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What is Photorejuvenation (BBL/IPL)?

Some people call it Photorejuvenation or Broadband Light (BBL). What is it? How does it work? And, is it right for me? During the summer I do a fair amount of consults sent over from our dermatology centre who have been noticing either an increase in brown spots on the face, hands or chest or an increase of redness, especially in the nose and cheek area. For most of my patients, I suggest BBL as the go-to service, depending on their skin type.

Unfortunately this particular form of optical energy (we will call it a laser, but it isn’t technically a laser) is photo- sensitive. What that means is that it is imperative to have absolutely no sun on the area to be treated. For people like myself, who don’t go out of the house without sunblock, and reapply as needed, our skin is safe to treat any time of the year. But for a lot of people who still think that it is ok to tan, the fall and winter is probably the best time to begin treatment.

So let’s start with how it works. There are a series of filters that fit into the machine. Each filter is a different wavelength and is attracted to, or is absorbed by different things. There are filters that are attracted to the colour brown, and therefore act by pulling brown spots or freckles out of the skin. The spots will lift, turn black, and within 7-10 days shed from the skin, leaving the skin more neutral in tone. Quite often about 3 treatments are needed, but for those who have an abundance of freckling or deeper, darker spots, it could take up to 6 treatments. And of course to maintain these results, the use of proper sunblock and reapplication is necessary.

For people with rosacea, flushed skin or visible broken blood vessels, a filter is used to coagulate the vessels, which are in turn metabolized through the body and cleared. About 6 treatments will give very good clearance; however with some ongoing conditions such as rosacea, maintenance treatments will most likely be needed.

The bonus is that with any filter, BBL also stimulates collagen. The patient will notice improvement in smoothness, softness and better hydration. Some patients notice an increase in volume to their skin as well, resulting in a more youthful, less tired look.

BBL isn’t right for every skin type. For patients with a darker skin naturally, we have excellent options that are safe and effective. It is best to book a consultation with one of our medical estheticians and have your skin analyzed first. If your skin isn’t looking fresh, if it is plagued by uneven tone, brown spots or excessive redness, Broadband light may be your best and quickest answer to getting your fresh look back. There is no downtime associated with BBL, and you can even apply makeup immediately afterwards.

Now is the time to start thinking about improving your skin. At Toronto Dermatology Centre our staff is highly trained with years of experience. We are overseen by our dermatologists and our patient’s success is our success! Book your consultation and make fall 2013 the season you begin the journey back to good skin health.

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