Photofacial or Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure used to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, discoloration and other skin tone irregularities. Photofacial uses a broad band light source to help target multiple common skin issues in one easy procedure which is often repeated for optimal results. It is an in-office procedure that can be performed comfortably and easily with little down time. Photofacials are not as powerful as some laser and chemical resurfacing, but are effective for pigment, redness and mild texture problems. The advantage of IPL over other modalities is that it is gentle and has little downtime.
What Are My Options?
Laser skin resurfacing is commonly performed with either a carbon dioxide (CO2) or an erbium laser. Although the process for these procedures is very similar, the erbium laser is typically used to treat deeper lines and wrinkles within the face, hands, neck and chest. It is also better for darker skin tones. Your doctor will determine which laser is best for you after evaluating the condition of your skin and your medical history, while also considering your desired results.
Laser skin resurfacing can be used to treat:
- Sun damage
- Crow’s feet
- Brown spots
- Precancerous growths
- Chicken pox scars
- Superficial facial scars
While this procedure is most commonly performed to treat the effects of aging, it can be performed on patients of any age who are looking to restore their skin to a smooth, clear complexion free of blemishes and other imperfections.
Although laser skin resurfacing uses the same basic principles of other procedures and treats aging, damaged skin by removing a layer of skin, it does so through a noninvasive approach that uses laser energy to remove as much skin as needed. This allows for a much deeper removal through more precise and less invasive techniques.
During the laser skin resurfacing procedure, the laser energy is used to remove layers of damaged skin to leave the treated area smoother and more even through short pulsed light energy that is precisely delivered to the area. The laser is moved over the targeted area multiple times until imperfections are no longer visible and a smooth layer of skin is left. The laser energy causes minimal heat damage to the surrounding structures.
This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and uses local anesthesia to help minimize discomfort. The entire procedure can take anywhere from 30 minute to two hours to perform, depending on the size and condition of the treated area. Some patients may require more than one procedure in order to achieve their desired results.
After Care & Recovery
After the laser skin resurfacing procedure, patients may experience mild swelling and discomfort for a few days. These symptoms can be controlled with ice packs and medication prescribed by your doctor. Patients will also experience redness that gradually diminishes as the skin heals. While most patients can return to work and other normal activities after a few days, redness may persist for several weeks.
The results of laser skin resurfacing may take months to fully appear, after all signs of redness have diminished. Although the results are long-lasting, they are not permanent. The skin will still be subjected to the natural effects of aging, although your skin will appear younger and smoother than if you had never had any treatment at all.
*Disclaimer: Results and individual patient experience may vary.
Whether you have a question or would like to setup a consultation, Dr. Trussler and his staff are here to help. Please fill out our contact form, or call our office at (512) 450-1077 to schedule an appointment. Start your journey to not only looking, but feeling better today!