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Pulsed Light Photo Facial

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As we age, an ever-growing numbers of people are interested in improving the appearance of their skin. IPL photo facial, also known as Intense Pulse Light Therapy, or photo facial, can be used to help restore the skin’s youthful appearance.

The IPL photo facial treatment is ideal for people with active lifestyles because the procedure requires minimal downtime and has a low risk of side effects. The gentle, non-ablative treatments use broad spectrum light to treat the face, chest, neck and hands—virtually anywhere that sun damage shows.

What Are The Benefits Of IPL Treatment?

Photofacial treatments are great for treating a variety of skin conditions.

  • Removes or reduces broken capillaries on the face or around the nose
  • Reduces redness from rosacea
  • Minimal downtime
  • Reduces pigmentation
  • Reduces fine line and wrinkles
  • Stimulates collagen and elastin production

How Does Intense Pulsed Light Photo Facial Work?

A broad spectrum of light is transmitted through a small, smooth, transparent hand piece which is gently placed over the skin. Cut-off filters in the hand piece change the wavelength range allowing it to be optimized for different applications and skin types.

The light penetrates the tissue and is absorbed by either the blood when treating vascular lesions or the melanin when treating pigmented lesions. The body’s natural processes then removes the treated tissue giving the skin a more even and youthful appearance.

What Conditions Will It Treat?

Photofacial skin treatments using photo rejuvenation often consist of a full-face treatment or treatment of isolated body areas like the hands or chest. It can treat a variety of skin conditions, including:

Spider veins (broken capillaries around the nose)
Age spots
Brown spots
Sun spots
Port wine stains
Blood vessels
Skin texture
Seborrhoeaic keratoses

What is IPL?

Intense Pulsed Light, also known as IPL or photofacial, is a skin laser treatment that delivers high-intensity pulses of light that penetrate the skin and heat the sub-surface layers to reduce melanin, the dark pigment in skin, or haemoglobin, the red blood cells in blood vessels. This results in healthier, smoother skin.

How many Intense Pulsed Light treatments will I need?

The number of IPL treatments you need will depend on the condition of your skin and your desired results. Generally, patients need a series of 3-6 treatments, 4-8 weeks apart. After the initial series, treatments once every six months are recommended in order to maintain the effects.

How long do Photofacial sessions take?

Treatments for brown spots generally last about 30-45 minutes. The amount of time the session takes will depend on the size and the number of areas you are having treated.

Does it hurt?

We can apply a topical numbing cream before the age spots treatment to reduce the pain. Additionally, a cooling gel is applied to the skin’s surface to eliminate discomfort. Many patients say the laser feels like a rubber band snapping against the skin.

What can I expect after a treatment?

There is practically no recovery time after an IPL photofacial treatment. You can return to work or your normal daily activities the same day as your treatment for brown spots. If your skin is red after the age spots treatment, you can apply makeup to cover it up. This is a great treatment for brown spots if you don’t have a lot of time to spare after the procedure.

How long do results last?

The results are long lasting. During your consultation, our therapists will discuss a proper skin care regimen with you so that you can maintain your results for as long as possible. The better you take care of your skin, the longer your results will last. Many patients come back after a few years for touchup age spot treatments to rejuvenate their skin.

What are the side effects?

IPL has a strong track record for safety. Although, a few mild side effects include swelling, redness or discomfort for a few hours following brown spots treatment.

How much does it cost?

The cost of photofacial treatments is different for each patient. The cost of your treatment for brown spots will depend on the condition of you are trying to correct, the size of the area being treated and your desired results. During a consultation, one of our doctors will develop a personalized IPL treatment plan, including cost.

SHR Facts and Questions

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Super Hair Removal (SHR) is the latest in permanent hair reduction technologies.

Questions and Answers

How does SHR Work?

SHR works by emitting a precise beam of light energy, which safely moves through the skin to gradually heat the dermis (middle layer of the skin).

The pigment in the follicle absorbs the transmitted light and converts it to at a temperature that causes the proteins in the follicle to coagulate, effectively damaging the hair follicles.

shr facts and questions

This process of heat also disables the cells responsible for new hair growth while avoiding injury to the surrounding tissue. SHR application method safely works on a high repetition rate of short pulses that are delivered deep into the dermis, achieving high average power and therapeutically effective heat build-up, with virtually no pain.

What are the benefits of SHR?

