Intense Pulsed Light – IPL – Fotofacials


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  • Please CLICK HERE to watch a video clip in which Dr. V discusses Intense Pulsed Light Fotofacials (Photofacials, IPL)

What is Intense Pulsed Light?

  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) also known as photo-facials, fotofacials, and photo rejuvenation is a state-of-the-art system and the latest technique in skin rejuvenation therapy
  • The IPL system delivers high intensity, smooth and powerful pulses of light (not lasers) that greatly enhances the results of your improvement
  • IPL stimulates new collagen growth resulting in smoother, more even, healthier skin
  • A highly advanced computer regulates the light pulse to a specific wavelength range, which in turn heats a portion of the skin
  • This removes the unwanted tissue while it spares or avoids the surrounding healthy or “normal” tissue
  • The penetration depth and degree of heat is highly controlled to minimize complications
  • With IPL fotofacial rejuvenation, the light pulses are directed at the blood vessels, age spots, freckles, flat pigmented birthmarks and other types of discolorations
  • An additional bonus is that the treatment causes inflammation of tiny blood vessels in the skin which stimulates the production of new collagen
  • The number of treatments necessary to achieve this result varies from patient to patient

How is the IPL Photo rejuvenation different from CO2 or Erbium Laser Resurfacing?

  • IPL photo rejuvenation is a non-invasive, safe method to improve the look and feel of the skin without undergoing the pain and downtime associated with deep laser resurfacing
  • Deep laser resurfacing removes the entire epidermis leaving the skin vulnerable to infection and requires 3-4 weeks of patient downtime and an even longer time to complete healing
  • IPL is a much more gentle method of skin rejuvenation

Can the benefits of IPL be boosted by combining it with other treatments?

  • Yes.
  • We also combine Fotofacials with Levulan in a procedure called Photodynamic Skin Rejuvenation
  • A medication called Levulan is applied to the skin
  • Levulan makes the skin more sensitive to the effects of the IPL
  • This is the ideal treatment for moderate to severely sun-damaged skin
    • If you have pre-cancerous skin lesions (Actinic Keratoses), this is an excellent way to improve your skin

Who is a Good Candidate?

  • IPL is an excellent choice for women and men of all ages considering treatment for various skin problems including:
    • Brown or age spots
    • Facial spider veins
    • Rosacea
    • Abnormal Skin pigmentation

You should NOT have IPL Fotofacial treatments if you have:

  • Lupus
  • A tendency for form thick scars after you heal (keloids)
  • A tendency to develop increased or decreased skin pigmentation when healing
  • A dark skin colour (South Asian, African)
  • A dark tan
  • Porphyria (A blood disorder that makes you sensitive to light)
  • Extreme sensitivity or allergy to light

What are the advantages of IPL treatments?

  • The treatment is gentle
  • There is usually no interruption of routine activities
  • There is often no recovery time required or time needed to be taken off work
  • There are no stitches, cuts or bleeding to worry about
  • Improvement is subtle
    • In this way, your friends, family and spouse do not have to know that you are having treatments, unless you want them to

What are the risks?

  • Some mild swelling or bruising may occur
    • Swelling is more common in patients with very red or pink toned skin that are having treatments to reduce redness
  • Bruising may occur if many large facial blood vessels are being treated
  • Although rare, blistering or slight bleeding is possible as is hypo-pigmentation or hyper-pigmentation (lightened or darkened areas of skin)
    • If pigmentation problems occur, it may be anywhere from 3 to 12 months before normal skin tone returns
    • This is especially so with hypo-pigmentation (lack of colour)
    • Some patients may experience permanent skin pigmentation changes
  • Scarring has never been reported after an IPL treatment
  • It is impossible to get permanent results
    • Even though the skin may be “rejuvenated” for long periods, the aging process continues
    • The skin will usually improve with further treatment
  • Even though a lesion may be diminished or “disappear” for long periods of 3-6 months, it might return in the future
    • The fact that the lesion responded to treatment but recurred usually means that it will improve with further treatment

Does it Hurt?

  • There is discomfort associated with the treatment
    • Each pulse of the IPL feels like an elastic band snapping against the skin
  • To make the treatment more comfortable the laser is equipped with a chilling tip that cools the skin prior to treatment

How should you select where you should go for Fotofacials (IPL) treatment?

  • Unfortunately there are no government regulations as to who can own or operate an IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) machine
  • There is no minimal training required by regulatory agencies and virtually anyone who has the capital can purchase a machine and start doing treatments
  • For those reasons, you have to be very careful where you go
  • There are several questions you should ask:
    • Is the clinic a doctor’s office or a spa?
      • IPL can be potentially dangerous if not used by well trained technicians
    • How long have they been doing treatments?
    • Is there a doctor?
      • Is the doctor someone who is specialized in skin care and IPL therapy such as a dermatologist?
      • Or is the doctor a family doctor? Dentist? Chiropractor?
    • What are the qualifications of the technician who is treating you?
    • What type of IPL machine are they using?
    • Who will manage any complications is they should happen to arise?
    • Does the technician do a full and in depth consultation with you to ensure that you understand the pros and cons of treatment, the risks and benefits?
    • Do they take photographs to help monitor improvement?
    • Does a dermatologist check you first to make sure that you are a good candidate for therapy?

When will you notice improvement?

  • You will start to see results after one or two treatments, depending on the nature of the problem
  • Some skin problems will require several treatments before you see any difference

What areas can be treated?

  • Any area can be treated
  • This includes the:
    • Face
    • Neck
    • Chest
    • Back
    • Hands
    • Arms
    • Legs
    • Feet

How many treatments should you have?

