Dr. Bittar is pleased to offer Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Photofacial treatments to Austin patients seeking the reversal of sun damaged skin. A photofacial is a skin rejuvenation procedure in which intense pulses of light are utilized to penetrate deep into the skin and reduce the appearance of age spots, redness, and hyperpigmentation. IPL photorejuvenation is great for patients struggling with the following skin issues:

  • Sun spots, age spots and brown blotches on the face, neck, chest and other areas of the body
  • Melasma
  • Rosacea, redness and associated flushing of the face
  • Face veins and broken blood vessels of the face, neck and chest
  • Minor skin texture problems

In addition to facial skin treatments, photorejuvenation can be use to treat the skin of the neck, décolleté (upper chest) and hands. This treatment can provide long-lasting results with little to no downtime with most patients resuming regular activities immediately following treatment. Contact us to request your Austin IPL photorejuvenation consultation with Dr. Bittar today!



During a photofacial procedure, brief pulses of high energy light waves are emitted over the treatment area through a handpiece. This Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is non-ablative, meaning that it does not damage the surface of the skin. These high intensity pulses are instead delivered to the deeper parts of the skin (dermis), where it is absorbed by the darker pigmentation (freckles, sun spots, redness, broken capillaries). The structures that hold the color are heated up, effectively damaging the “sun spot” or blood vessel. The heat shrinks the vessels and dissolves the cells that create the pigment. The pigmented lesions will eventually slough off through the skin’s natural cellular renewal process and broken capillaries will coagulate and eventually be reabsorbed by the body.


Pre-Treatment Instructions

Before starting treatment, it’s important to let Dr. Bittar know if you have a history of hyperpigmentation or fever blisters. You must notify the technician if you have had any cosmetic tattooing on or near the area to be treated. On the days leading up to your photofacial treatment, it’s important to follow these instructions:

  • Avoid sun exposure for 4 to 6 weeks before and after treatments.
  • Apply sunscreen daily and do not tan at all – including self-tanner
  • Do not use any retinol products or products containing tretinoin or exfoliants on the area to be treated for one week.
  • Avoid Accutane (or isotretinoin products) for 6 months prior.

We will write you a prescription for a prophylactic antiviral therapy to start on the day of the treatment to prevent a flare up of cold sores. If you have a current prescription, Valtrex 500mg should be taken by mouth twice daily on the day before, the day of, and the day after your treatment. Photosensitizing medications including doxycycline and minocycline should be discontinued three days prior to the treatment. Anticipate a social “down-time” of 2-5 days before any redness, swelling and sloughing of the sunspots has subsided.

Day of Appointment

Come to your appointment with a clean face. All makeup should be removed if the area to be treated is the face. If applicable, dress so that you may modestly expose the treatment area.

After Your Photofacial Treatment

Since IPL is non-ablative, there is no downtime after photofacial treatment. Patients are able to return to their normal activities following IPL treatments and can apply makeup immediately after the procedure (if the skin is not broken) to cover up any redness. We recommend Epionce Medical Barrier Cream moisturizer and mineral based makeup such as Jane Iredale.

You may have a mild sunburn (burning) sensation following the treatment, but this usually resolves within a few hours. Skin redness and a slight amount of swelling is normal and may last a few days. Crusting or blistering is uncommon and not serious. Pigmented areas may begin to flake after a few days. Cold compresses may be useful for the first 24 hours. If you have any questions, please call our Austin office at (512) 448-4422.

Things NOT to Do After Your Photofacial Treatment:

Your skin will be fragile for 2-3 days following the procedure. Here are a few things to remember:

  • Do not rub the skin and avoid hot water during this time. Use gentle cleansers (we recommend Epionce Gentle Foaming Cleanser)
  • Do not use your Clarisonic or a loofah for one week.
  • Do not use any retinoids, tretinoins, alpha or beta hydroxy products, vitamin C products, scrub, exfoliate, or have chemical peels performed on the areas treated area for one week.
  • Avoid Accutane (or isotretinoin products) for 6 months prior.
  • Avoid the sun and use sun block. We recommend EltaMD Physical Sunblock.
  • Avoid excessive heat or friction to the treated area (heavy exercise, saunas, etc.).

Over the course of your treatment series, you will see gradual and cumulative improvement with each procedure. After treatment, sun and age spots will become darker as they rise to the surface of the skin and begin to flake off. This is expected and a normal part of the IPL process. Over the next several days, these darker spots will fall off on their own, leaving you with a more even-toned complexion.

Please contact our Austin office as soon as possible if you experience any blistering, increase pain, or if you are concerned about infection. If any pigment changes are bothersome or persist beyond 4 weeks, call us at (512) 448-4422.


For optimal results, we typically recommend 4 – 6 photofacial treatments performed once every three weeks. IPL treatments are commonly used to treat sun damage and other pigmentation problems. Once the pigmented cells have been heated up and destroyed, they rise to the surface and flake off. This regenerative process can take several weeks, so it is important to wait the appropriate amount of time before having another treatment. 


An IPL photofacial treatment stimulates new collagen production in the skin, which improves skin texture and reduces the appearance of enlarged pores. However, this procedure is primarily used for the removal of brown spots and broken blood vessels. Skin tightening and wrinkle reduction experienced from photofacial treatment is typically very subtle. Dr. Bittar, Austin’s leading facial plastic surgeon, offers a range of nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, such as laser skin resurfacing, and surgical procedures, such as face lifts, for tightening lax skin and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


Are you interested in IPL photofacial treatments in Austin? Dr. Bittar and The Beau Visage Center offer skin care analysis and a consultation to assess your skincare needs and recommend the best treatment to achieve your aesthetic goals. Call (512) 448-4422 to schedule your photofacial appointment today!