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Do facial blemishes like age spots, brown spots and sun damage concern you? Do you want to minimize the appearance of rosacea? Perhaps you suffer from facial redness caused by broken capillaries, and you would like to eliminate the discoloration. Pigmentation irregularities and visible vessels can be a significant cause of cosmetic concern for many men and women today. They can be nearly impossible to cover up with makeup, and in some cases, the issues may worsen if they are not addressed. Now is the time to nip those blemishes in the bud with a practical, noninvasive treatment that zaps them away and leaves you with clearer, more beautiful skin.

VITAHL Chicago offers a wide range of skin renewal options to treat pigmentation irregularities and sun damage. One treatment that boasts additional benefits is the intense-pulsed light (IPL) photofacial. This procedure can help restore your natural beauty and correct damage caused by the sun. This light-based therapy can also help improve the look and feel of your skin in short treatment sessions with minimal downtime afterward. You can achieve great results without significant discomfort or disruption to your daily routine when you choose an IPL photofacial

What are IPL Photofacials?

IPL photofacials are a noninvasive skin rejuvenation treatment that can restore your natural beauty with limited downtime. Procedures involve the use of specifically-designed light pulses that are customized to your unique skincare needs. The light pulses are absorbed by the pigmentation (melanin) in the skin, causing the pigment to break down and eliminating hyperpigmentation spots. Heavily freckled skin and pigmented spots in discrete areas typically respond well to the treatment. The device also targets blood in visible vessels to coagulate these fine facial veins, so it collapses and can be reabsorbed by the body.

You may see a noticeable improvement in your skin after a single treatment session. However multiple sessions may be necessary to achieve your full aesthetic goals. Also, your results may vary, depending on the specific condition we are treating. The VITAHL team will help you create an appropriate treatment plan at your initial consultation and set your expectations as to what the procedure can achieve for you.

What are the Benefits of IPL Photofacials?

The IPL photofacial offers a noninvasive treatment that can treat a variety of skin blemishes on nearly any area of the body. This versatile procedure provides the following benefits for our VITAHL patients:

  • Fast treatments typically take 30 minutes or less
  • Little or no downtime after the treatment session
  • Long-lasting results
  • Multiple concerns can be treated during a single appointment

An IPL photofacial offers convenience and value, giving you an excellent option in achieving and maintaining a clear, beautiful complexion.

Are there Side Effects with IPL Photofacials?

Like any cosmetic procedure, there are some side effects associated with the IPL photofacial. All these side effects are temporary, do not tend to last very long and might include:

  • Skin redness
  • Mild swelling
  • The appearance of capillaries close to skin’s surface

Patients usually find these symptoms to be mild and resolve within a few hours of your procedure. Other side effects may be more severe but are also very rare. These include:

  • Blistering of the skin
  • Bleeding
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Scarring

While risks from IPL treatments are minimal, you can further reduce those risks by selecting a provider that has extensive experience and training in this procedure. The team at VITAHL Chicago performs IPL photofacials regularly and will do everything possible to ensure your process is both safe and successful. Schedule a consultation with us to see if an IPL photo facial is a suitable treatment for your skin type and needs,

What Areas can an IPL Photofacial Treat?

The technology employed with the IPL photofacial is appropriate to use on nearly any area of the body where you have sun damage, age spots, freckles or visible vessels. The areas we treat most frequently include the face, shoulders, chest and arms since these areas tend to experience the most sun exposure. The backs of the hands, where UV rays commonly cause age spots to form, is another popular treatment location.

Am I a Candidate for an IPL Photofacial?

An IPL photofacial is an ideal treatment to address the following skin concerns:

  • Sun damage
  • Age spots and freckles
  • Dilated blood vessels
  • Brown spots (hyperpigmentation)
  • Symptoms of rosacea
  • Facial redness caused by broken capillaries
  • Some fine lines and wrinkles due to sun damage

There are a few contraindications for IPL photofacials. If any of these issues are a part of your current pathology or previous medical history, they can prevent you from having the treatment. These contraindications include open lesions on the skin, skin cancer, and keloid formations (excessive, prominent scarring). Some medications may also not be safe with the IPL photofacial, including Accutane (within the past six months) and some diabetes medications. The photofacial should not be performed on recently tanned skin since tanning can prevent light from penetrating the skin. At this time, the procedure is also not considered safe for women who are pregnant. Talk to your VITAHL cosmetic medicine specialist about alternative treatments if you have any of these conditions.

How do I Prepare for an IPL Photofacial?

