What is a Photofacial?
Age, genetics, hormone changes, and sun exposure can result in a variety of skin changes and concerns. A photofacial uses intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy to address and treat these various skin concerns. Problems addressed include sun spots, uneven skin tone and texture, melasma, broken capillaries, redness, and rosacea.
Dr. Rovelo uses the Alma Harmony Pro XL laser system which has the capacity for various laser therapies and treatments. One of the technologies available on this system is Advanced Flourescence Technology (AFT), a new generation of IPL therapy that takes previously wasted UV light and converts it into a usable spectum. This technology allows for increased clinical efficacy with decreased complications. AFT light therapy works best for patients with hyperpigmentation issues including sun spots, melasma, and uneven skin tone. It is also beneficial for patients with rosacea and problems with redness, flushing, and broken capillaries.
Another laser therapy available with the Alma Harmony system is the Dye VL technology. This technology uses AFT in a narrower light spectrum (500-600nm) and is designed to treat vascular legions including changes from rosacea, broken capillaries, and hemangiomas. It is also effective for treating brown spots and areas of sun damage.
Who is a candidate for a Photofacial?
You may want to consider a photofacial if you have concerns about:
- Sun damage or areas of hyperpigmentation on any exposed areas including face, neck, chest, and hands
- Melasma or uneven skin tone on any exposed areas including face, neck, chest, and hands
- Vascular legions including hemangiomas, and broken capillaries of the face, neck, and chest
- Rosacea symptoms or skin changes secondary to rosacea including flushing, redness, and broken capillaries of the face, neck, and chest
How is a Photofacial Performed?
Photofacials are performed in the office. Due to the revolutionary AFT technology, the procedure can be performed with minimal discomfort and no topical anesthetics are required. Depending on the size and areas treated, the procedure may take between 15-45 minutes to perform. The procedure can be performed every 4 weeks and may require between 4-6 treatments for maximal effect. Thereafter, maintenance sessions can be performed every 6-12 months.
Complications from a photofacial are rare but can include scarring and changes in pigmentation. The risk of these complications is greater in skin recently exposed to the sun. Prior to your procedure, you will have a consultation with Dr.Rovelo to discuss your unique skin type and to discuss how risks can be minimized to provide the best possible outcome.
Photofacials are performed in the office and patients go home immediately following the procedure. The skin may have areas of swelling and redness that typically resolve within several hours. Pigmented areas may become darker before fading or flaking off. Areas of redness, broken capillaries, and flushing should start to improve in 2 weeks. During this recovery period, it is very important to protect the skin from the sun and to keep it well moisturized. Hydroquinone may be prescribed post-procedure for patients at risk of melasma or hyperpigmentation. Retin-A use may be resumed 1-2 days following the procedure.