A gentle treatment for sun damage.

Cosmetic medicine has seen many trends emerge over the years, but one treatment that has stood the test of time is IPL photorejuvenation (also known as a Fotofacial).

Why is IPL photorejuvenation still a treatment of choice for cosmetic physicians and surgeons alike? Fotofacials are prized for their ability to effectively treat sun damage without the downtime associated with more invasive laser-based treatments.

How does IPL photorejuvenation work?

The Fotofacial technology harnesses the wavelengths of the visible light spectrum to deliver heat energy into specific depths of the skin. The light is attracted to colour, be it the melanin in an age spot or the blood plasma in a dilated vessel. The damaged cells are targeted and destroyed by the delivered heat energy. Pigmented cells are pushed to the skin’s surface and sloughed away while the destroyed blood vessel is re-absorbed and metabolised via the body’s elimination pathways.

What results can be expected from a Fotofacial?

Fotofacials are quite effective at lightening dark spots and reducing skin redness. They also help to stimulate the skin’s cell renewal process, which can result in pore refinement and improved skin texture. As the treatments are gentle, optimal results to address progressive sun damage require several treatments, spaced 3-4 weeks apart. To maintain the results of a course of treatments and as an age prevention method, Fotofacials can be integrated into an in-office regimen every six months.

Can anyone benefit from IPL photorejuvenation?

Because the Fotofacial technology targets pigment, it is not suitable for Fitzpatrick skin types V and VI. The darker the skin tone, the more difficult it is for the technology to differentiate between a target cell and the rest of the skin. This poses a high risk of skin damage, which is why the treatment is not suited to these skin types.

It is also important to consider lifestyle and season when receiving a Fotofacial treatment. If there is a tan present on the skin, the treatment cannot be safely administered. The treatments also cause photosensitivity. People who plan to travel to a sunny destination, who participate in outdoor activities that increase their sun exposure such as skiing or sailing, or those who do not wish to avoid the sun may not be suitable candidates for this skin rejuvenation method.

What is the recovery like after a Fotofacial?

The recovery from a Fotofacial will depend on the intensity of the treatment that was administered and the amount of sun damage that is present in the skin. Some mild swelling and pinkness may be present. As pigmented cells come to the surface, they become darker as they shed away. The skin may feel drier than usual as the healing process unfolds. A clinical peel is often recommended a week after to facilitate the desquamation of the treated cells. Wearing and reapplying a minimum broad spectrum SPF 30 daily is required prior to and after receiving the Fotofacial. Avoiding prolonged sun exposure for 4 weeks prior and 4 weeks afterwards is also recommended for optimal results.

While there are precautions and at-home habits that require adherence for a safe and effective Fotofacial treatment, the gentleness with which it treats sun damage and the resulting skin radiance makes this technology a top cosmetic rejuvenation method by medical professionals.

To learn more about IPL photorejuvenation and to ascertain if it’s suited to you, Oakville Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skincare invites you to book a complimentary consultation with Bethany, our medical aesthetician. Call 905.901.9545 or email info@drdekleer.ca to arrange an appointment.