Northern Virginia's Radiance Fairfax Medspa
East Market at Fair Lakes
12585 Fair Lakes Circle Fairfax, VA 22033

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Skin Fitness

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

What is a Photofacial?

A Photofacial treatment is a series of gentle intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments developed to improve the appearance of sun damaged and aged skin, as well as reducing redness and flushing, resulting in more youthful looking skin. IPL Photofacial treatments consistently can improve your skins texture, tone and color with little to no down time.

Radiance Medspa uses the most advanced technology by Palomar. Palomar's IPL uses the optimal wavelength of light to achieve the greatest results.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

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What does the treatment entail?
The skin is cleansed, prepared with gel and then treated with the light. Afterwards, the gel is cleaned off and replaced with sunscreen. Cold compresses may be used if needed.

What are the benefits of a Photofacial?
IPL/Photofacial treatments are a non-invasive alternative for treating a variety of skin conditions on the face, neck, chest, hands, including:

  • Sun damage
  • Blood vessels
  • Age spots
  • Uneven pigment
  • Redness
  • Rosacea

The result is a more even, luminous and younger looking complexion.

How many treatments are required?
The standard treatment is a series of three treatments performed at three to four week intervals. Some may be satisfied with the results from one or two sessions, and some may desire additional sessions. Results of IPL are enhanced when used along with chemical peels or Silk Peels and Obagi.

Is a Photofacial safe?
A Photofacial is a safe, common and quick procedure with little risk.

Are there any possible side effects?
You may experience a sunburned look for a few hours after treatment, and targeted spots will temporarily appear darker and flake off in a couple of days. Hair growth may be affected. Swelling, blistering, infection, unwanted pigmentation changes and scarring are rare side effects. Existing viral infections such as shingles and herpes may be activated by the treatment.

What conditions respond best to this treatment?
Rosacea, age spots, enlarged pores, freckles and sun spots all respond well to a Photofacial.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

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Will there be any downtime?
No, you may immediately return to your normal routine and even apply makeup.

What can be expected post-treatment?
Your skin will be sensitive and will need to be protected from the sun. Any swelling will be minimal and can be treated with cold compresses. Dark spots from the treatment should flake off after a few days.

How soon will results appear?
Noticeable results can appear after one treatment, but best results are when done in multiple sessions.

How long does a Photofacial treatment last?
A session lasts about 45 minutes.

Who should avoid a Photofacial?

You may want to reconsider having a Photofacial if you have a history of excessive scarring, bleeding or bruising, sun sensitivity, keloid formation or poor healing. Those with a family history of skin cancer should talk to a specialist about whether or not to proceed with a Photofacial.

How does the treatment feel?
You will experience minimal discomfort. Most find the treatment to be similar to the sensation of a rubber band snapping against the skin.

How long do the results last?
The effects of a Photofacial can be permanent if the skin is well cared for.

What are the alternative treatments?
There are other light treatments and topical creams that may be used instead. You should consult one of our skincare specialists, as a Photofacial will not treat underlying conditions.

What are the limitations of a Photofacial?
Those with darker skin are less likely to see results and more likely to experience adverse side effects.

Instructions for before treatment:
Discontinue use of Accutane® for six months, Retin-A® for 10 days to two weeks and glycolic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid products for a week before your treatment. Avoid sun and sunless tanning for four weeks. Do not take aspirin or other blood thinners for at least three days before your treatment. You cannot be treated while you have infections or sores in the area.

Instructions for after treatment:
Protect your skin with moisturizers and sunscreen. Cold compresses and steroid creams may be used as necessary. Avoid irritating your skin, and keep away from the sun and sunless tanners for a couple of weeks.

Use IPL in combination with Chemical or Silk Peels and Obagi for the best result. Let us recommend the best treatment regimen for your skin.

We would love to hear from you. If you have any questions, or want to learn more about our cosmetic specials, please give us a call or use the contact us form above on the left.

Bruce Freedman MD Radiance Fairfax Medical Director
Northern Virginia’s Radiance Fairfax Medspa
East Market at Fair Lakes
12585 Fair Lakes Circle Fairfax, VA 22033
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