Photofacial/BBL Treatment Guidelines
A photofacial/BBL is a safe, non-invasive procedure to rid your skin of sun damage (brown spots), broken capillaries (red spots) and fine lines to achieve smoother, softer skin with a uniform appearance. Optimal results may require multiple treatments.
BBL uses low frequency photothermal energy to safely and gently heat upper layers of skin. Damaged cells absorb this energy and are stimulated to generate new collagen – an import building-block of healthy looking skin. BBL uses a broad range of energy wavelengths to allow for more complete improvements and evenly treated skin. A thermo electric monitoring system adjusts the temperature of your procedure, minimising pain and ensuring that you remain comfortable during treatment.
What Will BBL Treatment Do?
BBL broadband light technology utilises the power of pulsed light to deliver excellent results in photorejuvenation therapy. By selecting the appropriate wavelength or filter, your dermatologist will be able to treat a broad range of skin conditions caused by ageing and sun exposure. Your skin will be smoother, more vibrant and it will have a more youthful appearance as a result.
What Conditions Can be Treated with BBL?
Pigmented lesions (freckles, age spots)
Uneven skin texture
Vascular lesions such as small facial blood vessels
Who is Not a Good Candidate for BBL?
Individuals with a tan or with very dark skin are poor candidates for BBL. In general, avoid sun exposure for 4 – 6 weeks before treatment and again after treatment until your dermatologist allows it. Care should be taken in the first few days following treatment to avoid scrubbing or rinsing the treated area with abrasive skin cleansers. Consult your dermatologist for specific precautions that relate to your individualised treatment plan.
BBL photorejuvenation is not effective for treatment of deep wrinkles and prominent skin sagging. These are best treated with other techniques and these will be discussed with you during your consultation.
What Areas Can be Treated?
Any area of your body can be treated. 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, chest and shoulders.
How Many BBL Treatments Will I Need?
Depending on the nature of the condition and the severity of the problem, a series of 3 – 5 treatments is usually recommended. This allows for gradual improvement, with very low risk to the skin and little downtime. Although partial results may be seen sooner, performing a full series of 3 – 5 treatments will help to maximise improvement of skin colour, texture and pore size. Treatments are usually spaced 3 – 4 weeks apart.
How Long Do the Results Last?
The results achieved from the treatment series can be expected to last for possibly several years or longer. However, with the passage of time and with environmental exposure, skin ages as we do. BBL will provide benefits and significantly reverse many of the visible signs of sun-damaged skin. The improvement that has been achieved during a first series of five treatments can be maintained by occasional single maintenance treatments, two to three times per year.
What Will Happen During the Procedure?
Your eyes will be protected with safety shields or glasses. The procedure is gentle, non-invasive and safe. There should be minimal or no discomfort, however this varies from patient to patient and depends on the depth of the treatment. An anaesthetic cream applied 45 minutes prior to your treatment may be used if so desired to minimise any treatment-associated discomfort. Your dermatologist will recommend the best options during consultation. Before treatment, a cold gel is usually applied to the areas to be treated and patients wear protective eye wear.
During treatment, the smooth, glass surface of the BBL handpiece is gently applied to the skin. Light is delivered to the skin surface in precise pulses across the treatment area. Patients often describe a slight stinging sensation, like the snapping of a rubber band, in the treated areas. Most patients find this to be very tolerable. Your procedure may take a few minutes to half an hour, depending on the size of the area to be treated and the type of procedure performed.
What Should I Expect After the Treatment?
BBL treatments are designed to provide minimal down time. Your face may appear red or flushed, something which usually fades within a few hours. Individuals with prominent pigmentation may notice that brown areas become temporarily darker, peeling off in 10 – 14 days. Make-up may be applied immediately after your treatment so you can return to your daily activities.
Rarely, some individuals develop “purpura” or bruising. Although uncommon, this sometimes occurs in individuals with a very prominent red component. This is painless and typically fades in about 5 – 10 days. Any bruising may be covered with make-up.
Individuals with prominent brown or red colour may develop slight temporary swelling for a few days, especially if treated around the eyes.
How Long Will it Take to Recover?
This is a non-invasive and gentle procedure with virtually no down-time. In most cases you will be able to return to work, apply make-up and resume most of your activities right away.
How Do I Care for my Skin After Treatment?
It is important to follow your dermatologist’s instructions. We will recommend skin care products and provide instructions on how to use them. These will minimise your skin of inflammation or redness and ensure the shortest healing time.
Following treatment, ice may be applied to the treated area if desired.
Medications containing Aspirin or any anti-inflammatory pills or Omega 3 should be avoided for two weeks before treatment, and one week after treatment.
Strenuous exercise and contact sports should be avoided for a few days following treatment.
Alcohol intake should be limited. This will help to reduce the risk of trauma and bruising.
Within weeks, your treated skin will feel smoother, fine wrinkles and pores will be less noticeable, and sun spots or uneven pigmentation will fade. Results depend on your condition, the number of treatments and the area treated. Your dermatologist will provide you with complete information about the post treatment care and results.