Pulsed Light Photofacial Overview

IPL, or a pulsed light photofacial, is a quick procedure to rejuvenate the skin with little to no downtime. IPL stands for ‘Intense Pulsed Light’. Rather than a laser, this treatment selectively applies light to revitalize the skin without causing any of the side effects associated with laser or chemical peels. For the right patient, a photofacial IPL can reduce fine lines, increase skin elasticity, reduce brown spots, and minimize red capillaries- resulting in a better, more beautiful complexion. Typically, photofacial skin rejuvenation consists of a series of four to six treatments that are spaced four weeks apart. During the treatment, a flash of light targets the superficial skin (the epidermis) to balance uneven skin tones. An IPL photofacial treatment can enhance many areas of the face and body, including the neck, chest, back, hands, arms, and legs. Plastic surgeon Dr. Michel Siegel offers a wide range of surgical and non-surgical anti-aging treatments. With extensive expertise in facial anatomy, a refined aesthetic sensibility, and in-depth knowledge of the latest cosmetic technologies, Dr. Siegel is one of the best IPL photofacial providers in Houston. Our team would be thrilled to help you enjoy more attractive, youthful skin with this minimally invasive treatment.

The IPL Photofacial Process

Consultation

If you’re interested in an IPL photofacial, the first step is to schedule a consult with Dr. Siegel. During this appointment, he will examine your skin, learn about your cosmetic concerns, and answer any questions you have about photofacial treatment. He will also go over alternative treatments- such as injectables or facial plastic surgery- depending on the aesthetic issues you want to address. For example, a laser peel or chemical peel may be a better option if you want to minimize deeper pigmentation such as melasma, large pores, or more pronounced wrinkles. Based on your conversation, Dr. Siegel will then design a customized treatment plan to suit your needs and preferences.

PREPARATION

Since each patient is different, Dr. Siegel will give you an individualized set of guidelines to follow to get ready for your IPL photofacial. Generally speaking, we recommend that you drink plenty of water, avoid any medications that could interfere with the treatment, use ample moisturizer, take precautions to prevent a sunburn, and stop smoking. Following Dr. Siegel’s preparation instructions will help your treatment go smoothly, so you can recover quickly and enjoy stunning results.

PROCEDURE

On the day of your IPL photofacial, you’ll come to our Houston cosmetic surgery office. Dr. Siegel usually does not use any anesthesia or sedation for this procedure. He will give you a mask to cover and protect your eyes during the procedure, then use the intense pulsed light machine to target your facial skin. The exact photofacial techniques Dr. Siegel uses will depend on your particular facial anatomy. Typically, these treatments do not take more than half an hour. You may experience mild discomfort during your procedure, but Dr. Siegel will take every possible precaution to avoid this.

RECOVERY

Most patients are able to return to work immediately after photofacial treatment. Some patients have slight inflammation and redness following the procedure, but these symptoms should subside within several days. To optimize your outcome, Dr. Siegel recommends limiting sun exposure following an IPL photofacial and keeping your skin moisturized. He will give you a specific, personalized list of post-treatment instructions to follow. You should be able to enjoy the full results of your photofacial within several weeks, as the top layer of your skin sheds, revealing the revitalized tissue below it. Dr. Siegel will let you know if and when to schedule another photofacial treatment, typically about a month after your prior procedure.

FAQs

What are the benefits of photofacial treatments?

There are numerous advantages to having an IPL photofacial. The exact benefits you experience will depend on your unique skin condition, medical background, and cosmetic preferences. However, some of the most common merits of a photofacial include:

  • Minimal recovery time. Particularly when compared with other facial anti-aging treatments, IPL photofacials revitalize your skin while allowing you to get back to your life and daily activities very quickly.
  • An affordable price. In part because they are so minimally invasive, photofacial treatments also tend to be less costly, making them more economical.
  • Tighter, smoother skin. An IPL photofacial can encourage your body to naturally produce more collagen.
  • Fewer wrinkles. Photofacial skin rejuvenation can diminish the appearance of fine lines throughout your face.
  • More even pigmentation. Patients with rosacea, dark spots, sun spots, and other types of discoloration often benefit from an IPL photofacial.
  • Clearer skin. A photofacial may help reduce the appearance and occurrence of blemishes.
  • The possibility for complementary procedures. Since IPL photofacials are so non-invasive, they can easily be combined with other facial rejuvenation methods such as laser or chemical peels, BOTOX®, injectables, and skin tightening.

These are just some of the many benefits an IPL photofacial can offer. Dr. Siegel will discuss what this treatment can offer you in-depth at your initial consultation.

How long does it take to see results from a photofacial?

This depends on your specific situation and the treatment plan Dr. Siegel customizes for you. You may be able to see some results immediately. Often, however, the skin looks slightly worse or more discolored for several weeks, as the body gets rid of the most superficial layer of dead or damaged skin cells. Most patients are able to fully see their photofacial outcomes within two to three weeks, when the lower levels of tissue become more visible. At your first appointment, Dr. Siegel will provide a detailed explanation of the results, as well as a timeline you can expect from your personalized photofacial procedure.

Can I wear makeup after a photofacial?

You can apply makeup directly after an IPL photofacial treatment, but it is best not to. Since makeup can be irritating to the skin, Dr. Siegel typically recommends trying to avoid it for at least 12 to 24 hours following this procedure. This will help your skin heal more quickly and reduce your risk for irritation following your photofacial treatment. Dr. Siegel can give you more specific, personalized recommendations regarding photofacial aftercare and makeup at your initial consultation.