While you were out having fun in the sun during your younger days, you may have forgotten to apply (or reapply) sunscreen, protecting your skin from its harmful rays. Although that may not have seemed like a big deal back then, after years of repeated exposure, your skin now may be showing signs of sun damage. Beginning in your 30s, it is not unusual to begin noticing dark freckle-like patches on your face that commonly are called age spots. It is also possible for your complexion to become blotchy due to a condition known as hyperpigmentation.
The good news is that the effects of sun damage can be corrected by the skilled staff at ZO Skin Centre in Dallas, TX with an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photofacial.
This innovative technology is designed to reduce or eliminate the appearance of sun damaged areas with no downtime. It also works to rejuvenate the skin and restore a more healthy, youthful look. Read on to learn more about the IPL photofacial and how it works.
What is an IPL photofacial?
An IPL photofacial uses light therapy that specifically targets molecules in the skin to reduce discoloration resulting from sun damage, which can cause an aged appearance. IPL treatments heat up elements in these molecules containing this brown or red color, which damages or destroys the offending sunspots and blood vessels. Not only can this firm the skin, but it also makes it look brighter and more vibrant. IPL can be used to address other skin issues by killing the bacteria that causes mild to moderate acne. It can diminish redness, inflammation, blemishes, and skin tone issues associated with rosacea. Elsewhere on the body, the appearance of spider veins on the legs may be improved and unwanted dark hair can be reduced with IPL.
How does it work?
Standard laser treatments employ only a single wavelength of light. However, IPL uses a broad spectrum of light that is safely delivered past the top layer of skin and into the second layer (known as the dermis) in an intense pulse similar to that of a camera’s flash. Once in the dermis, the light energy is converted into heat and causes microscopic lesions in the skin. This sends the body into repair mode and prompts the production of collagen and elastin. These work to improve the skin’s firmness and lessen subtly the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
IPL also focuses on a dark pigment called melanin. The treatment breaks the melanin up along with the cells that harbor it so that dark spots, freckles, and other discoloration due to UV exposure can be eliminated. Following treatment, these dark spots will either scab over and flake away or be removed naturally by the body’s lymphatic system.
Lastly, IPL targets hemoglobin in red blood cells. When it is heated during treatment at ZO Skin Centre in Dallas, TX, hemoglobin transfers that heat to the walls of blood vessels, causing it to become damaged and closed off. This effectively reduces the redness of thin capillary vessels that are dilated and may be visible on the skin as a result of sun damage.
Popular treatment areas
At ZO Skin Centre in Dallas, TX, the face is the area of the body most frequently treated with an IPL photofacial. This treatment not only works to reverse the effects of sun damage but also can minimize the appearance of pores and restore youthful radiance. Other areas that may have been subjected to repeated sun exposure, including the chest, neck, and shoulders, may be suitable for treatment. When used for hair reduction purposes, IPL can be performed on the arms, legs, face, underarms, back, and bikini area.
How is the procedure performed?
Patients at ZO Skin Centre are provided with protective eye gear to be worn for the duration of their IPL photofacial procedure, which utilizes Lumecca by InMode technology. A cooling gel is applied to areas that are designated for treatment, during which a handheld applicator will deliver light energy into the deep layers of the skin.
Some patients report feeling warm or slight pinching sensations during the procedure, which usually is completed in about an hour. Because it is so quick and convenient, some Dallas patients schedule IPLs during their lunch break. In most cases, there is no downtime required following an IPL photofacial and patients are able to resume their normal activities right away, which can include wearing makeup and sunscreen. However, exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided for 5-7 days after treatment. Some minor redness may be experienced in areas that were treated, however, this should be temporary and may be reduced by applying a cold compress. If more intensive treatment was required, it is not unusual for the skin to appear a bit red and splotchy for up to a week following your procedure.
Recovery and results
The results of an IPL photofacial can be evident soon after treatment. Most patients report a noticeable improvement in the color and condition of their skin within about 2-4 weeks of their procedure. The skilled staffers at ZO Skin Centre in Dallas, TX will work with you to create a treatment plan that is customized to suit your specific skin needs and aesthetic goals. It is usually recommended that 3-5 IPL treatments be performed approximately three weeks apart to achieve optimal results. Depending on your skin care needs and lifestyle choices, additional IPL sessions may be needed in the future to maintain your long-lasting results or address new areas of concern.
If years of sun exposure has left your skin in need of rejuvenation, it may be time to consider an Intense Pulse Light (IPL) photofacial. This revolutionary treatment can help you get rid of dark spots and regain a more even, healthy complexion. Contact ZO Skin Centre in Dallas, TX, to learn more about what an IPL photofacial can do for you.