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IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)

Photofacial (IPL) Santa Barbara – Santa Barbara Dermatologist

We now offer the Cynosure ICON MAXG laser for our IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Photofacial treatments.  Visit our Cynosure Laser page for more information or to schedule a treatment.

As we age, our skin begins to degrade and dark spots develop on the skin, resulting in unwanted skin tones. Other factors such as sun damage and genetics will also affect the skin. While beauty products such as lotions are ineffective against such skin conditions, limelight laser treatment has been scientifically proven to be effective in reducing the aging effect on the skin.

What is IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)?

IPL, short for Intense Pulsed Light, is a light therapy treatment developed to reduce effects of aging on the skin. It is a noninvasive procedure that treats skin redness, hyperpigmentation, and freckles.

How does IPL Treatment Work?

IPL photofacial uses intense pulsed light that penetrates just below the skin surface to destroy damages capillaries and spots. IPL photofacial treatments smoothen the skin, giving it a nice, even skin tone with less pigmentation. IPL treatments usually take about 30 minutes with some taking up to an hour. A cold gel is applied to the area receiving treatment. Using a handheld device, the physician’s assistant will subject the skin to pulses of light. Protective gear is required during the IPL photofacial procedure to guide against the intense pulses of light

What is the IPL Photo facial Process?

This is another term used to refer to facial rejuvenation using IPL treatments. This treatment boosts collagen levels in the body, treats aging spots and destroys damaged cells.

Is IPL treatment painful?

Patients that have undergone this IPL procedure have said they experienced mild stinging sensations that are nevertheless painless. Moreover, the cooling gel applied before the laser treatment helps to cool the skin during the procedure. Unlike other treatments options, IPL requires zero anesthetics or pain-relieving medication.

Am I an Ideal Candidate for IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Treatment?

Patients with age spots, Rosacea, freckles and sun damage are ideal candidates for limelight laser. Photofacial treatments can be adapted to fit the light to medium skin tones.

How Long Until Results of IPL Photofacial Treatment?

Research has shown that IPL laser treatment results could take a week or even up to three weeks to show. Over the next few months, you will notice major improvements as a result of the IPL  treatment.

How Long Before I Require Another IPL Treatment?

Aging and sun exposure will result in spots reappearing. It could take years before you require another IPL treatment. Most patients require at least two IPL treatments annually.

How Many laser treatments will I require?

The number of IPL treatments depends on the severity of the condition, but typically, 3-5 IPL laser treatments will be needed. As you come in for consultation services, we will be able to assess your condition and advice accordingly.

Side Effects of IPL Photofacial Treatment

After the treatment, patients might experience a bit of swelling on the areas of treatment, accompanied by a slight redness. This, however, lasts a few hours or up to a day.

Click below to learn more about the IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and other Aesthetic procedures.


Whether you are thinking about having an aesthetic treatment, a non-surgical procedure or have had prior surgery and are seeking additional touch-ups, it is critical to work with a skilled plastic surgeon that specializes in facial procedures. Dr. Robert Sheffield is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon at SB Aesthetics offering services to those in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Oxnard and Ventura, CA, and the surrounding communities.  Dr. Sheffield offers patients a customized treatment plan and is available to answer your questions. To schedule a consultation, call 805.318.3280 today.


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