Photofacials - Hyperpigmentation Treatment Virginia
Too much fun in the sun can make you look years, even decades older than your real age. While we all love a sun-kissed, glowing complexion during the summer (and even some of us, despite all the warnings, attempt to keep the glow year round,) in the long run we can end up looking like an old bag! Ever wondered why? Ultraviolet rays are responsible for the break down of collagen fibers – that essential fiber that keeps skin looking young. Lower levels and weak/broken collagen fibers can lead to wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin. Sun damage can also take the form of sun spots, and discolored patches. When our pigment producing cells, the melanocytes, become damaged by the sun’s powerful rays, they produce pigment irregularly, resulting in age spots and freckles. The combination of these unfortunate issues makes us look older than we need to. But, don’t get too discouraged. There is hope!
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
One of the quickest routes to removing sun damage and revealing younger-looking skin is the Photofacial. Photofacials work in a couple of ways. First, the high energy light waves are absorbed into irregular pigmentation and the pigment is destroyed. Second, the heat producing waves encourage skin cell turnover and increase the rate of collagen production resulting in plumper, fresher, smoother skin. This combination results in a more youthful appearance. But the benefits of photofacials don’t stop there! Photofacials can also treat broken capillaries and rosacea and can decrease the appearance of large pores. And, Photofacials are not just limited to the face. Also called IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, these treatments can be performed on the chest and hands, or really anywhere that your skin is showing signs of sun damage such as your arms, shoulders, back and even your legs.
Am I a Photofacial Candidate?
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A photofacial is a little bit uncomfortable but only for a short while. During the treatment, an intermittent and tolerable stinging sensation can be felt over the area. A typical treatment takes about 20 – 30 minutes. Once the treatment is over, there is no real discomfort – only a mild sunburn-like feeling that may last for a few hours. For some, there is no down time. For others there can be some swelling that lasts for several days. For your first treatment we recommend timing your appointment so that you can have a few days to recover if necessary. Once you know how your skin reacts, you either won’t have to worry about it – or you will know to always give yourself a few recovery days.
After your treatment you may notice right away that the sun spots and irregular pigmentation are darker than before the treatment. And over the next couple of days following the treatment the pigment will probably get even darker and more “peppered” looking. Don’t worry! In about 7 -14 days this pigment will slough off revealing newer, more even-toned skin underneath. During that time you must be extra diligent about protecting your skin from the sun. You may also wear makeup to cover the spots so that no one notices them except for you. Typically it takes around 3 to 4 sessions to see the full results of the treatment. And, your skin will continue to improve for months following the treatment. The collagen will continue to grow over time filling in fine lines, enlarged pores will decrease in size and broken capillaries continue to fade.