Photorejuvenation is a light-based treatment used to improve the appearance of photoaged skin, sun-induced brown pigmentation, redness of rosacea, and blood vessels. It will reveal brighter, younger and healthier-looking skin by improving the overall tone and texture. The most commonly treated areas include the face, neck, chest and hands.
What equipment is used?
Alma® Harmony Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) (540 nm-950 nm) uses a range of wavelengths to treat brown and red discoloration and overall texture
Alma® Harmony Long-pulse Nd:YAG (1064 nm) best for larger, deeper blood vessels
Cutera® VariLite (532 nm and 940 nm) used to treat focal brown spots or blood vessels
Cutera® LimeLight™ (IPL) (520-1100 nm) uses a range of wavelengths to treat brown and red discoloration and overall texture
Cutera® Excel™ (1064 nm) best for larger, deeper blood vessels
Cutera® Laser Genesis (1064 nm) best at treating diffuse redness and overall texture
What will the procedure feel like?
The treatment consists of multiple pulses delivered with the light source. Each pulse feels like a brief hot stinging or snapping sensation that is mildly uncomfortable. A device that blows cold air is used during the treatment to keep the skin cool and decrease discomfort. Some patients choose to take ibuprofen prior to treatment to help with discomfort. Use of topical anesthetic prior to treatment may decrease effectiveness as it constricts blood vessels making it harder for the laser to “see” them.
Do I have to do anything to prepare in advance?
Tanned skin cannot be safely treated, so we ask that you avoid sun exposure for 4 weeks prior to your treatment and self-tanning products should not be applied to the treatment area 2 weeks prior. If you have a history of cold sores, be sure to notify your provider prior to your appointment and he or she will prescribe a medication to take the night before that will reduce the likelihood of a breakout. If you are using any products containing a retinoid on the treatment area, we ask that you stop using them 5-7 days prior to your treatment.
What will I look like afterwards?
It is expected to have mild swelling and redness immediately after the treatment that usually resolves after 2-3 days. Pigmented lesions darken before resolving and develop a “peppering” appearance before sloughing away in about 1-2 weeks. There is minimal social downtime, which means most people feel comfortable returning to work and normal activities immediately after the treatment, but often avoid major social events. Makeup may be applied immediately. Avoid the use of retinoid on the treatment area for 5-7 days after treatment. It is also recommended that gentle skincare products be used for the first 5-7 days following the treatment. A sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and zinc oxide as an active ingredient should be used daily.
How many treatments are necessary?
We recommend a series of 3-5 treatments scheduled 4-6 weeks apart. Maintenance treatments are then recommended as needed, typically once a year.
When will I see results?
Each treatment will yield a percentage of improvement with overall results culminating in the month following the series of treatments. Most patients report the largest percentage improvement after the first treatment, as there is the largest target present for the laser. Subsequent treatments contribute additional results to the overall improvement.
Who cannot have the treatment?
Photorejuvenation is not safe in darker skin types or tan skin. Patients who have taken isotretinoin (Accutane) within the previous 12 months or are currently pregnant cannot have the treatment. Patients who have a history of radiation treatments, collagen/vascular diseases or autoimmune disease may not respond as well. In addition, smoking, excessive alcohol and excessive sun exposure limit results.