Laser Resurfacing Treatment:
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) / ResurFX
Exposure to the sun and environmental toxins can cause our skin to develop unwanted pigmentation, age spots, superficial blood vessels, and a “dull” skin tone that makes us look tired or appear older than we actually are. Using non-invasive treatments to address superficial imperfections, the quality of the skin improves leading to younger, healthier-looking skin. At Remington Laser Dermatology Centre in Calgary, we offer two photorejuvenation treatments to improve your skin: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and ResurFX.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
The M22 Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) delivers high-intensity pulses of visible light directly onto the skin to reduce brown spots, red vessels, and the early signs of aging. This results in a glowing, smoother tone and more even texture to the skin.
Photorejuvenation is achieved by using varied wavelengths of light energy that targets multiple skin concerns simultaneously. The energy is localized to the uppermost layer of skin (epidermis) and works by constricting blood vessels and breaking down and lifting excess pigmentation.
Some mild redness and swelling may occur for the first 1-2 days and the pigmented areas may darken for up to one week. However, most people can cover any imperfections with light powder make-up. This treatment does not require any time off work for recovery.
The M22 ResurFX is the newest technology and the next generation of photorejuvenation. It uses a non-ablative technique that allows light energy to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin (dermis) without actually cutting the surface of the skin. The laser creates channels of heat that are surrounded by normal skin. Through the body’s natural healing process, new skin cells are regenerated. New elastic and collagen fibers are produced. This strengthens the foundation of the skin while improving texture and tone on the surface.
As the light energy is penetrating into the deeper levels of the skin, some pain is associated with the treatment. Therefore, a topical numbing cream must be applied one hour prior. There will be significant redness and swelling for 1-2 days. Some mild peeling and dryness can be expected for 3-4 days.
What are the benefits of ResurFX treatments?
Because ResurFX engages the skin’s natural healing mechanisms it’s really a natural method to rejuvenate your skin. ResurFX is the latest in fractional resurfacing. When the laser energy creates hundreds of microchannels through the epidermis into the dermis, the light energy converts to heat. When the body senses heat in the dermis it assumes there has been a wound, so it initiates a wound-healing response. This involves instantly remodeling the collagen across the treatment area. But more importantly, new collagen production is ordered to heal the perceived wounds, even though the microscopic channels are fully healed in just a few hours.
That increase in collagen thickens the skin across the treated areas. Collagen provides the skin’s structural support framework; it is needed for the skin to be firm and without wrinkles and lines. The problem is after our 20th birthday our bodies produce one additional percentage point less collagen every year. By the time you turn 50, your skin now has 30 percent less collagen to support it. That’s why is sags, droops, and develops wrinkles and lines — there is less collagen to stop this from happening. The cheeks flatten due to underlying collagen loss and the descension of fat. The skin even thins.
By triggering the body’s own healing mechanisms, ResurFX can reverse all of these problems due to declining collagen production and sun damage.
How to Prepare for IPL / ResurFX
It is essential that you do not have a tan or have used tanning creams within 4 weeks of your treatment. As the laser targets pigmentation in the skin, having a tan can cause you to react more than the desired response. Occasionally this can even blister the skin. You must also be off Accutane for a minimum of 6 months and cannot be pregnant.
What are the risks with ResurFX?
ResurFX treatments have been cleared by the FDA. Since this procedure is non-ablative, it is extremely well tolerated by our patients. As with any procedure, there are some rare risks that we will discuss with you prior to treatment. ResurFX is safe and comfortable.
What Our Patients Say
“Knowledgeable, detail oriented, took the time to answer questions, professional. Staff very helpful, kind, and professional as well. Great experience and would highly recommend Dr. Todd Remington.”
Laser Resurfacing Treatment
By combining the IPL and ResurFX treatments together, you can achieve an overall improvement to the texture and tone on the surface of the skin, while stimulating long-term collagen production deep below. Although it will not address deep wrinkles or severe sun damage, it is an excellent preventative approach for the earliest signs of aging.
We recommend a series of 3 treatments at 4-6 weeks intervals initially, and then maintenance treatments annually for optimal results.
What is a ResurFX treatment like? How long does it take?
You’ll need to arrive at our Fisher Street offices for your ResurFX treatment about one hour prior to your laser session. This is so we can apply a topical anesthetic to the treatment areas. We also recommend an oral sedative, as well, to help you relax during the procedure and allow us to deliver the most effective treatment settings.
Next, the ResurFX laser scanner is set to a random pattern. It then delivers laser pulses automatically over the treatment area while the handpiece is placed over the skin. The laser delivers heat to a certain depth of the skin and the sensation is warm and prickly (hence the local anesthetic). Only one pass is required.
It may seem as if the laser energy could burn your skin, but the combination of topical numbing cream and air cooling provided by the ResurFX system keeps you comfortable during the procedure. A session usually takes just 15-30 minutes.
How long can I expect my results to last from ResurFX?
The changes in your skin after these treatments are not immediate. That’s because the body has to increase its collagen production, and this takes a week or so. After your session, you’ll have some redness and slight swelling. After this resolves, you’ll begin to see improvements in your skin in just one week or two. These will continue to improve as your body boosts its collagen production in the treated areas. This production increase will run for 3-4 months.
What problems can be addressed with ResurFX treatments?
The Lumenis ResurFX system is tailored to address various signs of skin aging. At Remington, we use it to treat these skin issues:
- Uneven pigmentation
- Sun and age spots
- Stretch marks
- Uneven skin tone
- Acne scars
- Fine wrinkles and lines
- Loose skin
Is there any downtime after an IPL or ResurFX treatment?
Both of these treatments are non-invasive. They don’t require any recovery or downtime. Your skin will have some mild redness and possibly slight swelling for a day or so. The IPL energy will cause your sunspots and pigmentation areas to darken. This can be disconcerting, but it’s simply a sign that the melanin in the spots has absorbed the IPL energy and is breaking down.
One thing that is important after either of these treatments is to fully protect your skin from the sun. These treatments work to break down imperfections on the surface skin, so they also break down the natural sun protection. For the first week after your treatment, you should avoid sun exposure. After that, use 30 SPF sunscreen and clothing to protect your treated areas. This is a good idea anyway. After all, those sunspots and other issues with sun damage didn’t happen on their own.
Do ResurFX treatments hurt?
Our patients tell us they feel a warm or slightly prickly sensation as the bursts of laser energy are delivered. But thanks to ResurFX’s patented cooling method and the topical anesthetic, the procedure doesn’t involve any pain.