Written by Dr. Corey Hartman:
As we learn more about prevention and maintenance in anti-aging skin care, few treatments have demonstrated an ability to help us find the fountain of youth and not merely correct a problem that has already developed. Aside from Botox, which not only relaxes muscles to prevents wrinkle formation but also stimulates collagen production, the other treatment that serves as both preventative and corrective is Broad Band Light or BBL.
Think of BBL as next generation IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). IPL, also known as a photofacial, is a staple in dermatology and has been the least invasive way to eliminate sun spots, age spots, rosacea and blood vessels in the skin that come from every day sun exposure. This treatment uses short blasts of high-intensity light to produce younger-looking skin that’s firmer and more even in tone and texture. With little recovery time and no surgery, BBL has emerged as an easy way to ensure a youthful appearance and unlike older lasers, BBL can be used safely and effectively on any part of the body. The most commonly treated areas are the face, hands, chest and neck.
Studies show that pigmentation and uneven skin tone bother patients more than wrinkles or sagging skin. An even complexion is the most important feature that determines attractiveness. Researchers at Stanford did a long-term study to assess the effects of regular BBL treatments and found that patients who maintain a regular regimen of BBL treatments annually reduce and delay the long-term signs of skin aging in a way that looks very natural. They call it the Forever Young protocol.
The treatment requires no preparation and no anesthesia. The light energy delivered by the BBL gently heats the upper layers of the skin. The heat absorbed by the targeted areas stimulates skin cells to generate new collagen, while a cooling feature makes it comfortable. This process restores skin to its natural beauty, blending its complexion and making it smoother, vibrant and younger looking. In addition, the photothermal energy eliminates fine vessels that cause redness and reduces unwanted melanin that produces pigmented lesions. Aside from a mild redness and sunburn sensation that resolves in a few hours, there is no downtime or special care necessary. It is recommended that individuals undergo treatment two to four times per year for optimal results.