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BBL™ (BroadBand Light™)

What is BBL™?

BBL™ (BroadBand Light™) is a no-downtime, non-ablative procedure that utilizes pulsed broadband light and photo-thermal energy to reduce the visible signs of aging and restore a more even, youthful complexion.

BBL™ versus IPL versus photofacial


IPL is Intense Pulsed Light, a phrase used to describe any aesthetic device that uses a broad-spectrum flash lamp to improve the appearance of the skin.


Photofacial is a general term for any IPL treatment used to improve the appearance of the skin.

BBL™ is BroadBand Light™

BBL™ is BroadBand Light™ a proprietary pulsed-light technology developed by Sciton. The BBL™ handpiece uses a large sapphire cooling plate to keeps the surface of the skin within a safe and comfortable temperature range throughout treatment. This minimizes patient discomfort and allows higher energies to be used, yielding greater results in fewer treatment sessions.

How does BBL™ work?

BBL utilizes broadband flash lamps to produce rapid pulses of energy in the form visible light and heat. The broad spectral output spans the visible light spectrum, beginning with blue light at 420nm, and extends into the near-infrared zone at 1400nm. Different bands of light within this range interact with the three main chromophores (molecules that absorb light) in our body – water, hemoglobin (red blood cells), and melanin (pigment). To target only the desired chromophore, such as the hemoglobin in a spider vessel, one of seven specially-coated glass Smart Filters is inserted into the BBL handpiece. The filters work by blocking the transmission of unnecessary wavelengths, only allowing a small percentage of the flash lamp’s full output to pass through. As the filtered light travels through the skin, it is absorbed by the target chromophore, where it is instantly converted to heat, inflicting a small thermal injury. This, in turn, stimulates the body’s natural wound healing mechanisms to repair the damaged tissue by replacing it with new, healthy tissue.

Dr. Naidu offers four types of BBL™ treatments in NYC:

  • Corrective BBL™ to treat the effects of sun damage and aging
  • Forever Young BBL™ to help delay skin aging
  • Forever Clear BBL™ for acne treatment
  • Forever Bare BBL™ for hair removal

Corrective BBL™

Corrective BBL™ treats skin conditions which typically occur secondary to sun damage and aging, including age spots, freckles,rosacea, spider veins, birthmarks, small facial veins, and hyperpigmentation. The most commonly treated areas include the face, neck, chest, hands, and back.

Forever Young BBL™

Forever Young BBL™ treatments are maintenance treatments which stimulate changes at a molecular level. Treatments are recommended every 6 months. Patients in one study who underwent regular treatments every 6 months showed a significant improvement in skin texture and tone, with skin appearing at least ten years younger than the stated age.

Forever Clear BBL™

Moderate to severe acne can be treated with BBL™. This is a non-invasive, FDA-cleared treatment suitable for both teenagers and adults. 4-6 treatments are typically required, although severe cases may require additional treatments. The skin is treated in three steps:

  • Blue BBL™ light is used to eliminate acne-causing bacteria in the pores
  • Yellow BBL™ light is then used to reduce inflammation and redness
  • Infra-Red light is finally administered to initiate healing

Forever Bare BBL™

BBL™ energy is used to heat hair follicles. The energy causes the follicle to stop producing hair without harming the surrounding tissues. 3-5 treatments are typically required to remove all hair. Although any area can be treated, the most common areas are the face, underarms, arms, legs, bikini area, chest, shoulders, and back.

What to expect before, during, and after BBL™ Treatment in NYC:

Prior to your BBL™ treatment, Dr. Naidu will assess your skin. You must limit sun exposure and use of tanning beds for at least 2 weeks prior to treatment.

Prior to beginning the procedure, a thin layer of clear gel will be applied to the treatment area. This serves to couple the light between the BBL’s sapphire tip and the skin and to lubricate the contact surfaces for added comfort. As the treatment tip glides across the skin, it will emit rapid pulses of light. The treatment is quite comfortable, with the majority of patients describing the sensation as “warm.”

Following treatment, your skin will be cleansed and sunscreen will be applied. Over the next 2 – 3 days, pigmented lesions will gradually darken. On day 5 – 7, the dark pigment will begin to exfoliate away and completely disappear. Non-facial areas such as the arms, hands, and chest can take a few days longer to fully shed the pigment.

Vascular lesions might appear slightly darker in the first few days after treatment, but they will slowly lighten as the body absorbs the damaged vessels. For the first 48 – 72 hours after treatment, patients should avoid strenuous activities, including exercise, hot tubs, long soaks in the shower or bath, or any trigger that could cause the face to flush. The goal is to keep the vessel closed, and any activity that increases blood flow could re-open the vessel and reduce the efficacy of the treatment.

BroadBand Light™ FAQs

What is the difference between an IPL treatment and a photofacial treatment?

Photofacial is a generic term for any treatment that uses light technology for facial rejuvenation. IPL is intense pulsed light, which uses a broad-spectrum flash lamp to improve the appearance of the skin. BBL is BroadBand Light, a proprietary pulsed-light technology developed by Sciton.

What does an IPL Laser treatment actually do?

IPL stands for intense pulsed light. During treatment, filtered light travels through the skin to the targeted tissue, where it is converted into heat. A controlled thermal injury is produced which stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms to repair damaged tissue by replacing it with new, healthy tissue.

Do IPL treatments hurt?

IPL treatments are mildly uncomfortable but are very tolerable for the majority of patients. Anesthetic is not needed, and the discomfort lasts only for the duration of treatment.

What are the IPL risks and safety?

Both the patient and provider should be wearing protective eye shields during treatment. Only certain skin types are candidates for treatment to prevent the risk of burns.

Are there any skin tones that should avoid getting IPL treatments?

Very dark skin, Fitzpatrick VI, is not approved for IPL treatments given the higher risk of burns and scars.

How long does it take to recover from an IPL treatment?

Treatments last 30 minutes or less, and there is no downtime. As the filtered light travels through the skin, it is absorbed by the target chromophore, where it is instantly converted to heat, inflicting a small thermal injury. This, in turn, stimulates the body’s natural wound healing mechanisms to repair the damaged tissue by replacing it with new, healthy tissue.

How exactly does an IPL treatment remove hair?

IPL sends a wavelength into the skin which targets the pigment of the hair, which is why it works best on darker hair. The light is absorbed by the pigment, which is converted into heat which damages the follicle of the hair. You may require 4-6 treatments to remove all hair.

I have rosacea; what should I have a photofacial or an IPL treatment?

If you have rosacea, a treatment which uses filtered light, such as BBL, to reduce inflammation and redness is necessary.

What are the coffee-ground spots that develop following an IPL treatment?

After BBL treatment for hyperpigmentation, small dark spots may develop on the treated areas. These are fragments of broken pigment which have traveled to the surface of the skin and will fall off within 5-10 days. It is not necessary to pull or scrub them off.

I had dermal filler placed in my cheeks; will IPL damage this filler?

IPL will not damage filler placed in the face, but it is recommended to wait 2 weeks between filler placement and IPL treatment to prevent premature breakdown of the filler.
Call us at 212-452-1230 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nina Naidu or to find out more about BBL™ treatments in NYC.

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