Photofacial Skin Treatments

Photofacial skin treatments, also known as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments target facial discoloration such as rosacea, broken capillaries, freckles, sunspots and redness.
Photofacials improve the appearance of sun damaged skin, age spots, skin texture, and photo aging through treatment options like AFT (Advanced Fluorescent Technology) Light Treatments. This type of treatment can also be used to improve mild acne scars, reduce large pores, correct dark circles around the eyes, and reduce fine lines. With little or no “down” time following the treatment, you are able to resume normal activities immediately.

How the Photofacial Treatment Works

This procedure takes about 30 minutes and results in a brighter overall appearance with very minimal, if any, downtime. The treatment involves applying an intense light in a series of gentle pulses over the treatment area. Once the light has penetrated the skin, it is absorbed by abnormally dilated vessels or pigmentation. The heat from the light impairs the treated vessel or lesion and causes the body to begin its natural healing process. The lesion will darken before it flakes off or is absorbed by the body. Treatments do not damage the skin and can be given as frequently as every four weeks.
On average, 1-2 photofacial sessions are usually necessary to achieve optimal results. The exact number of treatments will be determined on an individual basis. To maintain results, yearly follow-up treatments may be required.

Benefits of Photofacial Treatments:

  • Improves sun spots, age spots, dull complexions, uneven pigmentation, large pores, sun damaged skin, and early signs of aging
  • smoother skin with a more even tone
  • Minimal discomfort during treatment
  • Resume regular activities immediately
  • Treatment duration varies from 15 to 45 minutes.

What is a Treatment Like?


  • The treatment area is cleansed, and a cool gel is applied.
  • A pulse of light is delivered to the treatment area.
  • Light pulses continue and may feel like rubber bands popping.
  • Topical anesthesia can be applied for maximum comfort.
  • Gel is removed after treatment.
  • The skin is cleansed, and sunblock is applied.
  • If the patient has sensitive skin, a cool compress is applied following the treatment.

Possible Side Effects

Major side effects for this type of treatment are rare. Immediately following treatments, the skin may appear flushed, brown pigmented spots may appear darker, and capillaries may be more visible. Although very uncommon, some people may experience temporary swelling and/or blistering. To greatly minimize the risk of complications, patients must limit sun exposure for several weeks before and after treatments.

Expected Improvement from Photofacial Treatment

Most patients are highly satisfied with their results and many have seen 70% to 90% improvement. After consecutive treatments, the skin will appear to have a more even tone and feel smoother.
Complete the look: “Microblast”- Have a microdermabrasion done immediately before your IPL to open the pores, cleanse the skin, and remove the outermost layer of dead skin, which allows for deeper penetration of the IPL and a more impressive result.

To learn more about photofacial skin treatments, please call Dr. Mark Schusterman’s office 713-794-0368 or email us via our contact page.

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