IPL Photofacial

All About IPL Treatments and Sun Spots on Skin

What is IPL Treatment?

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments, otherwise known as photofacial, use wavelengths of light to heat the skin to target both pigment and vascular issues. 

What Issues Does IPL Treat?

IPL can treat a number of skin and vascular issues, included, but not limited to:

  • Liver spots/ age spots
  • Sun spots on skin
  • Rosacea
  • Acne
  • Dark spots
  • Birthmarks
  • Freckles
  • Discoloration
  • Scars
  • Wrinkles 
  • Fine lines
  • Spider veins

When treating sun spots on skin, IPL is a good choice because the treatment doesn’t aggravate the hyperpigmentation, like a UV light would, for example. As explained in a study from The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, IPL treatments are great for pigmentation issues like sun spots on skin because they allow your practitioner to adjust the wavelengths used based on the skin issue you are dealing with. So for vascular issues, your practitioner would use a higher cutoff filter for the wavelength. But for something more superficial, like sun spots on skin, they would use a lower filter. 

Overall, they are a popular, noninvasive treatment choice for those looking to rejuvenate their skin.

How Do IPL Treatments Work? 

And How Can I Prepare?

As explored above, IPL treatments can be used for both vascular and pigment issues.

During this outpatient treatment, your practitioner will use a specialized handheld device to emit wavelengths of light to your problem area(s). These waves of light go through your epidermis to the targeted area of brown spots or diffuse redness. By heating these “damaged” cells or tiny blood vessels they will break down and your body will “remove” them, hence fixing your pigmented area. 

For example, if you are trying to get rid of brown spots, your practitioner will use the light from the IPL machine to slough off the targeted areas. It’s important to note that for the first week the area will actually appear darker before the spots falls off. 

And this procedure isn’t just for vanity reasons. If left untreated, thickening of brown spots can also lead to actinic keratosis, a condition that appears as a raised pigmented spot on the skin. It could also even eventually form into basil cell carcinoma known as a form of skin cancer. 

And when it comes to veins, they may also seem superficial, but they are not. If left untreated, they can hinder circulation and potentially cause vascular issues.

IPL treatments range from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on what condition and where you are targeting it. Because this is a noninvasive treatment, you will leave right after and can resume all of your regular activities. Many patients will return for additional monthly IPL sessions for maximum results. Due to the nature of this treatment, it is advised you don’t tan, take Ibuprofen, or drink alcohol before the treatment. 

What are the Side Effects of IPL? 

Another benefit of IPL treatments is the little to no side effects reported. Some patients have reported a slight stinging after the procedure, similar to a sunburn, but most people who have received IPL Photofacial note no side effects.

IPL Treatment in Texas

If you’re looking to reduce sun spots, age spots, or want to just rejuvenate your skin and you are in the Houston, Texas area, look no further than Dr. Natalie Drake. An expert at using the most cutting edge, non-invasive procedures to give her clients optimal results, Dr. Drake is now offering IPL Photofacial for all of your skincare needs. Pair it with fillers or Botox® for the ultimate glow up.