Hair Removal

Rapid Hair Reduction through Innovative Phototherapy

What is BBL BroadBand Light for hair reduction?

BBL is an innovative light-based technology that utilizes pulses of light energy to gently penetrate the skin and specifically target, disable and destroy unwanted hair follicles. This noninvasive treatment is a comfortable and easy treatment for the age-old problem of unwanted body hair.

How does BBL work?

BBL delivers excellent photothermal energy to hair follicles. By selecting the appropriate wavelength for hair reduction (e.g. 590 nm, 640 nm, or 695 nm), your clinician will be able to tailor the treatment to your skin type in order to achieve optimal results.

Hair grows in three stages, and when hair is in the anagen stage (growth), it is most vulnerable to light therapy. BBL selectively heats the full length of the imbedded hair follicle, cutting off its supply of nutrients, thus disabling its growth. Because all hair may not be in the anagen stage at one time, multiple treatments must be done, to ensure that hair is being treated while it is in the anagen stage. Your clinician will design a treatment series to reflect your desire for hair reduction in particular body locations.

What other non laser & light-based treatments are available?

Waxing, shaving, and the use of depilatory creams are well-established methods for hair reduction, albeit temporary. Electrolysis is the traditional tried and tested method for permanent hair reduction. However, it is often very time-consuming, painful, and not without complications. With rapid technology development, the most popular and effective method for hair reduction is the use of lasers or intense pulsed light, which are delivered in a brief period of time with reduced side effects and are designed to damage and destroy many hairs at once. People are interested in laser or light hair reduction because the end results are consistent and predictable within a reasonable time frame that fits their lifestyle.

What areas can be treated?

BBL hair reduction offers patients a safe, fast, and effective alternative for dealing with unwanted hair. BBL is safe enough to be used on any part of the body (e.g., face, neck, underarms, bikini line, legs, arms).

Can tanned skin be treated?

An active tan from the sun or tanning beds is not appropriate for treating with BBL. Tanned skin has a lot of pigment or melanin that may also absorb the BBL light energy intended for the hair follicles. It is recommended that a person not have sun exposure in the area to be treated for a period of 3 weeks prior to treatment with BBL. Self tanners must be faded from the skin for at least a week to 10 days prior to treatment. Discuss with your clinician the possibility of tanning during your series so that a safe regimen can be created. The lighter your skin the more effective the treatment.

How long will it take to recover?

Your healing time will depend upon your actual treatment. In most cases, there is virtually no downtime and you may resume daily activity immediately. You may experience some redness after the procedure. Your clinician will answer questions about temporary changes in your skin color and how it may be camouflaged

How many treatments will I need?

As previously mentioned, hair grows in 3 different stages and can only be affected by light energy when it is in its anagen stage. Additionally, hair located on different body parts has different growth cycles and percentages of anagen hair at any given time. Due to this physiology, a series of 3-8 treatments must be given over a period of time, usually 4-6 weeks apart to address the growth cycle of the hair. All hair must be completely shaved 24 hours prior to your appointment time.

Who Is Not a Laser Candidate?

There is no laser or laser-based method available today that works on white, red, or gray hair. Dark ethnic skin is not a candidate.  The effectiveness of laser hair removal is based on the melanin/pigmentation of the hair. It is important to discuss the following medical conditions with your technician prior to treatments: herpes, lupus, melanoma, tendency to keloid, psoriasis, pigmentary problems, and previous treatments. Many medications are photosensitizing and should be discussed with your technician.

What will happen during the procedure? Will it be uncomfortable?

Your eyes will be protected with safety shields or glasses. You may briefly feel a warm or “rubber band snap” sensation as the light is absorbed by the targeted areas. Your procedure may take a few minutes to half an hour, depending how many areas are done and the size of the area to be treated. For example underarms and bikini area take 3-5 minutes, legs 20 minutes. The procedure is gentle, noninvasive, quick and safe. Generally, there is no need for a topical anesthetic. Your clinician will discuss all of your options with you.

What should I expect after the treatment?

You may experience some localized redness in the treated area, which should resolve within a few hours to the next day. Results depend on your skin condition, the number and consistency of treatments, and the area treated. Your clinician will provide you with complete information about post treatment care and results. Hair may take up to 4 weeks, or in some cases, as little as a few days, to fall out following treatment. Do not be alarmed if hairs appear to be “growing” during this time. Hair will push out a more rapid rate following treatment as the body pushes the dead hair out. You may shave more often during this time but be careful to push or press to hard with the razor as your skin may still be senstive.

