Sciton BBL Permanent Hair Reduction

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

Pre/Post Op Instructions

Instructions Prior to Hair Reduction

  1. ABSOLUTELY avoid any type of sun exposure, sunburn or suntan for 4 weeks prior to laser treatments. Treatment of tanned skin can increases 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 if having a treatment on your face.
  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. Laser light may cause a cold sore or fever blister to form leading to more serious complications.
  5. We need you to avoid plucking, waxing, or using depilatories (hair removal creams), for at least 1 month prior to treatment. Shaving however, is acceptable.
  6. We also ask you to have a close shave the day before or the day of your treatments.

Instructions Following Hair Reduction

  1. Intense burning, redness, warmth, and a sunburned sensation are normal responses following BBL™ hair reduction 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. If the skin is broken or blisters appear, apply an antibiotic ointment 2-3 times daily to the affected area. Blisters rarely occur, but if present the area should be treated with care and kept well lubricated to prevent crusting or scabbing of tissue.
  3. PROLONGED SUN EXPOSURE IS TO BE AVOIDED FOR 4 WEEKS BEFORE AND AFTER TREATMENT. A total sun block containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide should be applied daily if the treatment area is exposed to 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.
  4. For patients who have a history of “herpes”, “cold sores”, or “fever blisters”, you should be taking an anti-viral medication such as Valtrex or Famvir for 5 days starting on the day before your treatment.
  5. The treated hairs may take 7-14 days to shed and may appear to be “growing” during this time. You may shave the treated area after 3 days following treatment.
  6. Remember, permanent hair reduction always requires multiple treatments to be effective. Treatments are done 4-6 weeks apart. Do not pluck, wax, use chemical depilatories, or have electrolysis done between treatments..

Frequently Asked Questions

What is BBL™?
BBL™ is an intense pulsed light system that can selectively target structures such as hair follicles. BBL™ permanent hair reduction is very effective for lighter skin types.

What treatments are available for hair removal?
Waxing, shaving, and the use of depilatory creams are well-established methods for hair removal, albeit temporary. Electrolysis is the traditional method for permanent hair reduction, but is often painful, time-consuming, and inefficient. These days, the most popular and most effective method for hair removal is the use of lasers and intense pulsed light systems which have been specifically designed to destroy many hair follicles in a short time, and with little chance of complications. People are interested in hair reduction because it involves new and efficient technology, and because the effects are permanent in over 80% of patients.

What is BBL™ hair reduction? How does it work?
BBL™ works by emitting light that is passed through the skin and preferentially absorbed by the hair follicle. The light used in hair reduction targets the pigment in the hair follicle, damaging the follicle and removing the hair. BBL™ hair removal is safe enough to be used on all body parts, including the face, back, underarms, bikini line, legs and arms.

Can all skin colors be treated?
BBL™ hair reduction works best on fair-skinned individuals with brown or black hairs. It is not effective for fine white or gray hairs. It cannot be used on darker skin types such as individuals of African American descent.

Can tanned skin be treated?
Patients cannot 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 increases the risk of complications such as blistering and discoloration.

What should I expect after treatment?
Some redness and slight swelling will be present in the area that has been treated; however, this should subside within 2-48 hours. Patients experience small red bumps around the hair follicles that can itch and last up to 2 weeks. In this instance, over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream can be applied 3-4x daily.

Is there a risk of complications?
There is a low risk of skin darkening. Discuss your concerns with your physician prior to your treatment.

Is treatment permanent?
On average, each BBL™ treatment will be associated with some hair loss. So, in most cases permanent hair reduction can only be achieved after several treatments. The number of treatments will depend on each patient’s individual response and the amount of hair to be removed. Remember that the goal may not be total hair removal but rather a 75-80% reduction.

Many patients are happy with a reasonable degree of hair reduction. Also remember that the hair that remains is often lighter in color and thinner than the original hair. As with other treatments for unwanted hair, there is no guarantee that hair reduction treatments will be permanent.

How many treatments will I need?
You will need 5 treatments approximately 4 to 8 week intervals.

Does treatment hurt? What can I expect with the procedure?
Most patients describe BBL™ hair reduction as feeling “prickly,” or like the snap of a rubber band against the skin. Afterwards, it may feel like a bad sunburn. Different areas on the body are also more sensitive than others. On the day of your treatment, plan on wearing clothing that will allow easy access to the area being treated. BBL™ hair reduction works best when the hair is shaved on the day of the treatment. You should avoid plucking, waxing or using chemical depilatories one month prior to treatment. No specific care is needed after the treatment.

How long will it take my skin to heal?
Normally the skin just looks red and swollen for up to 48 hours. However, in some instances redness may persist for 5-7 days.

How much does treatment cost?
The cost of treatment depends on the location being treated and the estimated number of treatments necessary. Please refer to our Menu of Services brochure for specific pricing.