BBL, or BroadBand Light, is an effective, non-invasive treatment to fight hyperpigmentation, acne and signs of aging.
It's basically a Swiss Army knife solution to a variety of skin issues!
Also known as a photofacial, BBL uses high intensity pulses of light to improve the appearance of brown (freckles, sun damage, age spots) and red (vascular legions, rosacea, rosy cheeks, poikiloderma) spots. BBL can also treat acne by targeting acne-causing bacteria, and improve the appearance of uneven skin texture, reduce pore size and tighten skin. This corrective laser treatment requires little downtime and is a quick and easy.
How does BBL work?
BroadBand Light gently heats the top layers of the skin, targeting areas of extra pigmentation to stimulate skin cell regeneration and collagen production. The photothermal energy reduces unwanted melanin (which produces pigmented lesions and discoloration) and eliminates fine vessels that cause redness. Excess pigment subsequently rises to the surface and sloughs off one to two weeks after the treatment. In addition to improving overall skin tone and smoothness, BBL helps improve skin elasticity and firmness.
BBL treatments are easily customizable, because BBL operates on a large range of wavelengths. As medical professionals, our providers are able to deliver precise pulses of light to the area being treated, enabling them to use BBL to effectively treat patients with different skin types and issues. Any area of the body can be treated with BBL. The most common areas we treat are the face, neck, backs of hands, chest and shoulders/upper arms, as these tend to be the areas of the skin that experience the most sun damage.
We can also use a different BBL filter to emit a blue light wavelength that has antibacterial effects on the "P acnes" microbe, which could be the cause of your breakouts. (It's nice to have something to blame by name, isn't it?)
What does BBL treatment feel like?
We'll apply a cold gel to the treatment area before BBL treatment, which is fairly painless. You'll need to wear protective eyewear – this is a powerful ray of light therapy, after all! You should expect to feel a slight warming sensation at the very least, and a sharp rubber band snap at the most (that's the result of the BroadBand Light absorbing into the targeted areas – pretty cool, right?). Our patients tell us that it's not too uncomfortable.
That doesn't sound so bad. How many treatments do I need?
You'll need to consult with your Skin Pharm provider, but best results often require a series of BBL treatments. Fortunately, you don't need to carve out much time in your schedule for BBL, as treatment sessions last about 20 minutes (plan for a little longer if we're targeting larger areas of the body). Depending on the severity of the hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration, you may need one to three sessions every two to three weeks to achieve desired results. Other skin issues, such as poikiloderma, a type of sun damage that results in red colored pigmentation on the skin, can be improved with one treatment.
Sounds great. How long does it take to heal from BBL?
Patients love BBL because, in addition to the quick appointment, there is very little downtime after treatment. Your Skin Pharm provider will apply moisturizer and SPF post treatment, and most patients can apply makeup, return to work immediately and resume normal activities, although your skin may be a little sensitive and pink post-treatment (this shouldn't last for more than a day or two) and is easily covered up. You may experience darkening of the targeted areas on your skin after your appointment, but this is temporary as these spots will fade or flake off in the next week or two. Expect to see smoother, even-toned skin and reduced visible signs of sun damage and aging.
For best results, avoid sun exposure three weeks before and after BBL treatment – and don't forget your SPF! At Skin Pharm, we won't perform a BBL treatment on tanned skin, so if you show up to your appointment with recent unprotected sun exposure, we'll unfortunately have to turn you away. Also, you may get a friendly lecture about why SPF is so important.