Subsequent treatments are based upon your clinician’s recommendation and are typically 4-8 weeks apart. The number of treatments needed will depend upon the body location, the amount of hair present, the character of the hair and your skin type.

What aftercare do I need?

It is important to follow your clinician’s instructions. You will be given an after care information sheet.  If you must go outdoors, it is recommended that you cover your treated skin and use sunblock with at least an SPF of 30.

Individual response can vary after a hair reduction treatment. Erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) around the hair follicles in the treated area are sometimes noted within a few minutes after the completion of the procedure and typically completely resolve within 24-48 hours. A sunburn sensation in the area treated is also normal and expected.

The treated area must be treated with care. BE GENTLE! Do not scratch or pick at your skin

Until sensitivity has completely subsided, avoid all of the following:

  • Applying make-up over the treated areas
  • Use of scented lotions or soaps, exfoliant creams such as Retin-A, glycolic / salicylic and alpha-hydroxyacids, acne creams or gels, loofa sponges and aggressive scrubbing
  • Hot water- wash with tepid water
  • Shaving
  • Swimming pools and spas with multiple chemicals /chlorine
  • Activities that cause excessive perspiration
  • A cold compress or an ice pack can be used to provide comfort if the treated area is especially warm. This is typically only needed within the first 12 hours after the treatment.  Vitamin E or Aloe Vera applied to the treatment area may provide a soothing effect. Post treatment discomfort is typically minimal but if the area is very uncomfortable, oral pain reliever; i.e. Extra Strength Tylenol, may be used.
  • In the unusual case of crusting of the skin in the treated area, apply an antibiotic ointment twice a day to the affected areas. Do not pick at these areas, as this may result in infection or scarring.  If the skin is broken or a blister appears, apply an antibiotic ointment and contact the office. Keep the affected area moist and avoid direct sunlight.
  • In rare cases, hives have been reported after BBL hair reduction treatments. If you experience an irritated, raised rash after treatment contact the office. Benadryl may be taken to help relieve the itchiness.  Do not use any other hair removal methods or products on the treated area during the course of your laser treatments (tweezing, waxing and depilatories), as it will prevent you from achieving your best results.
  • Strictly avoid any sun exposure to the treated area for a minimum of 7 days after the procedure. The treated area is more prone to sunburn and pigmentation change. Keep the area covered and use a sun block with a protection factor of 30+, and reapply every 2 hours. Delayed blistering secondary to sun exposure has been noted up to 72 hours post treatment.

What are the common risks?

  • Erythema (redness) may occur in the area of treatment. This may last several hours. Edema (swelling) around the hair follicles is called peri-follicular edema and is a sign that the hair follicle has been affected. Urticaria (itching) or hive-like appearance is also associated with the thermal light affecting the surrounding skin. These symptoms usually subside in a few hours. A cool compress placed on the area provides comfort. The treated area should be cared for delicately for at least 12 hours and/or until all scabbing/crusting is gone. Limited activity may be advised, as well as no hot tub, steam, sauna, or shower use. NO SUN EXPOSRE, TANNING BESD OR SELF TANNERS TO THE DESIRED TREATMENT AREA 2-4 WEEKS BEFORE APPOINTMENT OR A MINIMUM OF 72 HOURS AFTER
  • A blister or scabbing can form up to 48 hours after treatment. An antibiotic cream or ointment can be used. Other short term effects include bruising, superficial crusting, and discomfort. 100% Aloe and Lavender oil may be applied for discomfort, scabbing and/or pigmentation issues.
  • Hyperpigmentation (browning) and hypopigmentation (lightening) have been noted. These conditions usually resolve within 6-12 or up to (24) months. Permanent color change is a rare risk but is possible. Vigilant care must be taken to avoid sun exposure (tanning beds included) before and after the treatments to reduce the risk of color change. Sun block (with zinc) must be applied when sun exposure is necessary to protected pigmented area. Lavender oil may be applied for pigmentations and vitamin C, 2 times daily. Microdermabrasion aftercare services are available.
  • Infection is not usual after treatment; however herpes simplex virus infections around the mouth can occur following treatments. This applies to both individuals with a past history of the virus or individuals with no known history. Should any kind of infection occur, your regular treating doctor must be notified to prescribe appropriate medical care.
  • Allergic reactions resulting from treatment are uncommon. Some persons may have a hive-like appearance in the treated area as discussed above. Some persons have localized reactions to cosmetics or topical preparations. Systemic reactions are rare.

 

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Will insurance cover this procedure?

Permanent hair reduction procedures, like other cosmetic procedures, are not usually covered by your insurance company. If you have any questions, it is best to talk with your provider.

 


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