At Glendale Laser Group, we use the powerful MaxG OPL (“optimized pulse light) handpiece in conjunction with the Palomar ICON machine. The MaxG provides just the right spectrum of light and energy to effectively target unwanted pigment (dark spots) and vascular lesions (vessels) on the skin. Depending on the inputted setting, the MaxG handpiece emits a beam of light which can target melanin (pigment found in skin) or blood (for addressing unwanted vascular areas, such as rosacea). Due to the superior cooling technology built into the Palomar ICON platform, this procedure can be done while perserving and protecting the surrounding skin.
For pigmented lesions, the laser will target the melanin in these areas and essentially “burn” them. This will result in a darkening and micro scab-like formation on the skin in these areas. Over the course of the following 2-3 weeks after treatment, these micro scabs will flake-off and thus result in a lighter tone underneath. Therefore, your skin will look worse before it looks better, but after the post-treatment wait of 2-3 weeks, the lesions will be lightened noticeably.
How many treatments do I need? Am I a good candidate?
Number of treatments for PhotoRejuvenation really depends on how severe the hyperpigmented or vascular lesions are. Upon your free consultation, the registered nurse will assess your skin and recommend the number of sessions you may need to achieve your desired results. Typically, for the treatment of dark spots (sun spots, age spots), patients will need 2-4 sessions, which are spaced 4 weeks apart.
In order to accurately assess patient eligibility for MaxG PhotoRejuvenation treatments, a face-to-face (free) consultation is ideal. But generally speaking, PhotoRejuvenation treatments work best on pigment caused by over-exposure to the sun, natural aging, and other hyperpigmentation issues; furthermore, these treatments work best on light to moderate skin-toned individuals (darker skin types are not ideal). For darker skin-types, pre-treatment lightening creams/serums are applied to pre-lighten the skin prior to any procedure(s).
Patients who are contraindicated for IPL treatments: Pregnant, may be pregnant, are undergoing chemotherapy, have open sores or lesions on the treatment area.
Do IPL Photofacials Treatments Hurt?
The discomfort associated with IPL PhotoFacial treatments is minimal and is similar to a rubber band snapping sensation. A full face treatment typically lasts 15-30 mins in duration (depending on skin issue), and during this time period, you should be able to tolerate the treatment well. Numbing cream is never applied prior to MaxG PhotoRejuvenation treatments, since accurate patient feedback to the RN is essential for determining the ideal machine settings.
After the treatment, you may have a mild heat sensation on your skin, which will resolve quickly thereafter.
What is the down-time?
The MaxG PhotoRejuvenation treatment has minimal to no down time. As explainedin the sections above, since the procedure results in pigmented or vascular lesions darkening first, you may notice that your skin looks “worse” immediately after treatment. This should not cause any social down-time. Makeup can be applied to the treatment area after the procedure, which can mask the temporarily darkened areas.
Following post treatment instructions is crucial in order to avoid any undesirable post-treatment adverse reactions.
Why should I get a SilkPeel Dermalinfusion treatment in between IPL Photofacials?
As explained in the above sections, immediately after you treatment you will notice that the pigmented and/or vascular lesions have darkened even more than prior to treatment. This again is because the laser has targeted these lesions effectively, and within the following 2-3 weeks post treatment, the pigmented areas will begin to flake-off.
For patients who purchase our 3-treatment PhotoFacial Full Face package, a free SilkPeel Microderm Abrasion procedure ($150 value) is included. The SilkPeel treatment is performed 2 weeks after your IPL session, which will result in a uniform exfoliation of the darkened pigmented areas. In other words, the SilkPeel will aid in flaking off these “scabbed” areas in a uniform and sterile fashion. Moreover, the SilkPeel will aid in hydrating the skin; thus leading to over better skin tone and skin health.
Pre-Treatment “Do’s and Don’ts”
DON’T use Accutane for at least 3 months prior to your IPL session, or Retin-A for at least 30 days prior to your IPL session. Notify your RN of any medication(s) you may be currently taking, as many medications can cause photosensitivity. Always consult with your prescribing physician before discontinuing medication(s).
DON’T use a tanning bed, lay out in the sun, or spray tan AT LEAST 3 weeks prior to your treatment.
DON’T exfoliate your skin, get a facial, use acid-based products, use products with Retinols, get a chemical peel or other laser treatment at least 7 days prior to your IPL session.
DO update us regarding any new medications you are taking or any new health conditions we should be aware of, which were not previously disclosed on your patient health history form.
After your IPL Photofacial treatment:
SPF, SPF, SPF!!!
As always, not just after laser treatments, make sure to continually apply SPF 30 or higher to your face, chest, and hands (these are the most sensitive areas, especially while you’re driving). We carry SkinMedica’s SPF 50+ in our office for purchase, and is a highly recommended product for post-laser treatments (especially for the face). It is medically formulated for post procedure use, and provides an effective barrier against UVA/UVB rays.
What will happen to the pigmented and/or vascular lesions after my treatment?
Once you leave our office, you will notice that in the following 2-3 weeks, the treatment areas will look “worse” before they begin to look better. THIS IS DESIRABLE AND NORMAL. After the 2-3 week mark, the pigmented lesions will begin to flake off, leaving a lighter skin tone underneath. For treated vascular lesions, the area may begin to look a deeper shade of red or purple in the 2-3 weeks post treatment. Again, this is DESIRABLE AND NORMAL. After the 2-3 week mark, these darkened vessels will begin to resolve and result in a reduced or removed appearance of vascular lesions.
When should I come in for my next session?
PhotoRejuvenation treatments are typically performed in 3-4 week intervals, unless otherwise recommended by your clinician. It is very important to adhere to the treatment plan recommended by your clinician in order to achieve desired results.