When You Should Consider a Photo Facial

When You Should Consider a Photo Facial

If your face has evident sun damage or the effects of aging, you may be self-conscious about your appearance. You don’t want to be known for sun spots, fine lines, wrinkles, rosacea, or even birthmarks when you feel young and beautiful on the inside. Fortunately, there’s an effective treatment for all of those issues.

At Renaissance Plastic Surgery, PLLC in Plano, Texas, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jeff Angobaldo and his staff offer a wide range of aesthetic services, including more traditional plastic surgeries. When dealing with facial blemishes, they often recommend a Photo Facial, also known as intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy. Here’s why.

Skin blemishes and other damage

Your skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Everyone has it, it’s just that people with light skin have less than those with dark skin, or it’s more diffused. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, though, triggers additional melanin production that spreads out across the skin to protect its deeper layers. We call this a “tan,” which fades away when exposure decreases.

UV exposure can also cause the melanin to form in clumps — these show up on your skin as brown spots called sun spots, age spots, freckles, or solar lentigines. These spots don’t fade away once you’re out of the sun. Eventually, they may become larger and darker. And the more you expose your skin to the sun, the more numerous the spots become, which is why you have more age spots as you get older.

Collagen is a fibrous, structural protein that helps provide strength and resilience to your skin. When you’re young, you have a lot of it, but production naturally decreases after age 20, which leads to wrinkles, loss of volume, and lax skin.

In addition, UV rays exposure can cause the remaining collagen to break down at a greater-than-normal rate than simple aging. As the rays penetrate the dermal (middle) skin layer, they cause the abnormal buildup of another protein, called elastin. That leads the body to produce enzymes that inadvertently break down collagen, forming so-called solar scars. Continued exposure exacerbates the process, leading to further wrinkling.

The Photo Facial/intense pulsed light therapy

Many practices use lasers to target common skin problems, but at Renaissance Plastic Surgery, PLLC, we rely on IPL. It’s similar to laser treatment, but with a laser, it focuses only a single wavelength of light on your skin. IPL uses several different wavelengths to target multiple problems simultaneously.

When we direct the energy at the treatment area, the light penetrates down to the dermal skin layer where the pigment clumps are, without harming the outer epidermis. The result is you experience less overall damage to your skin.

The clumps of melanin absorb the light energy, converting it into heat. The heat breaks up the clumps and disperses the cells, eliminating the blemishes. Also, capillaries that produce the characteristic red splotches of rosacea absorb the heat, reducing their appearance.

And because the energy from the IPL reaches into the dermal layer where you find collagen, it also triggers a burst of new collagen production. The new cells fill in fine lines, wrinkles, and even acne scars, smoothing out your skin.

A Photo Facial works on your face, of course, but it can also be used on your neck, chest, back, arms, shoulders, and legs — wherever you’ve sustained skin damage.

The IPL procedure

When you come into Renaissance Plastic Surgery, PLLC for a Photo Facial, we clean the treatment area and rub a cool gel onto your skin. You also wear dark glasses to protect your eyes from the light. Finally, we use the handheld device to direct the IPL energy onto your skin.

Some people feel a stinging sensation while the device goes to work, but most say it’s no worse than a rubberband snap. Treatment takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the treatment area. You can expect mild redness and swelling right after the session, but these fade within a day or two.

How many sessions you’ll need largely depends on your aesthetic goals. Many people find 3-6 sessions, spaced about a month apart, remove age spots and wrinkles entirely.

If you’re experiencing the visible signs of sun damage or aging, it’s the right time to consider a Photo Facial. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call Renaissance Plastic Surgery, PLLC at 972-378-3870, or contact us online today.

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