Broad Band Light (BBL) Treatment For Pigmentation

Click on the links below to view FAQs and pre/post-op care.

Pre/Post Op Instructions

Instructions Prior to BBL for Pigment

  1. ABSOLUTELY avoid any type of sun exposure, sunburn or suntan for 4 weeks prior to laser treatments. Treatment of tanned skin can increase the risk of blistering and/or permanent skin discoloration. PROLONGED SUN EXPOSURE IS TO BE AVOIDED FOR 4 WEEKS BEFORE AND AFTER TREATMENTS.
  2. Do not use any self-tanning lotions in the month prior to treatment.
  3. Stop using Retin-A, Renova, Differin, for one week prior to treatment.
  4. Please inform us if you have any history of “herpes”, “cold sores”, or “fever blisters”. In such instances, we recommend taking Valtrex 500mg, 1 tablet twice a day for 5 days starting on the day before the laser treatment. Lasers may cause a cold sore or fever blister leading to more serious complications.
  5. You need to apply topical anesthetic cream to the area being treated 1 hour before the appointment time. This maybe done either in the comfort of your home or in our office.

Instructions Following BBL for Pigment

  1. Intense burning, redness, warmth, and a sunburned sensation are normal responses following BBL™ treatments. The discomfort and redness generally last 2-4 hours after the procedure. Cool compresses with a damp, soft cloth for 10-20 minutes at a time may help relieve the temporary discomfort. Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, Motrin, or Tylenol can be taken as directed for pain.
  2. Brown patches or spots will look darker and more pronounced immediately following BBL™ treatments. In 2-3 days, these brown areas become even darker and frequently feel scaly like coffee grounds on your skin. Within 1-2 weeks, these dark, scaly areas fall off and leave new, healthy skin behind. NO MATTER HOW TEMPTING, DO NOT PICK OR SCRUB THESE BROWN SPOTS—LET THEM COME OFF ON THEIR OWN!
  3. Twice daily use of a bland moisturizer such as CeraVe, Neutrogena, Purpose, Aveeno, etc. is recommended during the first week to keep the skin lubricated. We also carry and highly recommend the use of Alastin products pre and post procedure for superior healing.
  4. Avoid use of topical skin care products containing retin-A, retinol, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid for 1 week.
  5. Makeup can be used if there is no blistering. Caution should be used when applying and removing makeup. The treated area may be delicate and should be treated with care.
  6. If the skin is broken or blisters appear, apply an antibiotic ointment and notify our office. The area should be kept lubricated with Vaseline petroleum jelly or Aquaphor to prevent crusting or scabbing of tissue.
  7. Some patients will wake up with facial swelling, particularly around the eyes for several days following the treatment. This is normal and usually resolves within 3-5 days.
  8. PROLONGED SUN EXPOSURE IS TO BE AVOIDED FOR 4 WEEKS BEFORE AND AFTER TREATMENT. A total sunblock containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide should be applied daily if you are in the sun. If further treatments are needed, a commitment to stay out of the sun is necessary. Sun exposure may cause certain complications such as severe blistering and permanent skin discoloration.
  9. For patients who have a history of frequent cold sores, you should be taking an anti-viral medication such as Valtrex for 5 days starting on the day before your treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is BBL™?
BBL™ is an innovative technology that sets new standards for skin conditions associated with aging, active life-styles and sun damage. BBL energy allows your physician to precisely treat sunspots. Your treatment will be tailored to match your skin type and your desired results.

What is BBL™ for pigment reduction? How does it work?
The light energy delivered by the BBL is selectively absorbed by pigment in the skin. As a result, the melanin-containing cells are destroyed and eliminated as coffee ground-like scales on the skin.

Does treatment hurt? What can I expect with the procedure?
You will feel a warm “rubber band snap” sensation as the light is absorbed by the pigment in the skin. You will experience redness that should resolve within 24-48 hours. You will see a darkening of the treated areas that will then look and feel similar to coffee grounds, on the skin. After 3-5 days they begin to flake off.

What type of anesthesia is used?
An anesthetic cream is applied sixty minutes before the procedure.

Can tanned skin be treated?
Patients should not have a tan when being treated. Inform your physician if you have been tanning or exposed to the sun within the last four weeks. You should not use self-tanning lotions or sprays for 1 month before your treatment. Tanning can increase the risk of complications such as blistering and discoloration.

Is treatment permanent?
NO. Sun and age spots continue to form over the course of time depending on an individuals skin type and sun exposure.

Is there a risk of complications?
There is a low risk that BBL can cause hypopigmentation (lightening) or hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the skin. Discuss your concerns with your physician prior to your treatment.

How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed will vary from patient to patient and your provider will personalize a treatment plan based on the level of improvement you desire. Most patients need 1-2 treatments to removal age spots.

How long will it take my skin to heal?
In most cases, you are able to return to work, apply makeup and resume your activities immediately. Brown spots slowly scale off within 7-14 days.

How much does treatment cost?
The cost of treatment depends on the location, size of the area to be treated and the estimated number of treatments necessary. Please contact us to schedule your consultation.