How Many Sessions of Photofacial to See Results?

How many for improvement, and then how often to sustain the improvement?

Doctor Answers 14

How many photofacials to see results?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Actually with the right settings you should see some improvement after the first treatment.  Normally how many sessions are required for a nearly complete correction depends on how much sun damage there is and what your skin type is.  With skin types IV and V, the settings have to necessarily be lower to protect the skin from burns.

An average of 3-4 sessions is probably enough to get excellent results.  How often you need re-treatment depends on what you do afterwards.  If you practice sun avoidance and use a good broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day and a retinol or retinoid at night, the results should be long-lasting.

One of the great things about photofacials is that there are longer wavelengths of light that reach deep into the dermis and stimulate some new collagen deposition.  You will also see a texture improvement to your skin after your treatments.

Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

How many photofacials to see results?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Photofacials, or intense pulsed light, are light treatments that target and improve brown spots, broken blood vessels, and the overall texture of the skin. How many treatments are required usually depends on the condition that is being treated. On average, 2-4 treatments, about a month apart, is very effective. Many people see results after the first treatment. It's important to have treatments performed by a board certified dermatologist, as burns may occur with incorrect or aggressive settings. 

Donna Bilu Martin, MD
Aventura Dermatologist

Depends on the form of PhotoFacial

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
A photofacial can be performed with a variety of intense pulsed light machines, and can be customized for each individuals anatomy. At Quintessa Medical Spa, we typically treat patients with a very aggressive photofacial with multiple passes of the broad band light over the face. This more aggressive approach means we need fewer treatments, typically two is all that is required for most patients. We then recommend a treatment every 6 to 12 months as well as good skin care and sun protection.
Andrew C. Campbell, M.D.
Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Andrew Campbell, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

You might also like...

Photofacial requires repeat treatments for best results

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Photofacial requires repeat treatments for best results. While each case is different and the goal is reduction of brown and red spots and evening of skin tones the average patient will have 3-5 treatments.

Edward Lack, MD
Chicago Dermatologist

You should see improvement after 1-3 PhotoFacial treatments.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you're getting the PhotoFacials for unwanted brown discoloration, you may see improvement after your first treatmnent. The darkest brown spots respond best.

If you're looking to reduce facial redness or rosacea, it may take 3 or 4 treatments to obtain a desired result.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

IPL Results

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

IPL treatments (also called photofacials) are a great way to improve pigment issues and sun damage of the face, neck and décolletage.  For many patients, desired results are achieved in 3 treatments but there can be some variation depending on a few factors.  These include the amount of sun damage, skin type, IPL settings, and patient expectations.  After results are attained, it is important to avoid the activities that contributed to the sun damage originally.  This will help maintain your results and prevent further issues.  Some patients get “touch-up” treatments annually, usually during the winter when sun exposure is minimal. Consulting with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon will give you a good understanding of your specific needs and treatment plan.


Dr. Mehta

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

IPL PhotoFacial addresses various layers of skin damage

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
A series of 3 to 4 PhotoFacial treatments is usually recommended because a PhotoFacial addresses various layers of skin damage. This may include sun damage, redness, uneven pigmentation, small vessels, pores and overall appearance of the skin. In the first and second treatment the light is attracted to the most visible targets such as freckles and redness. It takes about 4 weeks for that top layer to complete the cell turnover. Once the most obvious freckles and redness are minimized, the next treatment targets diffuse redness and lighter pigmentation. It also helps heat up the deeper layers of the skin inducing your skin to produce new collagen. Additional treatments continue working on collagen remodeling and contribute most to the tightening of the pores and overall rejuvenation. Annual maintenance treatments and skincare products with retinol, growth factors and antioxidants help maintain the results and contribute to continuous cell turnover. 

Gene Rubinstein, MD, FAAD
Los Angeles Dermatologist
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

An average of 3-5 photofacial treatments spaced one month from one another is often recommended to see results.  Depending on how much sun damage there is and your skin type, the number of photofacial treatments may vary.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Sessions of Photofacial

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Gradual and cumulative improvement is achieved between 3-5 treatments spaced 3 weeks apart, without discomfort. Patients generally return to normal activities and can apply makeup immediately after treatment sessions.


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Depends on the problem, but usually 4-6 treatments will maximize your outcome. Thank you for your question and good luck with everything.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.