Okay, so I realize I talk about our Sciton laser a lot in these posts. But I have to admit I absolutely love using that thing. Where I trained for residency, we didn’t actually own any lasers, so having a fully loaded Sciton at my disposal is like getting to drive an Aston-Martin (the Bond car, for those of you who don’t have a father-in-law as car-obsessed as mine!) every day. And if you wonder why my residency program didn’t own a laser… it’s because it costs about the same as a new Aston-Martin. So when we did absolutely need one, we rented it.
Right, I was making some sort of point here, which I think was why I love, and talk about, our laser so much. Anyway, today I wanted to share something particularly fantastic- with regular BBL treatments (which I’ll explain in a sec), you can actually reverse aging. Please note, that’s not “reverse the signs of aging”– that’s actually reverse aging in the skin. I first heard about this during an excellent laser training course, but I really hate sharing things with the public without some sort of proven study in an actual scientific journal. Well, Stanford has published a study which demonstrates changes in gene expression after BBL treatments which make aged skin resemble the gene expression seen in younger skin. The other study available on that page shows some of the cosmetic results of patients that have received regular (i.e. yearly) treatments with the BBL over 5-10 years, and patients look significantly younger.
And now you’re wondering- what the heck is a BBL? Excellent question, and I’m going to avoid getting too technical here. BBL stands for broad-band light. This is also known as IPL (intense-pulsed light). It’s similar to a laser, with one important difference- a laser produces light in only one wavelength. Whereas a BBL produces all wavelengths of light, and we filter out those we don’t want. The difference is important for two reasons:
- BBL doesn’t behave quite like a laser, so we have to be a bit more careful on whom we use it. This means (for you), no tanning, no fake tanner (it reacts with the BBL), and if you have darker skin, we use more conservative settings.
- Because we apply different filters for different treatments, we can do many different treatments with one machine. This means we can treat acne, brown spots, little capillaries around the nose, rosacea, and even do hair removal.
So what is a BBL treatment like? I’ve done a couple on my own forearms, and it feels a little bit like a rubber-band snap. Afterward, there is some discomfort similar to a sunburn, but this is usually gone after 30-60 minutes. So we’re talking really minimal downtime. Below you can see my before and after pictures after two treatments on my arms. I had a fair amount of sun-damage for my age from summers full of horse-back riding, and you can see how much more even my skin tone is.