There are steps you can take before your photofacial to increase your odds for a successful procedure and reduce your risk for complications. The first is to avoid any sun exposure in the days leading up to your appointment. Stay away from tanning booths and self-tanning sprays and lotions as well. You should also stop using any topical product that contains retinol or glycolic acid in the week preceding your treatment since these substances increase skin sensitivity. Since aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories can increase your risk for bleeding, it is a good idea to avoid them for a week before your appointment. Blood-thinning medications like Warfarin should also be stopped for the same reason.

On the day of your treatment, do not apply any makeup or other skin care products. We will ensure your skin is thoroughly cleaned before the procedure begins as well. We recommend that you do not plan your treatment immediately before any major events since you won’t know for sure exactly how your skin will react. If you experience redness and other side effects, you will probably be glad to lay a bit low for a day or two until they subside.

How do IPL Photofacials Work?

IPL photofacials are a multi-step process performed in our office at VITAHL Chicago. First, the designated treatment area is thoroughly cleansed to aid with absorption. Next, a photosensitive medication is applied to the skin and left to penetrate the dermal layers, so the skin accepts the light wavelengths more readily. The treated area is then exposed to the specific wavelengths of light, activating the photosensitive medication that helps eliminate the damaged skin cells. By targeting both the hemoglobin and melanin within the dermis, the treatment eradicates both the blood vessel and the pigmentation spots in the same process. The light energy is then converted to heat, critically impairing the lesions which your body will then naturally clear from your skin.

What Can I Expect During My IPL Photofacial Treatment Session?

Treatment sessions typically last about 15 to 30 minutes and can easily be scheduled during lunch hours. VITAHL Chicago generally recommends three to five treatment sessions, spaced about four weeks apart for optimal results. During your treatment, VITAHL Chicago will provide you with protective eyewear to ensure that the intense light delivered during the procedure does not harm your eyes. Topical anesthetics are not necessary for IPL photofacials, but you can discuss your options during your consultation if you have sensitive skin or you are concerned about your comfort level during the procedure. After your treatment, you can immediately return to your plans for the day.

What Will Happen After My IPL Photofacial?

You may experience some slight redness similar to a sunburn immediately following treatment. This discoloration typically subsides within about a day. It is essential that you protect your skin from any sun exposure in the days following your IPL photofacial, as the dermis will be more vulnerable to damage from UV rays during this time. We recommend you wear a sunscreen with a high SPF for the first couple of weeks, even if you will only be outdoors for a short time. Some patients find pigmentation marks darken in the weeks after their treatment before flaking away. Other visible side effects should subside within 24 to 48 hours. You may apply cold compresses or take over-the-counter medication if you experience any discomfort during this time.

When Will I See the Results of My IPL Treatment?

Once your procedure is over, your skin will engage in the natural healing process to restore healthy radiance to your complexion. The effects of your treatment will become evident within a few days following your IPL photofacial, although it may take slightly longer for brown spots to disappear. By the two-week mark, you should see substantial improvement in the look and feel of your skin.

Most patients will need more than one treatment session to achieve the full results they want. The average treatment plan will consist of three to five treatments, spaced three to six weeks apart depending on how quickly your skin recovers from the procedure. We will advise you at your initial consultation as to how many sessions we think you might require, based on the amount of correction you need and the results you hope to achieve. As with many other skincare treatments, consistency is key and the cumulative positive effects on the skin are often significant.

How Long Will My Results Last?

Your treated skin spots will lighten or disappear after your IPL photofacial. However, new spots can always appear on your skin due to the same factors that caused your initial concerns. To help combat further damage, VITAHL Chicago recommends liberally applying sunscreen when outdoors to keep sun damage and the formation of new spots to an absolute minimum. On average, you can expect to enjoy your rejuvenated look for six months to one year. You will likely require touch-up sessions to maintain your results every six months to one year after your initial treatment process is completed. However, you should not need more than one maintenance appointment unless you have experienced substantial damage between procedures.

Why Choose Vitahl for Your IPL Photofacial

Interested in finding out if IPL photofacials can help you achieve your aesthetic goals? Contact VITAHL Chicago today to schedule a consultation. Led by Dr. Tahl Humes, the staff at VITAHL Medical Aesthetics has been nationally recognized as one of the most experienced laser and injectable practices in the country, and we pride ourselves on the broad experience of our team. Our locations have been recognized in the top one-percent of Botox® providers in the country and have been named a five-star beauty destination by New Beauty Magazine. Also, our practice-wide goal is to offer our patients the highest level of customized care and customer service, as well as the finest, noninvasive procedures available to help you look your best in every season of life.

Call VITAHL Medical Aesthetics today at 312-634-6100 and speak to one of our cosmetic medicine specialists about whether an IPL photofacial treatment can meet your aesthetic needs. We are also happy to share options to treat other areas of concern you may have since we offer a full menu of procedures for anti-aging and cosmetic enhancement. You can start looking your best again today with VITAHL!