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IPL – Intense Pulsed Light (Photofacial)

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Skin Rejuvenation For:

  • Freckles
  • Age Spots
  • Brown & Red Spots
  • Sun Damage
  • Spider Veins

What is IPL?

IPL Treatment, also known as Fotofacial or Photofacial is a secret weapon for reversing many skin pigmentation issues and can also greatly benefit people struggling with acne. Luckily, these symptoms of aging can be treated easily with our Syneron ELOS E-Light IPL laser. The name IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light which is a broadband beam of light, unlike laser which is a single beam of light. Dr. Reinertson and her staff are some of the most seasoned laser therapists in the Seattle area and our expertise has helped women, men, and teens throughout the city regain their youth and confidence.

What is IPL used for?

IPL skin rejuvenation successfully treats uneven skin tone, freckles, brown and red spots, broken blood vessels, spider veins, birth marks, as well as discoloration and fine wrinkles caused by sun damage. It is also a valuable tool to help clear up bacteria caused by acne and helps to correct acne prone skin.

How long does the treatment take?

A typical full-face treatment of IPL last approximately 1 hour. At CosMedic Skincare, we also utilize our Cynosure Elite Aesthetic Laser as a complement to our IPL laser to treat smaller veins and spots of unwanted pigment. We offer this additional service as part of our normal IPL services at no extra charge to our patients. It is like receiving two treatments for the cost of one.

What does IPL literally do?

Our IPL – ELOS (electro-optical synergy) laser uses a unique combination of radiofrequency and light to isolate the treatment area and leave the surrounding skin free from potentially harmful side effects. Using gentle pulses of two targeted energies means better results with lower overall energy output — assuring the highest level of safety and comfort. The laser is attracted to the dark pigmentation of brown discoloration on the skin – and draws it towards the surface of the skin — and eventually out altogether. When treating redness the laser setting is attracted to the hemoglobin and heats up the tiny vessels to the point where they collapse and the blood retreats. This provides a clearer, smoother complexion which will smooth out your skin tone and improve texture.

What is a typical procedure like?

Often a topical numbing agent is applied for about 15 minutes. Once the numbing solution is removed and the skin is washed, eye protection is put in place and a cool, clear gel is applied to the area to be treated. The laser is then pulsed slowly over the gel and is uniformly pulsed over the entire area. A quiet tone proceeds each laser pulse, and this can help patients anticipate when a pulse is coming so the flash of light is never a surprise. Once the area is treated and cooled, the gel is washed off and finishing lotion and sunscreen are applied.

What kind of results can I expect?

After a treatment with the ELOS for pigmentation – the brown spots will become darker, sometimes taking on the look of coffee grounds. The laser works by drawing these pigments to the surface, which is why they will be more prominent after treatment. This is a sign that the treatment is working. Most patients will require 3-5 treatments, on a monthly cycle, to receive maximum results.

Is the treatment painful?

Individual experience varies, but most people only feel a slight sensation like tiny pin pricks, or rubber band snaps. For your added safety and peace of mind, we utilize a cooling technique that is unique to CosMedic Skincare, to ensure maximum comfort for our patients. We also offer topical numbing as a courtesy for our patients at no additional charge.

What are the common side effects?

Many of our patients enjoy an IPL treatment on their lunch break and can easily return to work afterwards. You may experience some slight redness post-treatment but this will dissipate as the day goes on; it is easily covered with makeup if you are prone to flushing. After treating redness or blood vessels, the skin can be slightly pink and some larger vessels may turn dark red or black for a few days and this heals much like a scratch would in just a few days to a few weeks based on your body’s unique healing process.

What can I do to reduce the side effects of treatment?

IPL treatments are not ideally suited for the summer months since there is increased exposure to the sun’s UV rays. We want to ensure that you receive the best outcome from treatment and receiving treatment on any area exposed to the sun in summer months is counter-productive to treatment. With that being said, avoid sun exposure 4-6 weeks prior to IPL treatment. This is true of sunless tanning as well. We recommend avoiding tanning beds as well as sunless tanning creams prior to a treatment.

What does treatment cost?

Cost for treatment varies considerably based on the individual and his/her unique goals and desires. We endeavor to provide you the best combined value of cost and exceptional patient care at CosMedic Skincare. In keeping with that desire, we offer a fantastic opportunity for our Seattle-based patients to save money on treatments with our Patient Recognition Program. Please ask to be enrolled in our program and you will receive monthly cost-savings opportunities at CosMedic Skincare. For your convenience, you can request to be registered online, click here.