Broadband Light with Laser
Combining broadband light treatments with laser therapy is a popular new way to take advantage of the unique capabilities of each of these light therapy modalities for total facial rejuvenation. Our skin is exposed to a lot, and that’s its job! After all, it’s a protective barrier for the delicate inner workings of our body and our largest organ. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy, radiant, and glowing, regardless of our age.
Whether you’ve been troubled by a specific skin condition, are looking to delay or erase the signs of aging, or just want to get rid of stubborn discoloration, light therapy treatments are just the ticket. But for most of us, there’s more than just one concern present when it comes to the skin on our face. That’s why it makes sense to quite literally use the full spectrum of groundbreaking treatments available today! Combining the revitalizing capabilities of laser skin treatment with broadband light therapies enables an unbridled potential for total skin transformation. Dr. Patrick Bitter is committed to providing the latest in skincare solutions to his patients, and in the spirit of his Silicon Valley location, offers the very latest in innovative aesthetic technologies, developing new methodologies for unparalleled results. In fact, Dr. Bitter was involved in the development of the very light therapy technologies that are now sought-after photofacial treatments.
That’s why he’s a lead instructor for many of todays’ top aesthetic device manufacturers and remains a respected authority on skin rejuvenation treatments. To learn more about what this innovative technology can do for your skin, schedule an informative consultation at our Los Gatos office by calling (408) 358-5757 or by filling out our online contact form at your convenience.
Catch a Wave
Our ability to enjoy the world around us is all thanks to the many different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. The absorption and reflection of visible wavelengths are what allows us to perceive colors. But just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there–and it doesn’t mean they aren’t damaging our skin. In fact, humans are only able to see a tiny portion of the full spectrum of the electromagnetic waves that surround us. And although invisible, UV light is the culprit for most skin concerns associated with aging, as they damage our skin’s ability to regenerate important components like collagen and elastin on a molecular level. They’re also to blame for the appearance of pigmentation irregularities and so-called sunspots or age spots. Luckily, there are other wavelengths that can reverse the appearance of this damage! The frequency of a wavelength determines the amount of energy it possesses, and its ability to impact our skin. Broadband light (BBL), as the name suggests, is a wide spectrum of wavelengths of different frequencies. Because of the variety of wavelengths, BBL is able to be readily absorbed by many different components present in the skin, and treat a variety of concerns in one treatment.(1) Laser treatments use a single targeted wavelength that can be adjusted to target specific skin concerns.
But regardless of the wavelengths being used, both laser and BBL treatment affect improvement in the appearance and texture of the skin by the thermal effect that is created when chromophores, either melanin, hemoglobin, or water, absorb this energy. This process is called selective photothermolyis.(2) This heat causes carefully targeted destruction of these components. That means that the cells that produce unwanted pigment in age spots or birthmarks, and the tiny blood vessels that contribute to bothersome redness and visible veins are shut down. Over time, they are eliminated and skin returns to an even tone. When the water in our skin absorbs this energy, it vaporizes, destroying old, damaged skin cells and encouraging the body’s natural healing process to take effect, allowing for a fresh, revitalized complexion.
BBL and Lasers: A Perfect Match
Because each of these skin rejuvenation techniques has its own advantages, combining these treatments is an ideal way to ensure that all your unique skin concerns are addressed. The broad spectrum of wavelengths can be applied to the skin as a gentle, overall treatment, and laser treatment can be used to target specific concerns.
Dr. Bitter was instrumental in developing the MJoule platform with Sciton, the worldwide leader in laser technology. Among the different modalities that this platform features is BBL HERO, which is the most powerful of its kind on the market today. And what a hero it is! HERO stands for High Energy Rapid Output, meaning patients can obtain better results in less time. And although BBL offers overall improvement to the appearance and health of this skin, it is also adaptable. Your BBL treatment will be tailored to you. The already multi-tasking broadband light can be more narrowly focused to a range of wavelengths that address specific concerns.
Skin Conditions BBL Can Treat
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Visible blood vessels
- Minor skin laxity
BBL and MOXI
MOXI is a fractionated laser, which means that it’s designed to intentionally miss microscopic areas of skin for a diffused and more gentle treatment. This laser has a frequency of 1927 nanometers, which means that this low-energy laser can penetrate to treat deep layers of the skin without damaging its superficial layers. That means less discomfort, less redness, and no downtime. MOXI is so gentle that it’s often performed as a lunchtime procedure–because it’s also fast. This laser treatment is perfect for those who want to prevent the signs of aging, or nip the first appearance of wrinkles and skin laxity in the bud!
