How Photofacials May Help Rid You of Acne!

Looking for an effective and non-invasive treatment for acne with minimal side effects? Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy could be your solution! IPL, Intense Pulsed Light, has been used for years as a cosmetic treatment for sun damage and other skin discoloration issues. “It essentially uses heat to minimize or eliminate unwanted skin pigmentation, resulting in improved skin tone and texture,” shares Stacey Martin, licensed medical aesthetician and certified laser technician at Sanova Dermatology in Pflugerville, Texas.

How it Works

IPL therapy has recently been gaining recognition as an effective treatment for acne. By delivering pulses of broad-spectrum light to the skin, IPL treatments are shown to diminish inflammation and shrink sebaceous glands. Recent studies have shown that the pulses of light cause thermal damage to P. acnes, the acne-causing bacteria, reducing active breakouts as well as the formation of new lesions. In addition, IPL treatments can reduce the appearance of acne scars by increasing collagen production. “The result is smoother, clearer skin with fewer breakouts and less scarring” notes Martin.

What to Expect

IPL therapy for acne is usually performed over multiple once-per-week sessions. “During a session, a gel is applied to the surface of the face and a handheld device is used to deliver pulses of light to the skin,” explains Martin. A 2010 study showed a 50% reduction in acne after four weekly IPL treatments, with no adverse side effects reported. In a more recent study, 80% of patients reported good-to-excellent improvement in acne following six weekly IPL sessions. A reduction in acne lesions was first noted after three weeks. Mild skin redness, which subsided within 30 minutes, was reported as a side effect.

The best part about IPL therapy is that it’s a quick, relatively pain-free procedure with no downtime required. Patients can return to their normal daily activities following each session. Furthermore, it provides an effective option for those who are not able to tolerate the side effects of commonly prescribed topical and oral acne medications. However, it can also be used safely in conjunction with these treatments if needed.


If you’re suffering from acne or acne scarring and would like more information about IPL therapy, contact Sanova Dermatology today to set up a consultation. Our experienced and compassionate professionals will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan based on your skincare needs.

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