Canada’s long, cold winters have created a nation of sun worshipers: During our brief summers, most of us soak up as much time outside as we can, basking in the sun’s rays. Unfortunately, even a few months of regular sun exposure can worsen the signs of photoaging. By the time October rolls around, many of us start noticing new wrinkles, age spots, and patches of rough or leathery-looking skin.
You might think that covering your sun-baked skin with makeup is your only option, but this isn’t actually the case: In recent years, a number of noninvasive skin resurfacing treatments have been approved for use in Canada, and they’re perfect for reversing this kind of skin damage. One of our favorites is the IPL Photofacial, a versatile treatment system that uses intense pulsed light to exfoliate the skin.
How Does the IPL Photofacial Work?
Like other skin resurfacing treatments, the IPL Photofacial improves skin condition by removing dead and damaged skin cells. These cells are painlessly dissolved by pulses of light while the patient relaxes at our clinic. IPL Photofacial therapy also speeds up the rate of cellular renewal, increasing collagen production and causing the skin to become gradually smoother and tighter.
By removing aged, damaged, and hyper-pigmented skin cells, the IPL Photofacial can erase sun spots, liver spots, and fine lines. Even more advanced pigmentation problems, like melasma, rosacea, and spider veins, may vanish after multiple IPL treatments. This procedure can also remove rough patches, small scars, and other textural abnormalities.
What are the Advantages of IPL Photofacial Therapy?
Some patients prefer the IPL Photofacial over other skin resurfacing treatments because it’s highly versatile and rarely produces any side effects. It’s considered safer than conventional laser therapy, and it will not cause the skin to crack or flake like a chemical peel. Note, however, that IPL therapy may require multiple treatment sessions, whereas patients only need one deep chemical peel to create dramatic results. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to decide what they would prefer: Absolutely no downtime, or rapid, highly visible results. If avoiding swelling and irritation is your top priority, then IPL therapy is probably right for you.
The IPL system can also be calibrated to treat specific problems. By selecting different bands of light, Dr. Grace can precisely target sun spots, fine lines, and other signs of photoaging. Furthermore, IPL therapy can be used safely on multiple areas of the body. If you would like to treat your arms and chest as well as your face, for example, the IPL Photofacial is an excellent choice.
Does the IPL Photofacial Cause Any Side Effects?
In general, IPL therapy is free of side effects. Some patients notice mild redness in treated areas, but this redness typically dissipates within 24 to 48 hours. In rare cases, patients have reported a slight stinging sensation after having this procedure. If this happens to you, you can use a cool compress to soothe your skin.
As is the case with other skin resurfacing procedures, IPL therapy can make your skin temporarily more sensitive to UV radiation. That’s why we recommend trying this treatment in the fall; at higher latitudes, the strength of the sun’s rays is greatly reduced during autumn and winter.
To learn more about how the IPL Photofacial can improve the health and appearance of your skin, contact our Burlington clinic at (905) 336-9636 or our Oakville Clinic at (905) 338-5777. You can also reach us via email. We look forward to helping you create a convenient, affordable, and fully personalized skincare plan.