Broad Band Light Therapy


There are several medical approaches to these common problems. Age spots can be treated with bleaching creams, for example, but unfortunately it requires too many months of faithful usage for most people to adequately comply. Similarly, if facial redness is due a condition that is called acne rosacea, medications can be given which help the condition (along with sun and alcohol avoidance), but again, afflicted individuals are often not content with results.

BBL (Broad Band Light)

BBL-broad-band-light-treatments-degan-dermatologyLight therapy has been used to treat conditions like acne and psoriasis since the dawn of man.

Over recent decades sophisticated light machines have been developed that deliver safer and more precise light for a wide variety of skin disorders, including age spots (of the face, chest, arms and hands) and redness (of the face, neck and chest)..
These devices provide a huge improvement over prior methods as they drive the safe light deep into the skin to chase away the unwanted colors in a more thorough and rapid fashion.

We perform thousands of BBL treatments per year.  Dr. Degnan rates BBL results as highest on his “bang for the buck” list due to its affordability, large areas improved, and ease of applicability.  In general, BBL can chase away most of the unwanted brown or red with 2-4 treatments given about 3 weeks apart.

Light therapy is often referred to in generic terms by the names of older machines such as “IPL” (intense pulsed light) or “Photoderm.” Like most medical devices, there are now many generations of these machines. At our office, we use a new devise called “BBL” (broad band light) made by the respected Scion Corporation in Palo Alto. While the older devices are safe and effective, they require more treatments to do the job, thus costing the patient more time and money.

The BBL device, specifically, has been found in a large study performed in the SF Bay Area to not only remove brown and red, but also to leave the skin more youthful in general ways (including most impressively under a microscope).

While clinicians like Dr. Degnan in the field had already made conclusions based on personal observation, these anti-aging benefits were recently proven in a Stanford study. (Click to View) This explains why our patients not only look much better after BBL treatments, but they also report that their skin feels softer and more resilient. As a side benefit to BBL, crepiness on the front of the chest in older women often improves dramatically.

Such a profound anti-aging treatment probably has not been discovered since the advent of Retin A. Unlike Retin A, which causes undesirable irritation and many months to see benefits, BBL brings about immediate profound benefits.

The treatment involves reclining in a comfortable chair while a flashing hand-held wand is moved across your skin. Each site takes about 10 minutes to treat and there is no recovery other than avoiding strong sunlight for a couple of days. Aside from the brown or redness possibly becoming a shade richer for a few days after the treatment, no one will know you have been treated. The colors will fade with each treatment and most patients are surprised to see how much better they appear after removing the years of color accumulation to which they have become reluctantly accustomed.

 Because lifestyle (sun exposure, alcohol) and genetic predisposition play a role in ones tendency towards unwanted skin color accumulation, it is common for an individual to require one or two light therapy treatments per year to maintain their desired appearance. 

It is imperative that the operator of these devices have experience. If a patient is under – treated, they will require unnecessary additional treatments to complete the task at hand. If the patient is over-treated, they risk getting a mild (yet uncomfortable) burn (similar to a sun burn). At Cosmetic Dermatology we are proud to report that our technicians have over 20 years of experience at using these devices.