  • A series of 5 treatments is usually recommended for most skin types and body areas
  • Treatments are usually done 1 month apart
  • Dr. Vignjevic will determine the number of treatments that your specific skin type and condition will require at the time of your consultation or treatment

How should you prepare your skin prior to an IPL treatment?

  • Absolutely NO TANNING prior to your treatment
    • Treating skin with a tan can produce white “striping” which can take several months to fade
    • Your skin MUST NOT BE TANNED
  • Stop the use of all Vitamin A-type creams, Glycolic acid products and toners a week before your treatment
  • If possible, come to your appointment without make-up
  • Dr. Vignjevic recommends that even though most people do not have a significant down time after IPL, that you not plan any major events for 2 to 3 days after your fist IPL treatment
    • This will give you a chance to see how your skin reacts and how easily you can incorporate IPL treatments into your schedule

What is the procedure for IPL-Intense Pulsed Light-Fotofacial therapy?

  • At your first visit an IPL technician will provide a free consultation
  • During the consultation, she will discuss the benefits of IPL therapy, explain the procedure to you and answer any questions that you may have
  • Furthermore, she will explain how the procedure works and how many treatments you will need, and provide you with a price quote
  • She will also ask you a series of questions to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure and to determine your skin type and sensitivity
  • After your FREE consultation, the technician will call in Dr. Vignjevic
    • He will assess your skin type and whether IPL would be suitable for you
    • In addition, he will answer any further questions that you may have
    • You cannot be treated by the technician unless you are assessed by Dr. Vignjevic first
    • Dr. Vignjevic will select the treatment protocol that best suits your skin type
  • If you decide to go ahead with a treatment, photographs will be taken of the treatment area
    • These photographs are strictly for your chart and will not be released or used without your permission
    • Your privacy is of the utmost importance to us
  • You will be asked to wash your face and to remove any makeup
    • It is not necessary to remove mascara, lip stick or lip liner
  • Your skin will be cleansed and any remaining make-up will be removed
  • Your eyes are covered with special goggles during the treatment
  • A cold, soothing gel will be applied and a glass prism (pyramid) will then be placed over the gel and treatment area
    • The portion of the IPL machine that is in contact with your skin is about the size of a quarter
    • An intense flash of light, or pulse, is flashed through the prism where it is directed at the area to be treated
    • This initial treatment may not be as aggressive as your following treatments so as not to possibly damage the skin and to determine your skin’s tolerance for further fotofacial treatments
    • You may need a spot or test patch to make sure there are no negative reactions
  • During the treatment you may feel stinging, tingling, prickling, or burning of the lesions, but this should go away after the treatment
  • After treatment with Intense Pulsed Light, the gel will be washed off the skin using soap and water
  • A healing cream is applied to the skin, and then a layer of sunscreen is applied last prior to leaving the office
  • You will be provided with a booklet of after-care instructions and the technician will recommend specific products to take care of your skin after the treatment
  • You will be provided with Doctor V’s personal cell phone number should you have any questions or concerns that arise after office hours

What should you expect after your treatment?

  • There will be redness, and occasionally, mild blistering or bruising of the treated areas lasting from several hours to 3-14 days
  • The treated area might “crust”, “flake”, or look like a “cat scratch”
  • This will depend on the sensitivity of your skin and the severity of the problem being treated
  • Most people are completely healed within 7 days
  • There may be some mild swelling, crusting or bruising which will go away after a few days, and if not, you should inform your doctor
  • The dark areas or freckles may crust, turn black and “peel off’
    • This is normal and should resolve within 7 to 10 days
  • Your skin will be more sensitive for a few days up to a couple weeks after your treatment
  • There should be some discomfort, but no significant pain
  • You can return to your normal activities

What should a person do if they get significant redness, swelling, or pain after a treatment?

  • Avoid the sun or bright lights as much as possible
  • Call the office where you had your treatment
  • If you are concerned that you have had an abnormal reaction, have a cold sore, or an infection – call your doctor’s office immediately

Precautions for the first seven days after your IPL treatment:

  • Avoid contact between hot water and the treated area
  • Keep the area moist and protected with sunscreen
  • You should stay out of the sun, ultraviolet light and tanning beds, especially for the next 48 hours to minimize the risk of getting increased pigmentation in the skin
  • If sun is unavoidable, use sunscreen for at least 4 weeks following treatment
  • For the first 2 days wear a wide-brimmed had or similar covering of light-opaque material
    • Sun exposure may lead to the production of blotchy dark pigmentation which may take several months to fade
  • Avoid any aggressive skin care products such as scrubs, exfoliants, alpha or beta hydroxy acid products
  • Avoid excessive heat exposure such as saunas, steam rooms, hot showers or baths, and strenuous exercising for 24 hours
    • This prevents the risk of blistering
  • Keep clothing from rubbing the treated area and avoid other irritation to the area
  • Do not get hairspray on the treated area
  • Notify the office should you have any prolonged redness, excessive puffiness, or other unusual side effects

How should you take care of your skin after an IPL Treatment

  • Specific instructions about cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen use will be provided to you on the day of your treatment

Which aesthetic products and procedures can be used in combination with IPL Photofacials?

When can I start having treatments?

  • Today!
  • For your convenience, the services above are available in my office.

Liver Spots can be treated with IPL

Solar Lentigenes (Liver Spots) – Hand

Solar Lentigenes – Face

Solar Lentigenes – Chest

Poikiloderma – Neck and Face

Poikiloderma of Civatte – Back of Neck

Telangiectasia – Cheek

Spider Hemangioma – Cheek

Spider Angioma – Easily removed with IPL – Intense Pulsed Light

Venous Lake – Lip

Venous Lake – Ear

What if you are interested to learn more?

If you would like to learn more please phone the aesthetic centre directly at (905) 549-7873 to book a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable technicians or

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