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What is a FotoFacial™?

Anna T.
Anna T.

A FotoFacial™ is a procedure typically done by a cosmetic medical professional involving a hand-held device that emits intense pulsed light to improve or correct shallow acne scars, brown spots, and spider veins on the face. The procedure may also be useful for improving the appearance of wrinkles, sun damage, and large pores. Many patients claim that after a FotoFacial™ they are left with younger, fresher-looking skin.

It is usually not possible for a patient to get the results that he or she wants after just one FotoFacial™. The majority of the time, four to six sessions are needed. These are typically spaced apart by about three weeks. The number of sessions a patient requires depends on a variety of factors, including how severe the skin problems are and what kind of results the patient is hoping to get. Many professionals who perform the procedure recommend coming back a few times a year after the sessions are complete to maintain the results.

Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

A FotoFacial™ differs from standard laser treatments, such as laser resurfacing, because the laser pulses penetrate directly below the outer surface of the skin. It corrects the skin from the inside out and doesn't harm the outer layer. This advantage means that many patients do not have any recovery time and are able to immediately return to their daily activities. A FotoFacial™ also normally leaves very little obvious evidence behind other than the improved appearance of the skin. Most patients report only having slightly pink skin that typically returns to normal a few hours afterward.

In addition to the pink skin tone a patient may have directly after the procedure, there could also be slight changes in pigmentation on the treated areas. These pigment changes might either be increased pigment or decreased pigment, depending on the natural skin tone of the patient. The best way to prevent this side effect could be to stay out of the sun until all FotoFacial™ sessions are completed. This procedure is typically not considered as painful as dermabrasion or laser resurfacing, and the person performing it may use a topical anesthetic to reduce the amount of discomfort experienced. Many people say that it feels no worse than a rubber band popping against the skin.

People who are interested in having a FotoFacial™ done should be aware that it may not help with serious skin imperfections. Deeper acne scars and wrinkles can typically not be corrected. Patients with more severe skin problems may be able to get the results they are looking for with laser resurfacing or collagen injections.

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      Woman with hand on her hip