IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and BBL (BroadBand Light), also referred to as Photorejuvenation, is a skin rejuvenating treatment that uses intense pulsed light to treat sun damage, pigmentation problems, rosacea and broken capillaries. These are quick, gentle, non-invasive treatments that can address the effects of photoaging and sun damage on the face, neck, hands and body.
IPL and BBL essentially restore the skin’s youthful appearance by gently heating the upper layers of the skin which triggers the formation of collagen and elastin, lighten pigment, and shrinks red capillaries. Candidates include individuals with light to medium complexions who are looking to improve areas of redness and/or hyperpigmentation. IPL and BBL are ideal for people whose busy schedules do not allow them to take time off to recover from ablative treatments or strong chemical peels.
Rene’ Thomas, RN, BSN and Laura Meyers, RN,BSN perform IPL and BBL treatments in the office setting at the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery of Austin, Texas. The procedure takes approximately fifteen to thirty minutes to complete. The treatment area is first covered with a very thin layer of gel. A hand piece is then passed over the skin, emitting gentle pulses of therapeutic light. Patients may experience some discomfort during treatment but this is usually very mild and easily tolerated. If need be, a topical anesthetic cream can be applied prior to treatment to numb the skin.
There is no recovery or downtime following IPL or BBL treatments and patients are able to immediately return to their normal routine. Minor redness similar to a flushed appearance occasionally occurs but generally clears up within one to two hours. Multiple treatments are often needed to achieve the best results. Patients usually undergo a total of four to six treatments spaced at three week intervals.
Medical Studies on BBL
Click here to read more on a groundbreaking study on BBL from Stanford University: Rejuvenation of Gene Expression Pattern of Aged Human Skin by Broadband Light Treatment: A Pilot Study
Fifteen participants aged 38 to 69 years (median, 46.0 years; interquartile range, 19.7 years) with Fitzpatrick skin types I to IV received at least 1 full-face treatment per year with a BBL device (BBL, Sciton Inc.) during the study period. Blinded evaluators (N491) analyzed clinical photographs taken before the first treatment and after the last treatment to estimate pretreatment and posttreatment ages of participants over 5 to 11 years.
Results from the study indicated that patients who maintain a regular annual or biannual regimen of BBL treatments over 5 to 11 years can reduce and delay the long-term signs of skin aging such as photodamage, telangiectases, fine lines and wrinkles, and skin laxity in a natural-looking way.
Find answers to IPL Laser questions in Dr. Buckingham’s Q&A.
Frequently Asked BBL/IPL Questions
Q – What is IPL?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. IPL treatment, also referred to as photorejuvenation, is a gentle, non-invasive procedure which can rejuvenate the skin and improve sun damage, pigmentation problems, rosacea and broken capillaries.
Q – 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 age and sun spots, small facial veins, and many other skin conditions. Your treatment will be tailored to match your skin type and your desired results.
Q – How do I know if I am a good candidate for IPL or BBL?
If you are in good health and have realistic expectations for improving sun damage, pigmentation problems, rosacea or broken capillaries, then IPL or BBL treatment may be for you. These lasers are best for treating light to medium complexions, and it is ideal for those who cannot take the time off to recover from ablative treatments or strong chemical peels. To determine if a patient is a good candidate for either procedure, Dr. Buckingham recommends a private patient consultation.
Q – Where are the IPL and BBL procedures performed?
Both the IPL and the BBL treatments are performed in the office setting at the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery of Austin, Texas.
Q – What type of anesthesia is used for the IPL and BBL treatments?
Discomfort is generally mild. A topical anesthetic cream can be applied prior to treatment if necessary.
Q – What is the downtime for an IPL or BBL treatment?
IPL treatment involves virtually no recovery or downtime. Some minor redness may be present for one to two hours after treatment, though patients are generally able to return to work and other normal activities right away.
Q – Is more than one IPL treatment needed to get the best results?
For optimal results, several IPL or BBL treatments are needed. Most patients receive four to six treatments performed at three week intervals. Candidates include individuals with light to medium complexions who are looking to improve areas of redness and/or hyperpigmentation. IPL is ideal for peoples whose busy schedules do not allow them to take time off to recover from ablative treatments or strong chemical peels.