IPL Treatments in Hollywood FL Area
At Hollywood Dermatology & Cosmetic Specialists, our team loves offering the most advanced cosmetic dermatology treatments to help patients love how they look. Intense pulsed light (IPL) can noticeably reduce signs of aging, brown spots, rosacea, spider veins, acne, and more with virtually no downtime – so it’s no surprise this safe and effective therapy is a favorite with patients and providers.
To learn more about what this minimally invasive treatment could do for you, read on or call our South Florida dermatology practice at 954.961.1200 to book a consultation at one of our five convenient locations.
What Is Intense Pulsed Light Treatment?
Intense pulsed light photofacials are a noninvasive way to improve the texture and tone of your skin without a surgical procedure or recovery time. The IPL device uses specific wavelengths of light energy to target certain colors in your skin. When the treatment area is heated, dead or damaged skin cells break up, allowing your body to eliminate hyperpigmentation like age spots, freckles, or rosacea redness.
IPL also promotes the production of collagen, an essential structural protein that plays a key role in skin elasticity and remodeling. The result is firmer, smoother, and younger-looking skin.
How Do IPL Treatments Differ From Other Laser Treatments?
Intense pulsed light therapy is a multifaceted treatment that improves various skin conditions. The IPL device differs from many lasers since it has an interchangeable tip which allows our providers to adjust to specific wavelengths and customize each treatment for your unique cosmetic concerns.
IPL can be used on the face, neck, and chest for everything from sun damage to rosacea flushing to birthmarks. The device’s versatility also makes it an effective treatment for other areas of your body. For example, if you have spider veins, unwanted hair, or stretch marks, light therapy could help.
Are IPL Treatments Safe?
When performed by qualified providers like those at Hollywood Dermatology & Cosmetic Specialists, IPL photofacials are a very low-risk treatment as they’re completely non-ablative and non-invasive. Unlike laser resurfacing, light energy doesn’t remove any skin. Instead, it simply penetrates the outer layers and targets the darker colors of sun-damaged skin and blood vessels beneath the surface. Patients typically don’t need any downtime after IPL treatments, but you may experience some redness in the treatment area that fades in two to five days.
Intense pulsed light treatments leave your skin unprotected against sun exposure, so you need to be mindful of that. It’s best to avoid all sun exposure immediately following your treatment and to be diligent about sun-protective clothing and sunscreen for at least two weeks. However, our providers always recommend protecting your skin from the sun since UV damage causes the same cosmetic concerns IPL addresses. A lightweight SPF 30+ sunscreen is the best anti-aging product on the market.
Is an IPL Photofacial Painful?
At Hollywood Dermatology & Cosmetic Specialists, we always want our patients to feel as calm and comfortable as possible during their treatments. Before your photofacial starts, we’ll apply a cooling gel on the area to control the temperature on the surface of your skin as the light heats deeper layers of the dermis. You’ll also wear special protective eyewear. Additionally, a topical numbing cream can be applied to sensitive areas.
During treatment, your provider will glide the smooth glass surface of the handpiece across your skin while delivering quick pulses of light. Most patients describe the feeling as a small rubber band being snapped against the skin. While IPL might feel temporarily uncomfortable, it’s quick and typically well-tolerated.
Once your treatment is complete, we’ll remove the cooling gel and apply a soothing moisturizer. We can also use a cold pack for a few minutes after your session. Your skin might feel sensitive, like you have a sunburn, for a few days after IPL. You can continue to cool the area at home to reduce any redness or swelling.
How Long Do IPL Treatments Take?
Treatments typically take between 30 and 90 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area. During some of this time, you’ll be waiting for the numbing cream to take effect, so be sure to bring a book or fully charged phone to stay entertained.
How Do I Prepare for My IPL Photofacial?
The main thing you need to do before a photofacial is to avoid sun exposure and tanning on the areas to be treated for at least four weeks. This includes applying self-tanner for two weeks prior to your session. Please tell our providers if you’ve taken Accutane within the past year, as this can increase your risk for complications.
You should also avoid aspirin and ibuprofen for one week before your treatment since these medications can lead to increased redness or bruising. The same thing goes for products containing retinol and glycolic acid, which can increase your photosensitivity. Finally, on the day of your IPL photofacial, skip make-up or creams and come to your appointment with bare skin.
