IPL Photofacial Treatment in Palo Alto

Also Serving San Jose and the Bay Area

You likely have heard the term IPL, or photofacial, either from friends or in the media. Our San Francisco Bay Area plastic surgery patients now recognize the benefits of starting early to reverse sun damage and age-related changes of the skin. An IPL (intense pulsed light), or photofacial treatment, as it is often referred to, is a light-based treatment that accomplishes these goals. An IPL photofacial will treat a variety of skin conditions – including facial brown spots, facial capillaries and diffuse redness on the face – and even out skin texture and tone. IPL photofacial treatments can also stimulate collagen, reduce pore size and improve the overall health of the skin.

What do I need to do to prepare for my IPL treatment with Dr. Hessler?

The light of the IPL is picked up by the pigment of the skin. It is important that you are not tan and have avoided the sun for a few weeks prior to your treatment.

Are there any medications I need to avoid prior to my IPL treatment?

You should avoid any medications that make your photosensitive (sensitive to the sun) or medications that make you more likely to burn in the sun. You should stop using Retin-A cream for at least one week prior to your treatment. If you are receiving Accutane treatment, it is important that you cease treatment at least 6 months prior to your IPL procedure. If you are using hydroquinone it is fine to continue this medication. Other medications which can make you more reactive to the IPL include certain antibiotics; specifically, Doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, levofloxacin and trimethoprim, although others can also increase sensitivity. The diuretic hydrochlorothiazide and blood pressure medicines cardizem and diltiazem can also increase sun sensitivity. If you are taking any medication you will want to review the side effect profiles prior to IPL treatment.

Where is the treatment performed?

Dr. Hessler performs the IPL photofacial treatment in her Palo Alto plastic surgery office. The procedure takes about 30 minutes. There is some mild discomfort during the treatment followed by a hot feeling in the treated area.

What can I expect after my photofacial IPL treatment?

After the treatment you may feel hot in the treated area. This subsides within the following few hours. Occasionally there can be some mild redness of the treated areas for a while after, although this is not always the case. Some of the smaller freckles will turn darker and look like a coffee ground sitting on the skin. Usually, these will flake off within a week and leave clear skin behind. Occasionally the skin can remain red for a longer period of time.

What do I need to do following my IPL treatment?

The most important action you can take following your IPL in our Palo Alto plastic surgery center is to avoid the sun. You can go outside but it is important to wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or greater at all times, along with physical blocks such as hats. Avoiding the San Jose and San Francisco Bay Area sun after an IPL treatment is critical to preserve your results.

What areas can be treated with IPL?

The IPL can be used to treat sun damage and age-related changes anywhere on the body. The most common areas treated include the face, neck, chest and hands. Other areas such as the arms, legs and back can also be treated.

How do I make an appointment for an IPL treatment with Dr. Hessler?

It is important to come in for a consultation for Dr. Hessler to review your medical history and see if an IPL photofacial is right for you. To schedule an appointment in our Palo Alto office for an IPL you can email us at info@hesslerplasticsurgery.com or call us at 650.799.9009.