Imagine that one morning your alarm goes off and you sleepily walk over to your bathroom sink to wash your face, only to notice that your once youthful morning skin has now become noticeably geared towards the early signs of aging. This can be in the form of: large pores (stayed tuned for another blog post on this), age spots, uneven pigmentation, sun damage, dark circles, excessive redness, and an overall mottled complexion. Now, what if someone said that this can all be drastically improved after only 3-5 short treatments? Introducing the healing power of a Photo Facial.
What is a Photo Facial?
We have two different devices that offer Photo Facials or Photo Rejuvenation treatments (the terms are often used interchangeably). Cutera’s Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) delivers a non-invasive light treatment that can target both pigmentation (brown) and vascular (redness) that is present in the skin. Candela’s Gentle Max Alexandrite laser can target pigmentation (brown). More specifically, the treatment is performed by using a laser device to non-intrusively penetrate the skin with light.
When treating brown pigmentation for instance, the pigment absorbs the light and eventually sloughs off. However, when dealing with redness, the hemoglobin is first ‘cooked’, and then absorbed by the body to reveal new and even skin. This non-invasive approach to skin rejuvenation offers patients the advantage of improving their skin tone by reducing a patient’s photo damage; redness and pigmentation.
Do you qualify for a Photo Facial?
Presently, treatments are optimized for lighter skin tones such as Fitzpatrick Skin Types 1-3 and light 4. Darker skin types or patients with melasma are not candidates for this treatment because of the way the laser light-absorption reacts with the skin. Fortunately, both men and women are candidates, but the treatment can cause minor hair reduction over treated areas, so men may prefer to treat around their beard. Photo Rejuvenation treatments can make your skin more photosensitive and vulnerable to sun damage, so the fall and winter months are the best times to get started. Needless to say, sun exposure needs to be avoided pre and post treatment. At the end of the day everyone’s skin is unique, so if you are unsure about how to best proceed, our complementary consultations are always available to answer any of your questions!
What areas can be treated?
A Photo Facial is ideal for numerous parts of the body, the most popular being the face and neck. However, you can also treat the décolleté, arms, legs, back, or almost anywhere with unwanted pigmentation.
How long does the treatment take? What does the treatment feel like? Is there any downtime or pain involved?
The average photo rejuvenation session takes about 30 minutes per treatment area. Many clients describe the treatment as feeling like a mild snapping or pinching sensation, but find the minor discomfort very tolerable. Additionally, when treating brown pigmentation, the pigment is pulled onto the surface, and can intensify before eventually fading away; with the possibility of some post procedure swelling. The overall healing process can take 7-10 days.
How many treatments will I need?
Our goal is to have all our patients leave our clinic feeling enthusiastic with the results, so we always recommend a thorough series of three to five treatments, spaced about four weeks apart for noticeable transformation. We are confident that you will see a major decrease in redness and pigmentation as well as some minor firming and re-texturization to the skin. Of course, individual client factors such as skin type, concern, and overall rejuvenation goals, means that the amount of treatments required can vary from client to client.
Our professionals are excited to guide you step-by-step, and offer tips and recommendations to supplement your daily skin routines. After all, properly prepping your skin and maintaining your new look by using medical-grade skin care and daily sun care protection, all play a critical role in getting the most out of your treatments.
What happens after the Photo Facial treatment?
Shortly following the treatment, brown spots will begin to surface and appear darker or more intensified, before finally fading away. This process may take 7-10 days. In some patients swelling may occur, however, common solutions include using mineral make-up to cover the redness and darker pigmentation.
When will I see results?
Congratulations, within one to two weeks, the pigment will flake off and fade, redness or telangiectasia (spider veins) will decrease, and any dull complexion will improve!
Will the brown spots and redness reappear over time?
Unfortunately yes. Unless we lived in a perfect world where we were never exposed to free radical or sun damage; new brown spots, telangiectasia (tiny veins), and diffused redness can reappear over time. Remember to always apply broad-spectrum sunscreen 365 days per year to minimize sun damage and the appearance of new spots and diffused redness. Rosacea is chronic and cannot be “cured” with any laser or light source, however its appearance can be improved and symptoms managed. After you are amazed with the results, our team will happily recommend and offer maintenance treatments of approximately 1-2 sessions per year (maintenance sessions required varying from person to person). We hope to see you there!
Winter is the best time, limited space available!
While many are busy dreading these cold winter months, you are presented with a unique opportunity to take advantage of the lack of sun, and transform your skin by removing unwanted pigmentation in a safe and proven manner. With so many satisfied clients to-date, our team is confident and determined to noticeably transform your skin. So if you have any questions not addressed in this blog, or want to see if you are eligible for the treatment, simply contact us today and one of our caring staff members will schedule a free consultation. Looking forward to working together!