Broadband Light therapy, or BBL™, is a revolutionary technology that can be used to address many different skin concerns including sun damage, age spots, facial redness, and dull or uneven skin tone. The BBL™ device emits broad-spectrum light energy within the visible light spectrum via a flashlamp. For this reason, BBL™ is not technically a laser. Lasers utilise a single wavelength of light, while the BBL™ emits multiple wavelengths at once, making it more accurately categorized as a photorejuvenation therapy.
These light waves can then be focused using interchangeable filters to target a specific concern. The filtered light is absorbed by the desired target within the skin, causing it to heat up and ultimately destroying it. The remnants of destroyed structures will then be naturally removed from the body over the course of 2-4 weeks. The targeted nature of the treatment leaves surrounding skin structures undamaged while the sapphire cooling plate, integrated within the device handpiece, protects the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, from thermal damage.
The BBL™ treatment allows our providers, Drs. Molly Walterhoefer and Megan Casady Flahive to target specific areas of concern, or to provide a more general treatment across the entire face, neck, chest, and even areas on the body.
Most treatments usually take about 20 minutes or less, depending on the area being treated. During the treatment, you will be asked to wear protective eyewear as a precaution and a water-based gel will be applied to the treatment area to aid in cooling and protecting the outer layer of skin.
Downtime following a BBL™ treatment is generally minimal and often does not interrupt your day-to-day activities. Following the treatment, the treated area may look and feel like a sunburn with blotchy redness that may be accompanied by a temporary mild burning sensation. If brown spots are being treated, they will immediately darken, followed by the emergence of small dark, brown flakes starting 1-3 days after treatment. These spots then naturally exfoliate off over the course of 7-10 days. We love to pair this procedure with a Hydrafacial at least 2 weeks after your BBL™ to gently remove any remaining imperfections and reveal the new, glowing skin underneath.
During your initial consultation, our expert providers will develop a customized treatment plan based on your specific skin concerns and advise you on the number of treatments that may be required to achieve your desired result. For those looking to improve the appearance of visible sun damage, a corrective series of treatments, spaced at least one month apart, may be recommended. For those looking to maintain results after a corrective series or for prevention, treatment is generally recommended once to twice yearly.
While BBL™ is known to restore a visibly more youthful appearance to ageing skin, a landmark study conducted by Stanford University School of Medicine has shown that regular BBL™ treatments can induce skin rejuvenation on a molecular level as well. The study found that BBL™ treatment altered gene expression within aged skin to resemble that of more youthful skin.¹ In other words, the treatments caused skin cells to act young again, lending a new meaning to the term anti-aging!
Broadband Light therapy and laser skin resurfacing are not one in the same. As discussed previously, BBL™ is not a laser and emits a broad spectrum of light energy. This energy is selectively absorbed by the desired target within the upper layers of skin, while sparing the outermost layer of skin. Laser skin resurfacing, on the other hand, utilizes either a CO2 or erbium laser, which are capable of targeting both the outermost skin layer, as well as, deeper into the dermis. By targeting the outermost skin layer, resurfacing lasers can address superficial skin concerns such as unwanted superficial pigment and textural irregularities. By penetrating deeper into the dermal skin layer, these lasers can remodel the collagen found within this layer to improve skin concerns including the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, pore size, and dermal pigmentary issues.
Though different, BBL™ and laser skin resurfacing are known to have a synergistic effect when used in combination. Ask one of our providers if a combination treatment might be right for you!
With years of combined experience, our board-certified dermatologists, Drs. Molly Walterhoefer and Megan Casady Flahive, treat patients from across Maryland, DC, and Virginia. Give our office a call today at (410) 384-4172 to schedule an appointment for a one-on-one cosmetic consultation.
As a full-service cosmetic and medical dermatology office with on-site medical aesthetician, we are uniquely situated to offer our patients a multifaceted approach to achieve all of their skincare goals.