It’s time to separate the myth from the fact when it comes to BroadBand Light (BBL) “laser” treatments. At my Washington, DC, dermatology practice, many of the people I see for BBL consults have heard a misconception or two about the popular light-based procedure. The treatment has no shortage of skin benefits, but it’s important to know what to expect as you head into your BBL experience.
In this blog post, I’ll explain the truth behind a few common myths about BBLs, from how much recovery time they involve to what the treatment experience is really like. Read on to get all the details.
BBL Is a One-and-Done Treatment.
Many people do see a noticeable difference in their skin after a single treatment, but most people need about 3 sessions spaced a few weeks apart to enjoy their best results. After that, a touch-up treatment every year or so helps maintain a fresh and healthy appearance.
You Can’t Have BBL Done During the Summer.
It is true that your skin is more sensitive to UV rays in the weeks following a light or laser treatment, but that doesn’t mean you have to skip BBLs entirely during the summer. As long as you properly follow aftercare instructions—avoiding direct sun exposure and covering up with plenty of SPF—you can have the treatment at any time of year.
BBL Is Only for the Face.
Although BBL has become popularized as a facial treatment, it can be done anywhere on the body. It’s especially helpful on the neck and chest, which often develop signs of photoaging such as fine lines and sun spots. The backs of the hands are another popular treatment area.
BBL Results Are Immediate.
BBL results don’t quite show up right away, especially if you are treating dark spots. Dark spots take a few days to darken and then fade, leaving behind a more even skin tone. The timeline for this varies depending on the amount of hyperpigmentation in your skin, but many people see great results within about a week.
BBL Can Completely Reverse Sun Damage.
BBL has become popular for its ability to treat multiple signs of aging related to sun exposure, such as hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and freckles. It is true that BBL can reverse signs of sun damage, but it’s not the full story when it comes to treating photoaging. It is essential that you continue to wear plenty of SPF to preserve your results and protect against future damage. When it comes to the sun’s effects on your skin, prevention is always the best treatment.
It Doesn’t Matter Who Your Provider Is—All BBLs Are the Same.
BBL devices are tools that need to be placed in the right hands to work effectively and safely. Anyone administering a BBL should have extensive experience with light and laser treatments, which is why it’s best to trust a practice overseen by a board-certified dermatologist.
In addition to designing and carrying out an effective BBL treatment plan, a dermatologist can also offer insight into other treatments that may be more beneficial to you. At MI Skin, we carry a full array of state-of-the-art lasers so we can provide today’s best skin solutions, no matter what your concerns may be. You’ll get your best results as efficiently as possible—we will even help you schedule future treatments around your plans so you can enjoy skin that glows when you need it to most.
Learn more about why experience matters when choosing a dermatologist in this blog post.
BBL Involves a Lot of Discomfort and Downtime.
Laser treatments have gained a reputation for being painful and involving days of redness and flaking after each session. Some laser treatments (and recoveries) are more intense than others. Because BBL treatments use broad-spectrum light at varying wavelengths instead of a laser’s focused monochromatic light, BBL falls on the gentle end of the spectrum.
BBL is typically so comfortable that most people don’t need any topical numbing during their treatments. Each pulse of light feels similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin and only lasts about a second.
The recovery process is also a breeze as BBL requires little to no downtime. You’ll likely experience some redness and sensitivity similar to a sunburn, but this typically only lasts a day or so and can be easily covered with makeup.
BBL Only Makes a Short-Term Difference in the Skin.
It is a myth that BBL only targets the surface of the skin. The treatment also stimulates collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin to deliver subtle ongoing rejuvenation for weeks and even months. With occasional touch-up treatments and the right at-home care routine, you can enjoy refreshed and vibrant skin well into the future.
To see examples of the results you can expect from BBL, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.