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Spring your skin back to life with a Photofacial


By Elizabeth Nestor, MD and Robyn Siperstein, MD

What is an IPL/BBL Photofacial?

Broadband light (BBL), otherwise known as intense pulsed light (IPL), is a type of phototherapy that uses a range of wavelengths to reverse signs of sun damage. Certain light wavelengths interact with different colored targets in the skin, such as red or brown. Therefore, it can treat uneven pigmentation (sun spots/brown spots), pigmented hairs, and broken blood vessels (red spots/spider veins/rosacea). The treatment can be used on the face, neck, chest, arms and hands. On average, it takes three treatments to achieve the desired results.

What is the difference between Photofacial, IPL and Forever Young BBL?

All three of these terms refer to the same type of device, which produces many different wavelengths of light energy at the same time. The term BBL is a trademarked term for the newest generation machine, by a company called Sciton, which offers more fine-tuned settings. Siperstein Dermatology Group offers the Sciton Forever Young BBL treatment at both of our offices.

Do IPL/BBL Photofacials have long-term anti-aging results?

In addition to treating brown and red spots, BBL energy gently heats the upper layers of skin, stimulating new collagen production to give the skin a firmer, smoother appearance. A study from Stanford University showed that repeated treatments, even after obvious damage has been corrected, continue to rejuvenate skin.

What is the downtime from an IPL/BBL Photofacial?

The downtime from this treatment is minimal, as it is not a laser that removes layers of skin. After each treatment the skin will be pink (similar to a sunburn) for about 1-2 hours, but makeup can be applied immediately to cover this. The brown spots will darken and crust, eventually flaking off over the course of 1-2 weeks. The red spots will either disappear or turn purple before they fade away.