Ask a doctor

BBL or Laser Treatment for Multiple Skin Problems?

I'm going on my second consult with a new doctor this Friday for a skin evaluation. First doctor said I needed a BBL (literally a 30-second consult). I don't feel I will get the results I'm looking for. I have acne, deep acne scars (especially close to ear), chicken pox scars, sun spots, fine lines, and some wrinkles. I want to have a full face treatment. Do you think a BBL is suitable? What are your thoughts on a stronger laser treatment, such as Profractional? I have the time and the cost is not an issue.

Doctor Answers (3)

BBL is great for pigment scarring


The bbl (broad Band Light) therapy is a great light treatment to help improve any pigment irregularities.  BBL will not improve pitted acne scarring.  I have found that it works best to combine BBL and profractional laser therapy for pitted scarring, and BBL will work for any discoloration.  Multiple treatments will be needed. 

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

BBL? Read the fine print, formerly known as the photofacial


The "new" BBL broad band light technology is simply a repackaged type of IPL called the photofacial.  The photofacial gained popularity in the early1990's when the IPLs originally sold to doctors for laser hair removal didn't work. The companies promoting these devices looked for a new use and introduced the "Photofacial"   The photofacial had a moment of media popularity but lasers quickly took over for hair removal and skin rejuvenation.

I imagine many of the physicians that have invested in the BBL,  were unaware of the 20 year history of the photofacial.  One of my favorite lasers is the V-Beam. 15 years later, the V-Beam is still an amazing laser. New doesn't mean  better and old doesn't always mean outdated. But if a product works well and has a good reputation it generally doesn't change its name.

Try the Perfecta laser facial (a newer version of the Vbeam) for acne and acne scars. The long pulsed nd yag is also effective for scarring.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Broad Band or Intense Pulsed Light appropriate


BBL and IPL are the same. They refer to non-coherent light therapy. It would help brown spots, photoaging and acne, but not acne scars. Profractional resurfacing is more for fine lines, brown spots and mild acne scars, but might flare active acne. Based on your photo, your dermatologist might want to do IPL with Isolaz to address the active acne and discoloration at the same time. Salicylic acid peels would be another option. One thing is for sure: get the acne under better control becfore you resurface.

Mary Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

You might also like...

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.