What Is the Downtime for a Photofacial?

Photofacials generate few side effects.
Photofacials generate few side effects. (Image: face image by nutech21 from Fotolia.com)

An IPL laser (intense pulsed light) photofacial is a non-surgical skin rejuvenation procedure that can improve the appearance of skin discolorations, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment utilizes a series of multi-wavelength, high-energy light beams that break up deposits of excess pigment and stimulate the production of collagen.

Time Frame

The downtime for a photofacial treatment is very minimal, and most recipients can return to their daily activities directly after the session. The University of Texas Physicians website explains that the treated area may be red for up to 24 hours following the photofacial. Some people do experience this condition for up to three days.

Skin Changes

In the days following the treatment, discolorations in the skin will appear darker and new spots may occur. The discolorations may also have a crust-like texture. The skin is simply bringing to the surface the visible and invisible pigment deposits so they may be flushed out. The Brite Smile website advises that you avoid picking at the spots, as this can cause skin irritation.

Expert Insight

Because the photofacial treatment causes the skin to be extra sensitive to the sun, avoid excessive sun exposure for two weeks following your session. When outdoors, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30, or higher, and wear protective clothing.

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