Like most people, you’d like to greet the new year with a new outlook and a refreshed appearance. The challenge is finding the time to recover during the busy holiday season. Fortunately, we have the solution for time-pressed people who want to put their best face forward: Fractional Laser and IPL Treatments. These procedures are perfect for people who value a rapid recovery time and noticeable results, but aren’t ready for a facelift. With both of these treatments, you can slip in a treatment in between shopping sessions and spend your brief recovery time wrapping presents.
Fractional and IPL procedures like the Pearl Fractional Laser and IPL Limelight Photo Facial resurface the skin to stimulate collagen production, eliminate brown spots, and reverse sun damage. Both are light based procedures, but they have a few crucial differences. At Burt & Will our goal is to enlighten you on the capabilities of each of these advanced technologies so you can make the most informed decision possible. Welcome to “Light-Based Treatment 101.”
What Are Lasers, How and Why They Work
- Laser is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” Lasers are microscopic beams of light that will heat the skin. Essentially, the laser light is absorbed by the water present in the skin’s tissues. Heating the skin will contract the skin, a process that then stimulates collagen production. That heat removes the upper layer of the skin to eliminate signs of aging, acne, scars, blemishes, broken capillaries, sun damage, brown spots tighten the skin and more. Laser treatments are not just limited to the face.
- A fractional laser precisely delivers heat without damaging surrounding tissue designed to stimulate collagen production. These fractional techniques are replacing the older lasers that required weeks of downtime while producing better results. As damage to the skin is less significant, healing time is shorter (usually 3-5 days) with most patients requiring only one treatment. Fractional lasers offer effective results for rosacea, large pores, deep scars, and deep wrinkles. However, the swelling and peeling associated with the downtime is less than traditionally invasive techniques.
- Some results are maximized by combining various modalities, but these can often be performed during the same appointment.
- Lasers are multipurpose rejuvenating tools. In addition to the face, lasers can be used on the chest, arms, and legs.
- Results can be noticeable soon after the procedure, but patients should see gradual improvement months after the treatment. If you use sunscreen, the results of your laser treatment will last even longer.
- Laser treatments are effective for light to medium skin tones. There is a risk of pigmentation issues when used on darker skin. Consultation with the staff helps determine if you are a candidate and how to minimize risks. Laser treatments should be avoided if you are pregnant or currently taking Retin-A. Let your doctor know if you are prone to cold sores. Your doctor will tell you which medications to refrain from prior to the procedure.
- Numbing cream is applied to the skin prior to treatment and an external cooling device may be used as well.
- Recovery time is generally about one week.
What is an IPL Photofacial?
- IPL is an acronym for intense pulsed light, and by delivering heat to the tissues it can refine and retexturize the skin. IPL also addresses sun damaged skin, fades brown spots, eliminates broken capillaries, stimulates collagen, reduces pore size, and revitalizes aging skin. While lasers deliver one beam of light to a specific area, IPL delivers pulses of broad spectrum light.
- IPL removes brown spots, age spots, and reverses sun damage on face, neck chest and hands. IPL emits light waves that target the red blood cells and the brown pigment in age spots and freckles. The light passes through the skin and is absorbed by hemoglobin or the pigment, thereby eliminating them.
- IPL is a less intensive treatment for skin refinement than laser systems and it is usually performed as a series of three treatments every 3-6 weeks. There is little discomfort associated with the treatment, but there will be mild redness and minimal swelling for the next couple days after the procedure.
- IPL works best on light to moderate skin tones.
- Refrain from using self-tanners prior to your procedure as well as ibuprofen and Aleve.
- Caring for your skin and regular IPL touch ups will help you keep your skin looking fresh, smooth and clear for many years ahead.
How do you decide?
Let your Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon help you decide on which procedure is right for you. Burt & Will offers the top of the line Cutera Limelight IPL, Cutera Pearl Fractional Laser, and Cutera Pearl Lasers to give you the best results.
Brighten, tighten and restore your skin to light up your holidays. Our minimal-downtime Laser and IPL treatments go way beyond microdermabrasion—they truly resurface your skin. The results are long lasting and beautiful.
While lasers and IPL offer tremendous potential to improve your appearance, it is key that you select a professional with a great deal of experience in using these incredible aesthetic enhancers. IPL, if not handled correctly, won’t give you the results you want. Drs. Will and Burt offer the expertise you need to achieve the look you want. Contact our friendly staff to set an appointment and face the new year with confidence.