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The Difference Between Fraxel & IPL Photofacials
At Oakland County’s AMAE Med Spa, we offer both Fraxel and IPL Photofacials to patients looking to treat redness, discoloration, wrinkles, and lines. But with both kinds of Photofacial offering their own unique advantages, our patients sometimes find it difficult to determine which one would best suit their needs.
In this article Oakland County board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali explains the simplest way to understand the differences between Fraxel and IPL Photofacials. Schedule an appointment at AMAE and he will help you decide which facial treatment is right for you.
How Fraxel Facial Treatments Work
The Fraxel Photofacial is performed by targeting the water in the patient’s skin with a laser. When heat from the laser is absorbed by water in the skin cells, those cells are destroyed. The Fraxel Photofacial device operates using a pair of settings: one designed to treat superficial photodamage such as age spots, and one to treat concerns of a deeper nature, including scarring or fine wrinkling.
How IPL Photofacials Work
Unlike Fraxel Photofacials, in a technical sense, IPL Photofacials are not performed with a laser, but instead intense pulsed light (IPL). IPLs are capable of emitting along a broad spectrum of wavelengths, whereas lasers emit across only one. This phenomenon results in IPLS creating a bright flash of light that can be used to treat redness/flushing, age spots, and can even be used to remove hair.
Similarities of Fraxel & IPL Photofacials
Both Fraxel and IPL Photofacials are among the safest skin treatments we offer to our Oakland County patients. Both types of Photofacial can also be performed not only on the face, but also on the chest, back, neck, and extremities. Additionally, both type of Photofacial can address multiple concerns simultaneously.
Fraxel & IPL Photofacials Conditions Treated
At Oakland County’s AMAE Med Spa, we use the Fraxel Photofacial to improve lines and wrinkles, to remodel collagen, and to treat surgical and acne scars. The Fraxel Photofacial has also been approved by the FDA to treat actinic keratoses, pre-cancerous lesions caused by sun damage. Additionally, the Fraxel Photofacial is an ideal way of treating a specific type of flat, brown freckle known as seborrheic keratosis.
The IPL Photofacial, on the other hand, is better suited for treating conditions such as flushing and redness that results from rosacea. IPL Photofacials are also ideal for treating spider veins and enlarged pores. Additionally, the IPL Photofacial can also be used to perform hair removal.
Fraxel & IPL Photofacials and Darker Skin Tones
In determining which type of Photofacial is best suited for a patient, Oakland County board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali evaluates them using the Fitzpatrick Scale of Skin Tones. The Fitzpatrick Scale categorizes various skin tones into types, from lightest to darkest, and is an invaluable tool for determining a patient’s Photofacial candidacy.
While patients of all skin types can absolutely reap the benefits of the Fraxel Photofacial, great care must be taken to ensure patients with darker skin tones do not experience hyperpigmentation during treatment. At Oakland County’s AMAE Med Spa, our skilled staff of Fraxel Photofacial technicians are expertly equipped with the knowledge of which settings are appropriate for which patients.
That being said, IPL Photofacial treatments are only appropriate for patients who fall between Type I and Type IV -light to medium skin tones- on the Fitzpatrick Scale. Our Oakland County patients with skin types V and VI -dark brown to darkest brown- cannot undergo IPL Photofacials.
Fraxel & IPL Photofacials Downtime
Both types of Photofacial result in very little downtime. In fact, IPL Photofacials result in no downtime whatsoever. After an IPL Photofacial, our Oakland County patients can expect some very minor swelling and redness, but this generally resolves after about 3 days, and is not at all enough to interfere with one’s day to day life.
Fraxel Photofacials, on the other hand, results in slightly more redness and swelling, as well as some subtle peeling, all of which should resolve completely five days to a week after treatment. And with both types of Photofacial, prior to flaking off from the treatment area, pre-existing brown spots will first become visibly darker. This is a sign that the Photofacial has been performed successfully, and is not any cause for alarm.
Fraxel & IPL Photofacials – Oakland County Med Spa
The best treatment for you will depend on your skin type, tone and issues you wish to treat. For some patients, both treatments can be combined, for example: using IPL correct redness or freckles, followed by Fraxel to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.
During your skin care consultation with Oakland County board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ali, he will explain the differences between Fraxel and IPL Photofacials as they apply to you, and answer all of your questions. Schedule an appointment at AMAE and he will help you decide which facial treatment is right for you.