As we age, the active lifestyles we led in our youths (and continue to lead) begin to catch up with us. In our 30s and 40s we start seeing the damage caused by over exposure to the sun in our 20s. The secret to youthful, healthy skin is prevention; the earlier you start taking care of your skin and taking preventative measures, the better. Even something as simple as remembering to apply sunscreen daily can make a world of difference later on. Unfortunately, this is advice often scoffed at and taken with a grain of salt. However, if your days in the sun have already caught up with you, you’re not out of luck just yet because the solution to your problems may just be Broadband Light (BBL).
WHAT IS BBL?
Broadband Light, or BBL, is a light-based technology used for photorejuvenation of the skin on the face, body, and hands, to treat a number of skin conditions associated with aging and sun damage. Lasers emit lightwaves with a single wavelength, while non-laser photo devices, such as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) or BBL, use a spectrum of different wavelengths. BBL photorejuvenation uses the unique properties of light energy which allows the treatments to be personalized for your skin, to precisely treat fine wrinkles, sun/age spots, small facial veins, among several other skin applications. Treatments are tailored according to your skin’s condition to achieve the desired results.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
BBL works on the principle of selective photothermolysis, meaning that the light emitted precisely targets a structure or tissue using a specific wavelength, which is then selectively absorbed by the skin to treat the targeted area alone. For skin rejuvenation, heating and damaging the dermal tissue stimulates fibroblasts to repair and rebuild collagen.
Melanin, the pigment responsible for the colour of our skin, hair, and eyes, is present in increased amounts in age spots, freckles, melasma, and port wine stains to name a few. The light emitted by BBL targets melanin and hemoglobin, which contributes to diffuse redness of the skin caused by small blood vessels near the surface. When cells containing a lot of melanin or hemoglobin are hit with the right type of light, they heat up and are destroyed within a few thousandths of a second.
Photorejuvenation can also be used to diminish the appearance of superficial pigmented scars. However, when BBL is included in a treatment plan including profractional lasers and dermal fillers, deeper, more pitter scars can be treated and significantly reduced.
During the treatment, there is:
- Destruction of benign superficial dilated or broken capillaries.
- Destruction of excessive melanin accumulations produces an improvement in skin color.
After treatment, activation of fibroblasts, and stimulation of cytokine release results in increased production of collagen, elastin and glycosaminogylcans, yielding an improvement of skin tone, texture, and pore tightening.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
BBL enables you to restore and rejuvenate your appearance. It can make your face look smoother by removing sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and diffuse redness. Photorejuvenation can also improve your skin texture by reducing acne scarring when combined with a other laser treatment. Broadband Light can even be used to treat fine wrinkles on the face by stimulating the production of collagen for a tightening effect. Many women also praise BBL treatments for aiding in makeup application – when your skin is smoother, makeup can be applied smoother and easier.
WHAT AREAS CAN BE TREATED?
Any area of your body can be treated with Broadband Light. The most common areas are those most exposed to the damaging effects of sunlight. The most popular treatments are for the face, neck, back of the hands, and the chest.
WHAT CAN BBL TREAT?
BBL can be used to treat a number of skin conditions, some of them including:
- Sun Spots
- Port Wine Stains (birthmark)
- Fine Wrinkles
- Broken Capillaries
- Small Facial Veins (telangiectasia)
- Collagen Depletion
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?
Depending on the severity of the targeted condition, anywhere from 2 to 5 treatments are recommended for optimal results, typically at four to eight week intervals.
IS IT PAINFUL?
As it is a pulsed light, some discomfort is to be expected. It is often described as a hot elastic band being flicked on the skin. However, any discomfort varies patient to patient, depending on their personal pain tolerance and depth of treatment. There is no need for a topical anesthetic; however some technician’s may choose to use one on more sensitive areas. A cold air blower is used, which provides substantial relief from discomfort.
IS THERE ANY DOWNTIME? WHAT ABOUT AFTERCARE?
BBL Photorejuvenation is a noninvasive procedure, compared to many other cosmetic procedures, so you can receive more comfortable and effective treatments with little to no downtime. You may be given some skincare products, such as sunscreen, and instructions on how to use them. You will be sensitive to ultraviolet light and advised that you must avoid direct sun exposure until you are fully healed. Fully cover your skin or use a good sunscreen (SPF30+).