hydroquinone, Kojic Acid, and Retin-A for 6-8 weeks. If this is successful, we recommend to continue with laser treatments or peel treatments.
Should I watch our for sun exposure after photofacial treatments?
Patient are strongly recommended to use sunscreen after receiving and IPL treatment. A patients skin can be more sensitive during the laser treatments. Patients commonly go on vacation where they will be exposed to excessive sun rays. Patient should not only protect themselves, but they may want to hold off on laser treatments until after the trip.
I have hypopigmentation. How long will it take for it to come back to normal?
Hypopigmentation is when the skin loses its color. IPL cannot treat this discoloration. The hypopigmented area may come back to normal after 6-8 months.