Erbium Fractional Laser & Intense Pulse Light Treatments

Pre-Treatment | Procedure | Post-Treatment

We use a highly-advanced and versatile Erbium Fractional laser and an IPL (intense pulsed light) platform, all part of the Palomar Starlux 500™ system. Conditions and concerns commonly treated with this system are:

Brown Spots

These are known as pigmented lesions, sun spots, age spots or freckles. Areas treated are face, neck, chest, arms, legs and hands.

Rosacea, Vascularity & Red Spots

The Palomar Starlux is the most effective treatment for redness due to rosacea - a chronic skin condition characterized by facial redness, usually prominent on the cheeks, nose and chin. Areas of redness on the neck and chest as well as benign angiomas (red spots) on the body are also commonly treated.


Melasma is a patchy brown discoloration on the face often associated with estrogen/progesterone hormones and/or sun exposure. This is a frustrating and difficult skin condition to treat. Pretreatment with topical medications is often recommended before beginning laser treatment.


Acne scars, surgical scars, traumatic scars, fine lines and enlarged pores may be treated. These textural conditions are treated with our non-ablative resurfacing laser. Fractional laser light penetrates into the dermis of the skin while keeping the epidermis (out layer of skin) intact. This treatment is safe and effective in diminishing scars.
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IPL Pre-Treatment Information (brown spots, rosacea, etc.)

Before beginning IPL treatments it is mandatory that the skin to be treated has been protected from the sun either from avoidance of sun exposure or adequate use of sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) for at least two weeks prior to treatment. Additionally, the use of tanning beds and selftanning products should be discontinued for weeks prior to treatment and throughout the course of treatment. If the intended treatment site is over-exposed to the sun, IPL can not be performed at that time in order to avoid complications.

If you have a history of herpes breakouts (cold sores) in the area of treatment, an anti-viral prophylactic treatment may be indicated. Please let us know if you have ever had cold sores. Please wait at least one week after Botox injections and two weeks after injectable fillers before having an IPL treatment. Additionally, the use of retinoids (Retin A), glycolics or any type of topical creams/medications that irritate the skin should be discontinued one week prior to beginning treatments and throughout the course of treatment. The initial series consists of three to four treatments which are spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart. After the initial series, maintenance usually consists of one treatment every 6 to 12 months although this time increment may vary with different skin conditions.
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The IPL Procedure

Appointment times for facial IPL treatments typically are 30 minutes. Additionally, some areas to be treated (arms, chest, neck and hands) may require a longer appointment. IPL treatments, and all laser treatments, are performed by our registered nurse on staff. She will examine your skin prior to lasering to determine your customized treatment course. Your eyes will be covered by goggles, and a cool gel will be applied to the area to be treated. The feel of the IPL treatment pulses is commonly described as a rubber band snap sensation. The degree of discomfort varies widely by patient as a patient's pain tolerance differs per individual. To say this treatment is "pain-free" is an inaccuracy; however, patients do find it tolerable and the nurse will monitor and assist you with discomfort.
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Post-Treatment Information

Upon finishing the treatment, the skin is red and inflamed. Cooling gel, sunscreen and ice is applied to the treatment area.

Mild to moderate sunburn symptoms possibly accompanied with swelling is expected for 2 to 72 hours after treatment. Redness and or swelling usually resolve within 2 to 3 days but may persist for up to 1 week. In some cases, prolonged redness and/or blistering may occur. If blistering presents, apply antibiotic ointment 2 to 3 times per day until healed.

The treated area(s) may be washed with a gentle cleanser morning and night. A sunscreen with an SPF 30 should be used and reapplied throughout the day. It is fine to wear makeup after the first post-treatment day, however all retinoids (Retin A), glycolics and topicals that are irritating to the skin should be discontinued throughout treatment. For 24 hours after the procedure, it is advised to avoid activities that cause excessive perspiration such as heavy exercise and hot tubs/Jacuzzis. Additionally, avoid swimming in pools with chemicals/chlorine. Be sure to wear protective, light-occluding hats and clothing after treatment.

For treatments targeting pigmented lesions (sunspots, freckles, and age spots) the brown spots will gradually darken over the next 24 to 48 hours. These dark lesions will start to flake away leaving you with clearer skin. For vascular conditions (capillaries, red spots, rosacea) swelling and inflammation will be present and bruise-like symptoms may also appear which are expected to resolve within 3 to 4 days.

It is important to not pick, scratch or remove scabs to avoid unwanted side effects. There is a wide range of typical healing patterns with IPL treatments. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office.
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