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IPL Photofacial

Skin Treatments with the Limelight IPL Photofacial:

An Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment is one of the most versatile cosmetic treatments used among cosmetic dermatologists and plastic surgeons.  The light treatment has been touted by leading beauty columnists and skin experts for over a decade and is used to treat a wide scope of skin problems including sun spots, brown skin discoloration, sun damage, facial blood vessels, broken blood vessels, and fine wrinkles. Unlike deeper chemical peels and laser treatments, IPL uses a more gentle light energy that offers a non-invasive alternative to deeper skin procedures.  Our office performs the IPL treatment on fair-complexioned to olive-toned individuals as darker skin complexions may not be appropriate candidates for IPL therapy.  Most sessions with IPL take approximately 20 to 30 minutes for the face and 1 to 3 treatments are usually necessary. 

IPL photofacial provider on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. LImelight IPL can help sunspots and age spots and rosacea on the face.

Treatments with IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) usually take about 30 minutes to perform by our expert team of cosmetic physicians and physician-assistants.  Our office recommends that you schedule your IPL and photofacial treatments about one month apart in our Los Angeles and Beverly Hills offices.  There is minimal downtime with the IPL and photofacial treatments. In fact, IPL treatments have become one of the leading cosmetic facial and cosmetic skin procedures in the country, thanks to the high efficacy rate and minimal downtime associated with the procedure.  


IPL is also known as Intense Pulsed Light and is a light-based skin treatment that provides outstanding clinical results in the management of sun damaged skin such as age spots, brown spots, liver spots, facial redness, rosacea, spider veins, and uneven skin tone.  IPL is ideal for the face and chest and patients have also reported outstanding results with the neck, hands, arms, and legs. IPL treatments are quick, gentle, and non-invasive. Moreover, downtime is minimal with the IPL system used in our Beverly Hills and Santa Monica plastic surgery offices.   About one to three treatments are required to achieve final results and patients report long term benefit with the IPL treatments. 


The Cutera Limelight system provides exceptional safety and efficacy in Photorejuvenation.  Dr. Karamanoukian employs the Cutera Solera Limelight system that can be used to treat the face and body.  IPL treatments emit a special type of light that is selectively absorbed by unwanted spots and pigmentation on the skin.  The energy absorbed destroys broken capillaries, sun spots, benign pigmented spots, fine wrinkles, and can help eliminate signs of photoaging and rosacea. 



  1. Even skin tone and complexion.
  2. Reduce surface irregularities and growths.
  3. Reduce sun damage.
  4. Eliminate broken blood vessels and redness.
  5. Reduce fine wrinkles and premature aging.
  6. Reduce pore size.
  7. Fade sunspots and freckles on the face and chest. 

IPL photofacial treatments are ideal for the treatment of the following skin problems: 

  1. Facial veins and broken capillaries
  2. Large pores that are prominent 
  3. Sun damage including broken capillaries, brown spots, age spots, and angiomas
  4. Hyperpigmentation
  5. Melasma
  6. Dark acne scars
  7. Rosacea
  8. Fine lines and oily skin
  9. Diffuse redness in the face associated with facial blushing

Age spots and sun spots are known as solar lentigenes and are different from suspicious moles on the face and body.  Age spots can be improved and eliminated with the IPL Photofacial system or the VBeam laser system. The most common areas to treat sunspots and age spots are on the hands, legs, face, chest, and forearms. IPL treatments provide superior benefits when compared to older techniques such as chemical peels.  

Our office recommends the use of Melarase AM Daily UV Protect with SPF 30 prior to treatment in order to maximize the benefits of the IPL or VBeam laser procedure.  The Melarase creams help decrease the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after laser.  During your consultation for IPL treatment, speak to one of our clinicians about appropriate skincare choices before and after your IPL or laser treatment. 






  1. How does the IPL Photofacial eliminate brown spots and age spots?The IPL system uses a specialized high intensity light that is absorbed by melanin, the pigment in our skin. When treating the skin, the melanin is heated to the point where it is selectively destroyed, causing the pigment to lighten in the area of treatment. 
  2. Is there downtime with the IPL Photofacial treatment? No.  Treatments with the IPL Photofacial in our Santa Monica and Beverly Hills offices usually take about 30 minutes to perform and cause mild redness that is usually easy to cover up with makeup if needed. 
  3. Safety of IPL Photofacials? IPL Photofacials are safe with minimal side effects and an excellent profile for medical safety.  Scarring and permanent discoloration are rare side effects with IPL treatment and our office recommends using Melaquin AM Daily UV Protect with SPF 30 before and after your treatment. You may experience some darkening of your brown spots for the first week after treatment, but this is normal and reflects absorption of the IPL light energy by the melanin in your skin. 
  4. Are there any treatments that can be performed in between IPL sessions? Depending on your skin condition, our office can provide you with several options for facial skin treatment, including the indulgent Hydrafacial treatment or the more pigment-controlling MelaPeel for facial discoloration.  We can provide you with an ideal skin regimen on the day of your IPl session. 


Intense Pulsed Light treatments also work well for spider veins on the legs and chest.  These treatments work to remove surface blood vessels and broken capillaries through the IPL system.  IPL is very safe and provides treatment for wide surface areas such as the chest and leg areas, where spider veins and broken capillaries can become diffuse. One of the most remarkable benefits of IPL on chest and leg spider veins is that it will also help improve surface discoloration and sunspots at the same time.  Unsightly spider veins and blemishes can be effectively cleared within a few treatments.  Dr. Karamanoukian is an expert on spider vein treatment and can provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan on consultation. Santa Monica IPL Treatment. 


  1. Interested in IPL for rosacea: What are common causes of rosacea?
  2. Treating sun spots with Melarase creams in addition to IPL: Click Here
  3. What is recovery like with the IPL?  The photofacial treatments available in our office are considered non-invasive skin rejuvenation treatments and do not require significant downtime or recovery. You will find that after treatment, the red areas of your face may appear more pink for 24 to 48 hours; while the brown spots on your face may appear a darker shade for about one week until they flake off the skin. 



  1. Some topical products for fine wrinkles and acne may make you more sensitive to IPL photofacials.  If you are taking photosensitizing antibiotics or seizure medications, please let the office know prior to treatment.  We advise patients to use Retin A and tretinoin (Renova or Retin-A or Retinoic Acid) up to one day prior to your IPL Photofacial.  
  2. Avoid Sun exposure and direct sun tanning for one week prior to your IPL.  If you are planning to undergo a spray tan, you should consider doing it after the IPL. 
  3. Purchase an SPF 30 or greater sunscreen for use after the IPL session. Our office recommends the Melaquin AM Daily UV Protect with SPF 30 because it has a dual action skin lightener that will also help eliminate sun spots simultaneously. 
  4. Remove makeup or deodorant from your face and chest.  Do not apply sunscreen the morning of your IPL treatment as they may contain minerals that will interfere with the IPL light.
  5. If you have a strong history of frequent cold sores, ask our office to give you a prescription for cold sore medication to be taken before or after your IPL session.
  6. If you are pregnant, or think you are pregnant, please let the office staff know prior to your IPL photofacial.  Mothers that are breast feeding will have no problems undergoing the IPL laser session. 
  7. If you have a history of cold sores, please allow us to prescribe a prophylactic dose of Valtrex or Zovirax prior to your treatment. If you have already been prescribed these medicines, call our office to receive pre-treatment directions. 
  8. Lastly, if you are planning an IPL session, we think that its great that you are taking the time to treat yourself, so just relax and de-stress.  We will make sure that the entire process is stress free and successful. 
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