What is it?
Laser photorejuvenation can be used to help restore the skin’s youthful appearance. It is a safe, non-invasive solution, providing superior cosmetic results. At Fitzgerald Plastic Surgery, we use the Lumenis IPL system. This technology is considered the “gold standard” for photorejuventation, as well as treatment of rosacea and vascular lesions. The efficacy of this advice has been proven in over 80 peer reviewed papers.
Treatments are especially effective for improving the appearance of the face, neck, chest and hands. With this treatment you can resume normal activities immediately (although we do recommend against strenuous exercise for the rest of the day, for your comfort). Some, but not all, people will describe feeling a little sunburned at the treatment. This is a non-invasive treatment, and does not require any injections or other invasive procedures.
How does it work?
IPL is intense pulsed light. A very bright beam of white light is emitted from the machine: this is them filtered to a specific wavelength. This filtered light is then taken up by different colours (targets) within the skin. These targets include brown pigmentation (seen with sun damage and age spots), redness (caused by broken blood vessels and background redness/ erythema seen in certain skin conditions, and fibroblasts, which are the cells responsible for making new collagen in the skin. During a photorejuvenation procedure, different filters are typically applied, allowing layering of treatment, and targeting of multiple endpoints such as reduction in pigmentation and redness, and promotion of collagen synthesis, which in turn improves skin health and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
What is involved?
At your first visit, we will talk to you about your skin concerns, and go through in the detail the risks, benefits, consequences, and potential outcomes from treatment. A “patch test” will be performed, to assess your skin’s reaction to treatment. Even if you have had IPL treatment previously, this patch test is required to maximise safety. Following completion of paperwork and pre-treatment photographs, your skin will be prepared for treatment. You will be asked to lie on a treatment couch, and your eyes will be protected with goggles or adhesive eye shields, depending on the area to be treated. Gel will be placed on the skin on the area for treatment. The treatment head of the IPL device will be placed on your skin, and the treatment delivered. Most people describe the sensation as being similar to a rubber band being snapped against their skin. Immediately afterwards, the skin may feel or look a bit sunburned, and some swelling may occur. Pigmented areas will tend to darken in the few days after treatment, before fading. Sometimes, so flaking of such areas may occur. Broken capillaries may look unchanged, darker, or completely resolved following treatment. If they look the same or darker, you may expect them to gradually fade in the weeks following treatment.
After a single treatment, you can expect to notice smoother, fresher skin. Pigmentation and redness will show some improvement. For best results, a series of treatment is advisable: such a course of treatment offers smoother and more evenly toned skin, with a reduction in pigmentation and redness. Many people will choose to undergo a course of treatments initially, with a top-up treatment every six to twelve months to help maintain the result. A good skin care regime will help to prolong the results, and allow for less frequent treatments.
IPL photorejuvenation can be combined with other treatments, such as a medical skincare regime, or injectable treatments, to offer results that deal with a number of concerns.
Preparation for treatment
No specific preparation is required in advance of your treatment, however treatment cannot go ahead if you have fake tan or recent sun exposure. Laser treatment may prompt a cold sore outbreak, so if you are prone to same, please mention this at your initial skin consultation, as certain measures may need to be taken to reduce the risk of a cold sore occurring. If you are on any skincare that contains glycolic acid, AHA’s, or any vitamin A derivative (e.g. retinol, tretinoin, Retin-A), these will need to be stopped before treatment, as they render the skin more sensitive to the effects of treatment.
On the day of treatment, you should attend with clean skin. Sunscreen and light-reflecting makeup require to be removed. Facial piercings in the area to be treated (e.g. nose, eyebrow, etc.) should be removed; earrings can typically be left in place.