BBL and HALO
Like MOXI, the HALO is also a fractional laser. But for those who are looking to treat more prominent signs of aging, like erasing pronounced age spots and other pigmentation irregularities, HALO offers significant advantages. HALO is a hybrid laser, which means it emits both ablative and non-ablative laser energy at the same time while targeting microscopic areas of skin in the treatment area. Unlike the harsh ablative CO2 lasers of years past, the powerful ablative laser energy is tempered with an effective non-ablative wavelength for a more comfortable resurfacing treatment with less downtime. It can eliminate the damaged layer of surface skin as well as penetrate deep into the dermis to stimulate the production of skin-renewing collagen and elastin.
Whether you’ve received light treatments in the past and are looking for a more thorough treatment, or are ready to take a serious approach to rejuvenate the appearance of your skin, a personalized combination treatment can achieve these goals. And, the first step is scheduling a consultation with Dr. Bitter and his staff! This appointment is your opportunity to discuss your concerns, and learn more about what’s possible with the latest in skincare technology and Dr. Bitter’s expertise. Once we have a better understanding of your desires and are able to analyze the condition of your skin, we’ll be able to tailor a treatment plan for optimal results. We’ll schedule your sessions to allow for recovery
You’ll be given specific instructions on how to prepare for your BBL/laser combination treatment, depending on which skin concerns will be addressed and the light therapy modality being used. But whether you’re optimizing your BBL HERO treatment with MOXI or HALO, it’s important to baby your skin leading up to your appointment!
Before your Light Therapy Combination Treatments
- Avoid tanning and any excessive sun exposure
- Do not schedule facial peels or exfoliating skin treatments
- Avoid blood-thinning medication or supplements to avoid the risk of swelling
- Make sure you’ve discussed any medications that you may be taking with Dr. Bitter
- Come to the office with a clean face and without topical products or fragrances that could contribute to irritation
Your photo facial and laser treatment will be unique to your skin goals! A topical anesthetic can be applied to avoid any discomfort. The BBL HERO is a versatile and customizable platform that can offer broad improvement while also targeting specific skin conditions, so the energy that the BBL handpiece emits will be adjusted to meet your needs. As you recline comfortably with protective eyewear, the smooth handpiece will be moved across the surface of the skin, administering even, pulses of regenerative light energy. Similarly, laser treatments use a smooth external handpiece that delivers pulses of energy while the patient’s skin remains undamaged thanks to the built-in cooling technology.
Recovery and Results
While recovery from a BBL facial is typically a breeze, choosing to combine treatments requires a few extra considerations. Those who have supplemented their BBL treatment with a MOXI laser treatment can expect a little redness for the next day or two, and should wait 24 hours before applying makeup. Discomfort can be managed with a topical anesthetic cream, and patients should also avoid sunlight for the next few days, being careful to wear at least an SPF 30 if venturing outdoors. Patients should also avoid any retinoids or other harsh skin products. Skin will begin to feel rough in the treatment areas, but it soon will be replaced with fresh, dewy skin.
If you’ve opted for a HALO treatment to enhance the effects of your BBL photofacial, plan on seeing your results in about a week after your treatment. Those familiar with this procedure know to expect the “coffee ground” effect that occurs in the days following a laser treatment. These are tiny scabs that form where the laser created micro-injuries to the skin’s surface. Patients recovering from a Halo laser treatment should also plan on a few days out of the sun and may prefer to postpone social events for a few days until redness and swelling diminish. In the following weeks, patients can begin to see their results emerge, with smoother skin texture, diminished discoloration and wrinkles, less visible pores, and firmer, more youthful skin. And, don’t forget about that signature HALO glow!
Cost of Laser Combination Treatments in Los Gatos
The cost of your photofacial and laser treatments will depend on the areas and skin concerns that you’ve chosen to address. It will also depend on the specific laser treatment used, and the number of sessions required to achieve your skin goals.
- Bitter, P. H. (2000). Noninvasive Rejuvenation of Photodamaged Skin Using Serial, Full-Face Intense Pulsed Light Treatments. Dermatologic Surgery, 26(9), 835–843. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1524-4725.2000.00085.x
- Alster, T., & Husain, Z. (2016). The role of lasers and intense pulsed light technology in dermatology. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 2016(9), 29. https://doi.org/10.2147/ccid.s69106