As we get older, changes in our skin can appear, quickly showing our age. Years of exposure to the elements, sun damage, smoking, illness, genetics, and the unavoidable aging process can result in areas of hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and age spots. The skin may lose its youthful elasticity, pores become large, and acne scars become more apparent. Unfortunately, there is little that can be at home to reverse these changes, even using the most expensive, over-the-counter skincare.
Dr. Malhotra and the aesthetic team at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery offers a cutting-edge option for those patients looking to improve the appearance of their skin, without surgery. Intense Pulsed Light therapy, or IPL, is an innovative treatment designed to restore smooth skin, with an even tone, through a fast, in-office procedure. Freckles, age spots, sun damage, and redness can be erased to reveal clear, healthy, younger-looking tissue.
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy in Ann Arbor:
The IPL Photofacials is a noninvasive treatment designed to target darkened areas of hyperpigmentation, as well as freckles, broken capillaries, and large pores. IPL Photofacial is a great option for those patients looking to improve pigmented areas of tissue due to the early signs of aging, medication, or sun damage, but are not ready to commit to a more invasive procedure. An IPL Photofacial can be used to improve almost any area of skin, including the face, neck, hands, arms, legs, and back.
The IPL Photofacials Can Improve:
- Sun damage
- Age spots
- Areas of hyperpigmentation
- Shallow acne scars
- Enlarged pores
- Broken capillaries
The Science Behind the IPL Photofacials:
Utilizing pulses of light energy, an IPL Photofacial can restore smooth, even, uniform color to the skin. These flashes of concentrated energy interact with the brown and red pigments in the skin, each of which will absorb light differently than healthy tissues. With appropriately applied energy, the darker pigment is damaged, and is then naturally metabolized by the body. Additionally, the heat from the IPL laser encourages the body’s natural collagen production, which will continue to increase over time, meaning smooth skin and long-lasting results.
The Ideal IPL Candidate:
Many patients can benefit from the IPL Photofacial procedure from Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery. The ideal IPL Photofacial candidate will have fair to light skin that is not tanned by the sun or a tanning booth. Potential patients will understand the treatment process, be motivated to sustain their recommended treatment schedule, and hold realistic expectations for their results.
IPL Photofacials are not recommended for those patients with dark skin tones, tanned skin, severe acne or rosacea, or deep scarring. Patients should not be currently taking Accutane, and must wait at least six months after discontinuing the medication before undergoing treatment. Finally, women who are pregnant will need to postpone their IPL Photofacial treatment.
Prior to scheduling an IPL Photofacial session, a phone or in office consultation will be scheduled with the experienced Medical Aesthetician. During this appointment, the Medical Aesthetician will review the medical history and current medications. The laser technician will perform a brief examination of the skin and discuss the patient’s long-term aesthetic goals. Finally, the Medical Aesthetician will explain the IPL Photofacial process in-depth, including the required number of treatment sessions and the potential for complications. If a series of IPL Photofacials is determined as the best option, a personalized treatment plan will be created. For those patients who are not ideal candidates for the IPL Photofacial, the Medical Aesthetician may suggest alternative treatments.
The IPL Photofacial Procedure:
Each IPL Photofacial is performed in a comfortable treatment room at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery, taking less than an hour to perform. Once the target area has been determined, the provider will glide a small, contoured handpiece, gently over the tissue. Short pulses of broadband light will be delivered at various wavelengths to the treatment area, which are then absorbed by the melanin in the dark tissue. The surrounding, healthy skin and tissue is not affected by the IPL treatment.
An IPL Photofacial is not considered painful. However, most patients will describe a mild pinch or stinging sensation during each pulse of light, similar to the snap of a rubber band. For optimal patient comfort, the Medical Aesthetician will apply a topical or local anesthetic to the treatment area before an IPL procedure.
Your IPL Photofacial Recovery and Results:
As soon as the IPL Photofacial is finished, patients are able to go back to their normal routine, as no downtime is required. School, work, and even exercise can be resumed the same afternoon. Women can begin wearing makeup immediately, as well. Initially, the treated area may be slightly red or swollen, but these side-effects will quickly resolve. Over the first several days, the dark spots and dark areas may become dry and flake away, as the deep layers of healthy tissue move to the surface of the skin. To protect the delicate skin, patients are encouraged to wear sunscreen at all times.
While most benefits from IPL are not immediate, some patients do notice an improvement in the skin’s tone and texture after the first session. In one to two weeks, as the body breaks down and eliminates the damaged cells, the full results from treatment can be seen. For the best results, most patients will require between four and six IPL Photofacial sessions, spaced about four weeks apart. During the consultation appointment with the Medical Aesthetician, the number of IPL treatments will be determined. For long-lasting results, routine IPL sessions may be recommended, helping to maintain the dramatic benefits.
IPL Photofacials in Ann Arbor:
Contact Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery for additional information on the IPL Photofacial. Call our Ann Arbor location at 734.913.5100 or our Jackson office at 517.789.9800; or fill out our easy, online Contact Us form. Dr. Pramit Malhotra is a double board certified plastic surgeon with decades of plastic surgery experience. Together with his aesthetic team, Dr. Malhotra offers the Ann Arbor area the safest and most sought after noninvasive procedures available today.
IPL Photofacial FAQ:
What is the IPL Photofacial from Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery?
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, also known as the IPL Photofacial, is a nonsurgical procedure created to improve sun damaged skin, areas of hyperpigmentation, freckles, age spots, redness from rosacea, large pores, and shallow acne scarring. Using concentrated wavelengths of pulsed light, IPL will break down dark areas in the skin, making way for healthy skin with restored tone and texture.
What areas can be safely treated using IPL?
The IPL Photofacial can be used to improve the appearance of skin almost any place on the body. The Medical Aesthetician most often uses IPL to improve sun damage on the face, neck, hands, arms, legs, and back.
Will I make a good candidate for the IPL Photofacial at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery?
Anyone struggling with sun damage and the early signs of aging can potentially make a good candidate for IPL Photofacial sessions. The ideal candidate will have fair, untanned skin, understand the IPL process, be committed to the recommended number of treatment sessions, and hold realistic expectations for the final results.
How long will my IPL Photofacials take?
Depending on the treatment area and the level of correction, most IPL Photofacial sessions will take about 30 minutes. Performed in a comfortable, in-office treatment room at Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery, there is no downtime after an IPL session, getting patients back to their normal routine immediately.
What are the potential risks or complications associated with the IPL Photofacial?
IPL Photofacials are considered safe for a variety of patients. Side-effects from each session are generally mild, including slight redness or swelling, which quickly resolves. Additionally, there is a small chance for temporary hypopigmentation to occur, but more serious complications from IPL are rare.