What is a Photofacial?

Photofacials are treatments that use different types of light emitting devices to treat skin discoloration and reduce the appearance of blemishes.

This procedure is ideal for those looking to treat a variety of common skin issues including wrinkles, large pores, and acne scars. It is important to note however that those with tans or naturally darker skin tones may not be eligible for certain photofacials treatments as the procedure may cause skin discoloration.

There are two types of photofacial — intense pulsed light (IPL) photofacials and light emitting diode (LED) photofacials — and each has its benefits and drawbacks. The procedure takes between 30 and 90 minutes depending on the type of photofacial, the treated area, and the practitioner’s experience.

While some redness and swelling may occur, these should subside within 24 hours and the procedure requires little to no downtime. Results are gradual with improvements to the skin beginning to appear in the days and weeks following treatment.

What are the different types of photofacial procedures?

There are a variety of photofacial procedures, but the two most common incorporate intense pulsed light (IPL) and light emitting diode (LED). The names refer to the nature of the light being used in the procedure.

IPL photofacials, also known as Pulsed Light Therapy, involve a handheld device that emits pulses of broad spectrum light through direct contact with the skin. It acts on the deeper layers of skin, making it ideal for treating broken capillaries, sun damage, and other impurities.

LED photofacials involve handheld devices or lamps that emit various colors of LED light. The effects of this procedure are believed to be influenced by the color of the light. For example, blue light treats acne by killing acne-causing bacteria, while red light stimulates collagen production which in turn treats fine lines and wrinkles.

Generally speaking, LED photofacials act on the epidermis, making the procedure the preferred photofacial option for treating surface blemishes like acne.

LED photofacials are so simple that they’re not only performed in licensed medical facilities but, also, in spas and occasionally even at home. That said, safety needs to be of paramount concern with any serious cosmetic procedure. Working with a board-certified plastic surgeon means working with a highly qualified professional who has ample experience assuring their patients’ safety during both simple and complex procedures.

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