How Does an IPL Photofacial Work?
IPL photofacials improve your skin in two ways. First, the light energy penetrates your epidermis (the outer layer of your skin) and gently heats the dermis (the second layer). This triggers the classic “wound healing” response behind many skin treatments.
When the body senses this heating in the dermis, it responds as it would to an injury by producing new amounts of collagen and sending it to the “wounded” area (even though there is no actual wound). Since collagen provides the skin’s underlying support structure, this firms your skin and reduces lines and wrinkles.
The second photofacial benefit addresses your pigmentation problems, such as age spots and wrinkles. The darker cells absorb the IPL energy and the melanin pigment fragments. The body then absorbs the pigment cells, and the spots become less and less visible. With veins, the light energy is absorbed by the darker blood. This targeted heat causes the vein wall to collapse and close. Your body then absorbs any remaining pigment and redirects blood flow to deeper, less visible vessels.
What To Expect After IPL Treatments
After IPL, patients typically have some redness and swelling. This gradually resolves, revealing skin that’s softer, smoother, and more uniform in tone. Fine lines and wrinkles will also improve, along with fading of pigmentation and age spots and a reduction in pore size.
If you have brown spots or hyperpigmentation, you’ll usually see these painlessly flake off in the first week. Rosacea sufferers generally see a marked reduction in breakouts and may be able to decrease or discontinue their medication in some cases.
There is little to no downtime following facial treatment with intense pulsed light treatments. Still, you may want to avoid intense activities, hot showers, saunas, or other activities that increase inflammation in the first few days. Some patients also experience mild flaking as the skin exfoliates for one to two days. Full recovery is typically five days.
How Many IPL Treatments Are Needed?
IPL results improve gradually over time, with final results visible about four to six weeks after your first appointment. The number of treatments you’ll need depends on your specific cosmetic concerns. For example, those with more severe rosacea who have many visible blood vessels, pustules, or skin thickening will likely need several treatments. However, someone with a few broken capillaries around the nose and mild redness may see enough improvement with just one to two sessions.
People typically see their desired results after four to six IPL treatments spaced about a month apart. At Hollywood Dermatology & Cosmetic Specialists, most of our patients are so thrilled with the benefits of IPL that they return once or twice a year for maintenance treatments.
How Long Will Results From My IPL Photofacial Last?
The changes in your pigmentation problems and blood vessels are permanent. After the IPL energy breaks down the melanin in your sun spots and closes off those small surface blood vessels, your body removes them as waste products.
However, you’ll continue to experience UV exposure, and natural aging, new sun spots, areas of hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and broken capillaries can form. In addition, if you’re getting treatment for a progressive condition like rosacea, IPL isn’t a cure, and you’ll need maintenance treatments to manage your symptoms.
Most patients who receive IPL see full benefits for around a year. You can extend the life of your treatments by avoiding prolonged sun exposure, wearing sunscreen daily, and using professional-grade skincare products that reduce discoloration or minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Our providers can create a customized skincare routine to help you maintain your IPL results.
What Do I Need to Do After My Photofacial?
The main thing you’ll need to do after a photofacial is to avoid sun exposure to the treatment areas for four to six weeks. This can be a challenge in sunny South Florida, but your skin will have lost some of its natural defenses from exposure to the IPL energy. Therefore, it’s essential to wear sun-protective clothing, hats, and sunscreen to maintain your results.
After your session, your skin will be pink, as if you have a mild sunburn. A cool compress can bring down this redness, and you can apply makeup the day after your treatment. Aspirin, ibuprofen, alcohol, and strenuous exercise will likely cause your skin to flush for a couple of days after your session. Avoid harsh topicals such as retinol and glycolic acid products for one week after your session.
Intense Pulsed Light Before & After
Schedule a Client Consultation Today!
If you have uneven skin texture or tone, intense pulsed light is one of the most effective noninvasive cosmetic treatments available. At Hollywood Dermatology & Cosmetic Specialists, our experienced team of board-certified dermatologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and paramedical estheticians are highly knowledgeable about a range of skin conditions and the best clinical and cosmetic solutions.
Find out if IPL is right for you by booking a consultation at one of our 5 convenient locations throughout South Florida; in Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Hallandale, Miramar, and Doral, Florida. To get in touch, call 954.961.1200 or visit our contact page.