Client Comfort – SHR treatments are significantly than other hair removal methods as waxing, electrolysis, and even shaving are time consuming and painful treatments, which lead to discomfort and skin irritation. Because the SHR head stays cool on the skin, it keeps the skin comfortable during treatment.
Permanent Hair REDUCTION – The light absorption of specific wavelengths of light by the follicle means that light therapies compromise the body’s natural ability to grow new hair, which this leads to long-lasting results.
Fast and Painless treatments – Because of the large surface area that is covered during treatment, the treatments are fast and easy to do. These treatments could easily be done during a lunch break , as there is minimal discomfort after treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Skin is more sensitive in some areas of the body than in others and redness can occur as a side effect. It should disappear in a matter of hours but could potentially be as intense as a sunburn lasting a few days. Contrary to conventional methods, a light crusting which will vanish after 2-3 weeks, or an alteration of the sin’s pigmentation which will disappear after 4-6 months, are very rare.

SHR is safe to do?

SHR has been proven as the safest method of light based hair reduction for all skin types, including dark skin whereby melanin is exponentially more sensitive to the heat used in light based treatments.

Hair follicles are damaged not by a single pulse of high energy, but by repetitive short energy pulses. These pulses minimize the risk of burning to the skin, as it is the heat build-up which raises the temperature of the dermis to the level needed for preventing hair growth.

What is the difference between LASER, IPL and SHR?

Fundamentally they have a similar mechanism of action (photo-thermal), however two significant benefits of SHR are: more speed and less sensation. Larger hand-pieces means SHR technology can perform procedures up to ten times faster than traditional LASER or IPL technologies and with active cooling in the hand-pieces, the sensation of SHR is far less intense.

Will it work on fine hair or hair with low pigment?

SHR is designed to work better on fine hair and low pigmented hair than traditional IPL and Laser, however all hairs are different and skin tones change.

How many treatments do I need?

Treatment course will vary from person to person; usually a minimum of 6 treatments, every 4-6weeks is a good start, than an evaluation. Please note that some people this may take up to and sometime longer than a year.

What happens immediately after treatment?

SHR works in a minimally invasive manner to thermally destroy the hair. This is what makes the procedure so fast and comfortable. Two or three days after the treatment, stubble may reappear.

This is NOT new hair growth, but simply the body shedding the thermally damaged hair; including the bulb.

When this hair is completely shed, it’s time for your next treatment (typically four to six weeks). As light penetrates through the skin right to the bulb of the hair, it’s still recommended that you shave between treatments if you like, however, tweezing or waxing are not allowed, as that will remove the target.

Are there any factors that may affect the treatment?

There are instances which may make your body more sensitive to light, which don’t exclude clients from treatments but must be disclosed during the consultation.

There are medications such as muscle relaxants, anti-depressants, anti-cancer drugs, acne medications and topical creams containing Retin-A, which will have an effect on treatment parameters. Test patches prior to treatment ensure safe and effective results for any client situation.

Are there any side effects?

Skin is more sensitive in some areas of the body than in others and redness can occur as a side effect. It should disappear in a matter of hours but could potentially be as intense as a sunburn lasting a few days.

Contrary to conventional methods, a light crusting which will vanish after 2-3 weeks, or an alteration of the sin’s pigmentation which will disappear after 4-6 months, are very rare.

Do I have to follow any post treatment instructions?

For best results, active tanning and use of artificial tanning products should be discontinued prior to and during treatments. After treatment, use Sun block (SPF25+) on the treatment area. You can shave during treatments, but do not wax or tweeze the hair, as this will remove the target (the bulb).

Subsequent to treatments you may experience some redness and/or warmth at the treatment site, which is normal and can be cooled with cold wet compresses if desired. It is recommended to avoid vigorous exercise, perfumed deodorants, heavily chlorinated pools and / or hot whirlpool baths, saunas, etc. for 12 – 24 hours subsequent to treatments.

Can I remove hair between treatments?

You are ONLY allowed to shave or use depilatory creams between treatments as the objective is to interact with the matrix or bulb and shaft of the hair, which is untouched by shaving.

Why is my hair still growing?

This is a common comment for new users of light therapy treatments. Subsequent to administering a light based therapy treatment, the body requires time to shed the hair which had been thermally destroyed. It may take eight to ten days on some people and perhaps two to three weeks on others to fully shed the thermally damaged hair.

Even though it appears as though hair continues to grow, it is actually the body shedding the hair entirely, and over time the treated hair will grow out of the skin. This should not be mistaken for continued hair growth.

How should the area look immediately after treatment?

Completely normal / slight erythema

What are the common contraindications associated?

