What is Fotofacial?
As skin ages, it becomes thinner and weakens due to a loss of collagen and elastic tissue. In addition, red and brown blemishes appear from long term sun exposure. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) skin rejuvenation technology is actually not a laser, but a light-based treatment designed to improve the appearance of sun damaged skin, brown spots, broken capillaries and/or rosacea through a process known as photorejuvenation.
This non-surgical, non-invasive treatment is ideal for those with active lifestyles as it has very little discomfort and involves no downtime. The procedure can help restore a youthful appearance on the face, neck, chest, hands and shoulders.
Fotofacial can be used to treat:
- Broken Capillaries
- Vascular lesions & certain birthmarks
- Enlarged Pores
- Blotchy Skin Texture and Tone
Check our Rosacea video
How does it work?
This computer-controlled machine sends pulses of specific wavelengths of light into the skin that target certain pigments. In the case of age spots, freckles and other types of brown discoloration, the light targets tissue with melanin. With broken capillaries, certain red birthmarks and rosacea, the light seeks hemoglobin – the pigment in red blood cells – as the targeted area. In each case, the light’s energy heats the targeted tissue, causing it to fade while sparing the surrounding healthy or normal tissue.
What is the treatment like and how many will I need to get good results?
A typical procedure takes 20 minutes. Prior to treatment, a cold gel is applied to the areas of the skin to be treated and a patient will wear protective eyewear during the procedure. Pulses of light are transmitted through a crystal hand piece into the target areas causing a warming sensation. Although most patients tolerate the procedure well, a topical numbing cream may be applied prior to the procedure if needed.
Depending on the area being treated, most patients require a series of three to five treatments separated three weeks apart. Improvements are gradual over time after each treatment. Because there is no disruption to the skin’s surface, patients usually have no recuperation time.
How safe is Fotofacial?
This procedure is very safe if performed by a highly trained specialist under the supervision of a physician. IPL technology was approved by the FDA in 1995 for the treatment of photodamage and since then millions of patients have been treated throughout the world.
Prior to beginning a series of any kind of light treatment, each potential patient should first be evaluated by a dermatologist who in turn will design a customized treatment regimen that is most appropriate to the patient’s skin type and condition.
What are the possible side effects?
Some patients have slight redness or swelling that usually resolves with a few hours. A very small percentage of patients may have some bruising, blistering or burning sensation. The least common side effect is that patients may see some light or dark areas on treated skin, although these typically resolve over several weeks. Using sun protection before and after treatments helps to prevent any untoward side effects.
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