How Does the PhotoDerm Work?
Pulses of infrared light are applied to the patient’s skin. Then, the skin absorbs the light creating warmth. Skin irregularities such as small veins, or clusters of veins and pigment marks will naturally absorb more light. Brown and red pigmented cells will naturally become much warmer than the healthy skin tissue. This heat process causes these cells to be reabsorbed by the body which causes them to fade away with time.
The heating effect on the deeper layers of collagen on the skin stimulates the skin to function more efficiently. This reduces pore size and evens out the skin texture, tone and color which results in a firmer and fresher complexion
Why Are Multiple Treatments Necessary?
The procedure provides gradual improvement with very low risk because is divided into several treatments. The is very little to no “down time” compared to the recovery period needed after other types of lasers. This is because PhotoDerm is a light treatment and not a laser.
How Long Will the Results Last?
The results are often permanent for prominent veins and pigments after completing the recommended treatment course. This is assuming you maintain a regular program of skin care products to protect your skin from UV exposure. The more subtle rejuvenating results are very long lasting. However, if you wish to retain the results long term, you may want to have 1 or 2 PhotoDerm treatments each year.
What Does a PhotoDerm Treatment Feel Like?
A cold gel is applied to the area to be treated. Then, the smooth glass surface of the handpiece (the ‘chill tip’) is placed onto the gel about 1mm off the skin and the pulses of light are applied. You may feel a slight sting, like the snapping of a small elastic band. A mild warm tingling sensation may remain for 1 hour or more after the treatment where a cool pack or other cooling preparation may be used to provide relief. Most people find they can apply make-up almost immediately after treatment.
Are you ready to improve your appearance?
Before Your PhotoDerm Treatment
You will need to wait at least 4 to 6 weeks before having PhotoDerm treatments if you use self tanners or if you have recently been in a sun tanning bed.
Treating tanned skin increases the risk of unwanted side effects such as pigment changes. This is why it is important that you stay committed to stay out of the sun during the entire treatment process. If you are planning a holiday or a trip in the sun, we can help you plan your treatments around your holiday.
It is recommended that you wait until you have had the baby if you are pregnant before considering PhotoDerm treatments.
If you are using or have used Accutane you must have finished this medication for at least 6 months before PhotoDerm treatment.
After Your PhotoDerm Treatment
In most Orange County patients, this treatment has very little or no ‘downtime’. Immediately after treatment, you may notice a mild warmth and tingling sensation. This is normal and usually subsides after a couple of hours. This can be eased by using ice, chilled cold packs or wet washcloth put in the freezer for 2-3 minutes may be applied post-treatment as needed for comfort. Aloe Vera gel can also be used to soothe skin. Localized erythema (redness) may also be present and typically resolves in 24 to 48 hours.
Treated age spots, freckles or sun damage usually darken after treatment, and light crusting begins to form within a few days. It may look as if you have spilled coffee on your skin. This crusting usually resolves in 1 to 3 weeks. It should be allowed to naturally flake off for effective results. If significant crusting occurs beyond the normal flaking of the treated lesions, an antibiotic ointment or lubricating cream may be recommended.
Mineral make-up can be carefully applied providing the skin is not sensitive. Mineral makeup can also serve to protect the skin from sun exposure.
Skin that has been treated should be cared for gently for a few days. Care should be taken to prevent trauma to the treated area for the first 24-48 hours following treatment. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the skin and avoid exposing it to additional heat or friction such as hot showers, baths, steam rooms, saunas and hairdryers.
Avoid planning heavy exercise for up to 2 days after treatment, to prevent the skin from sweating and causing undue redness.
Use of a high factor sunblock (SPF 30) for 4 weeks after treatment is recommended with consistent use of at least an SPF 15 sunscreen product that contains one or more of the following: avobenzone (parsol) and oxybenzone, helioplex, or one of the physical sun blocks – titanium oxide or zinc oxide.
The recommended time interval between treatments is 3 weeks or longer.
You should avoid sunbeds, tanning, or sun exposure without sun protection, in the four weeks following treatment. Unprotected sun exposure will create a new cycle of sun damage, negating the effect of your PhotoDerm treatment program.
Related Treatments and Procedures
- Cosmelan for Melasma and Hyperpigmentation
- Mixto Laser for Resurfacing
- Chemical Peels for Light to Moderate Exfoliation of Damaged Skin
- Photo Dynamic Therapy to Control Acne and Prevent Acne Scarring
- Microdermabrasion for Manual Exfoliation of Rough Skin
Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology for the Greater Orange County Area.
Dr. Sikorski offers cosmetic & dermatology procedures to patients in all Orange County communities, including Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano. Schedule your own consultational appointment today!