Diabetics – Type I and Type II. Diabetics in general have a compromised immune system therefore are at greater risk of delayed healing and infection in the case of an adverse effect hence are not the ideal candidates fore treatment however Type I diabetics are routinely treated with pulsed light in a safe and effective manner.

Pregnancy – Those who are pregnant are not completely contra-indicated, but must be advised they are not the ideal candidates for treatment because of the hormonal and pigmentary changes that can occur during pregnancy.
Menopause – Women in this phase of life will potentially have a lower resistance, hence greater reaction to light based therapy. Menopause as a condition should be disclosed in the client consult so that the appropriate adjustments can be made to the treatment parameters and post-treatment instructions.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – In many cases these therapies promote hair growth so they are not the ideal candidates as results are less predictable.

Hirsutism – A condition characterized by unnatural hair growth, these individuals are not the ideal candidates for permanent hair reduction. When treating these individuals you must set realistic expectations of treatment. Hair ‘management’ is the best way to describe the procedures in these cases.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – An underlying condition which can effect hair growth. Not the ideal candidate. When treating these individuals you must set realistic expectations of treatment. Hair ‘management’ is the best way to describe the procedures in these cases.

Chemotherapy – Patients undergoing chemotherapy will necessarily have a weakened immune system which implies they are not ideal candidates for intense pulsed light treatments unless adequate time has passed since their last chemotherapy treatment.

Photo-sensitive Drugs – Certain photo-sensitive drugs may heighten the response of intense pulsed light treatments including redness, inflammation and hyper-pigmentation. These may include retin-A, acne medications, anti-cancer medications, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, sedatives, antihistamines, antimicrobials, hypoglycemics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It’s important to disclose and fully document any medication being taken prior to receiving the pulsed light test patch and subsequent treatment.

Suntanned Skin – Do not treat sun-tanned skin as the increased level of melanin in the skin can cause unpredictable results including long term pigmentation changes.

How long should I wait after Chemotherapy to begin treatments?

It is recommended to wait at least three years subsequent to chemotherapy prior to any pulsed light treatments. Chemotherapy thins the skin and the immune system can be compromised, hence over-treatment from pulsed light would be more likely and potentially the healing would be delayed.

How long should I wait after pregnancy to begin treatments?

6-12 months is advised to ensure hormone levels are all balanced again

How long should I be off photo sensitizing drugs prior to treatment?

Ideally it is recommended that you stop taking photo-sensitive drugs four weeks prior to receiving any pulsed light treatment, but dependent on the degree of photo sensitivity, in some cases this period of time can be less

Can it stimulate hair growth?

It has been determined that in a small amount of the population (<1%) there is a rare possibility that light based therapy treatments can stimulate dormant hair cells to produce an active follicle of hair.

This has mostly been seen in cases of incorrect application of light based technologies. In these rare cases, you can simply remove the dormant follicle in a subsequent session as it grows into the anagen or active growth phase.

Can I have treatments whilst menstruating?

Yes, treating the body with SHR is safe whilst menstruating although in some cases, clients within their menstrual cycle are more sensitive to the heat sensation. In this case it is recommended to time treatments around completion of their cycle.

What if I’m having my Brazilian treated whilst my mid cycle?

Your professionally trained therapist will able to treat the Brazilian area whilst you are menstruating but kindly ask if you could wear a tampon do desist any blood from running into the treatment area.

Can you perform IPL treatments on me if I’m taking fertility pills?

Some fertility pills contain an anti-depressant substance which will make the client more sensitive to pulsed light treatments, hence it is recommended that clients be re-scheduled at a time when they are no longer taking fertility pills.

Can you treat hair in the area where I have a tattoo?

There is a possibility that the hair removal hand-piece may also cause some removal of pigment and potentially fade the tattoo. Hence it is not recommended to remove hair on areas which are also tattooed, unless informed consent clearly identifying the potential to fade or completely remove portions of the tattoo is authorized by you, the client.

Can I tan in the sun or get a spray tan?

Yes you can, that is the advantage of SHR: your lifestyle does not need to change. But no heavy sun exposure 2-5 days before and after treatment.

What is the recovery period like?

The recovery period after the procedure is relatively short because of the very minimal skin damage made on the skin. The side effects may subside after a few hours but the redness may continue up to 2 days

What areas do women usually treat?

The most popular areas are usually the bikini, underarms, lip, chin and half legs.

What areas do men usually treat?

Men usually have their back, chest and leg half leg hair removed.