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:
- 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™ 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 afterBBL™ Treatment:
Prior to your BBL™ treatment, Dr. Naidu will assess your skin and perform an analysis with the Vectra imaging system, which permits her to visualize deeper damage cause by ultraviolet rays. A new image will be taken at each visit to assess your progress.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.
Call us at 212-452-1230 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nina Naidu or to find out more about BBL™ treatments.