IPL (Intense Pulsed Light Photofacial, Photorejuvenation Facial) – Ashburn, VA

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About IPL

When you are bothered by how your skin appears because of dark spots, sun damage, or fine lines, The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery can perform a skin consultation at our Ashburn, VA office to determine if you could benefit from IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy. A photofacial with IPL is a treatment that rejuvenates the skin for adults with hyperpigmentation or wrinkle problems on their neck and face. A photofacial may be a noninvasive process; however, it can be highly effective and create amazing outcomes. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael J. Brown uses intense pulses of light energy that warm the skin cells to set off the natural healing process and increase the production of collagen. As the added nutrients take effect, you should begin to see a healthier complexion with an improved tone and decreased spots of pigmentation.

How Does IPL Work?

IPL uses multiple laser wavelengths to reduce and even get rid of extra pigmentation, small broken blood vessels, and wrinkles. During an IPL treatment, the laser light is absorbed by pigmented areas. Then the light is changed to heat, causing the pigment to be broken up. For small broken vessels and spider veins, the laser light is absorbed by the pigment in the blood, shrinking the unwanted vein. For wrinkles and skin toning, the laser promotes collagen growth to make the skin more supple.

Ideal Candidates

An IPL photofacial reaches the deeper layers of your skin to treat several complexion blemishes (particularly brown lesions and sun spots) with minimal or no recovery needed. Ideal candidates for an IPL photofacial at The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery will have several problems with their complexion, such as rosacea, sun damage, brown spots (hyperpigmentation), rough texture, wrinkles, visible pores, redness, freckles, sun and age spots, or spider veins. Though IPL is most often done on the face and neck, it can be used to treat the chest, hands, arms, and legs as well. Dr. Brown will examine your complexion to determine if you will benefit from an IPL photofacial during your initial consultation.

Procedure Technique

A photofacial is completed at our Ashburn, VA office in around 30 – 60 minutes in one of our minor procedure rooms if no other treatments are being performed. To prepare for the photofacial, your technician will wash and dry your skin before protecting your eyes with shields. The photofacial is performed using a handheld wand that will pass over the skin while emitting laser energy pulses. While many patients may have mild discomfort throughout the photofacial, it is usually bearable given the quick treatment length.

What to Expect

There usually is no recovery period needed with a photofacial treatment, but you may leave our office with your complexion a little inflamed and red. This will go away naturally in about 1 – 3 days — it may be masked with cosmetics if you prefer. The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery recommends you use a cream on the skin to minimize any irritation and promote healing. It may also help to use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine to ease any swelling. After 2 – 5 days, the irregularities under the skin will rise to the surface skin layers and then start to flake away. It is critical to protect your skin with sunscreen as often as possible after a photofacial treatment and to not pick at your skin while it heals. While you will have visible improvements after your first treatment, your complexion will attain ideal results with multiple photofacial treatments. Dr. Brown may suggest multiple treatment sessions scheduled every 2 – 4 weeks, but with the advanced technology we use at our Ashburn, VA facility, patients rarely require more than two treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does IPL cost?
Since every case is unique, the price of your IPL treatment will vary, depending on the initial condition of your skin and the size of the treatment area. Our aesthetic team will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that fits your goals and budget. In your consultation, we can estimate your required number of treatments to give you a better understanding of your out-of-pocket costs. 

How quick are the results from IPL?
While some results will be visible within a few days following your treatment, optimal results may take up 1 – 3 months to become apparent. The recovery process and when results can be expected will vary from patient to patient. Results will also continue to develop over time as the skin rejuvenates.  

What are the possible side effects of IPL?
Immediately following an IPL treatment, patients may experience some mild side effects, such as temporary redness, swelling, bruising, dryness, or superficial blisters. Typically, these side effects diminish within a few days following the procedure. Hair growth may be impaired in the treated area, though this is not the aim of this treatment. It is very important to use a moisturizer with SPF 30 sunblock and to avoid sun exposure on a daily basis to prevent more sun damage following IPL.

Do I need to prepare for IPL?
Prior to an IPL treatment, we typically request that individuals stop using self-tanners and avoid excessive sun exposure for about 2 – 4 weeks. Additionally, the use of minocycline, tetracycline, doxycycline, and Retin-A/Renova should be discontinued several days prior to an IPL treatment. Aspirin or ibuprofen may be recommended to be taken about a week before the procedure to help with the prevention of bruising. Sunscreen should be used to protect the treated areas in between IPL sessions.

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Average Cost  
$500 - $1,200
Return to Work  
Same Day
Surgery Time  
1 Hour
Follow Ups  
4 - 6 Weeks
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Get Your Glow Back

Even if you did not think much about your skin's health when you had clear skin, you now may be interested in treatments that correct skin damage that is now becoming visible. We encourage you to find out more about photofacial treatments by contacting our Ashburn, VA office and scheduling an appointment for a skin examination with Dr. Brown. With photofacial treatments at The Loudoun Center for Plastic Surgery, we can reach the deeper layers of damaged skin to help create a youthful glow and a smooth complexion.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.