Even as we take precautionary measures to protect our skin from sun damage, natural environmental factors and age can lead to dark spots on the skin. These spots, sometimes called hyperpigmentation, occur when the skin produces too much melanin and can range in color from light to dark brown. Dark spots can appear as a result of sun exposure, hormonal changes, inflammation or after wounds or acne heal. As these spots can make skin appear uneven or less youthful, our patients often choose to treat and minimize the appearance of dark spots.
BroadBand Light (BBL™) Therapy, an advanced form of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology used at Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting, is one of the most effective treatments for dark spots. BBL™ is a treatment that works to rejuvenate the skin by encouraging skin cell turnover and new collagen production. On dark spots, this treatment reduces the unnecessary melanin that produces excess pigment. Because BBL™ treats only pigment, rather than surrounding skin, patients experience a fast, effective treatment with minimal downtime. BBL™ is an FDA-approved treatment for correcting dark spots, and most patients see results within just a few treatments.
How Does BBL™ Work?
A major benefit of BBL™ treatments is that they are completely customizable and can reduce the appearance of dark spots on the face, chest, back, neck, hands and other locations on the body. Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting offers multiple options for customized BBL™ treatments, including the Forever Young BBL™, which is designed to treat common signs of aging including dark spots.
Unlike a traditional laser, which utilizes a single color of light, BBL™ flashes a whole spectrum of colors at one time, utilizing different wavelengths and thereby creating clearer and brighter skin. Through this broader spectrum of colors, it can target skin irregularities more effectively and efficiently minimize pigmentation in dark spots. The light energy, also called photothermal energy, is directed at the skin in short blasts of high-intensity light, which focuses heat on those areas of skin. While it works to heat the skin, BBL™ does not burn, and patients report minimal discomfort during and after the procedure.
Because BBL emits a broad spectrum of light energy, it is not specific just to brown spots on the skin. The forever young treatment protocol involves the use of multiple different wavelength filters which allows the treatment to improve facial vessels and rosacea in addition to brown spots. In this way, BBL Forever Young is a full facial treatment that makes your skin appear more clear, more even and younger.
What to Expect from BBL™ Treatments
Your cosmetic team at Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting will work with you to determine your goals and expectations for your skin before creating a customized treatment plan. Most BBL™ therapy begins with the “treatment phase,” which includes three to five treatments to begin. Then, patients are encouraged to continue treatments in the “maintenance phase” with two to three treatments per year. This maintenance helps to retain results and will encourage the skin cells to continue functioning like younger, healthier skin.
What Happens After BBL™ Treatments?
A great benefit of BBL™ is that it is a minimally invasive treatment with limited downtime. Depending on the area of skin that is receiving treatment, sessions typically last between five and 30 minutes. Patients will expect to feel some moderate heat sensation in the treated area for 1-2 hours after treatment. There will be some redness in the skin immediately after treatment and your brown spots will appear darker. Over the course of 1 week after treatment, these spots will naturally exfoliate and turnover these areas, revealing rejuvenated skin underneath. Patients are able to resume normal daily activity following their treatments and can even apply sunscreen or makeup immediately following treatment and return to your normal daily life.
Your cosmetic team may recommend avoiding strenuous activity and long showers or baths for 48-72 hours following treatment, as these can trigger the body’s natural inclination to flush. By avoiding these activities, the skin vessels are able to remain closed, which improves the efficacy of BBL™.
For more information on BBL Treatments for dark spots, schedule your appointment at Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting. Through a customized plan, we can help you achieve healthier, more even skin.