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Delaying Skin Aging with Facial Laser Treatments

Patrick Bitter Jr., MD, FAAD

 Delaying Skin Aging in Fitzpatrick Skin Types I Through V with Forever Young BBL


The treatment of photo-aged skin with pulsed, visible BroadBand Light (Sciton, Palo Alto, CA) is proven to dramatically improve the appearance of aging skin. The treatment as first described by this author1 has the ability to reduce or eliminate hyperpigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, and other visible signs of aging. The original procedure, popularly known as the FotoFacial® procedure, treats the entire face or other anatomical areas and typically requires 3 to 5 treatments at 3 to 4 week intervals. This procedure is one of the top aesthetic treatments performed by cosmetic physicians and practices because of the high degree of efficacy, high patient satisfaction, ease of application, reasonable cost per treatment, and lack of recovery time. According to a recent American Society for Dermatologic Surgery survey, nearly 1,700,000 BBL type sessions were performed in 2012, making it one of the most popular aesthetic procedures in the United States2 .

The ability of BBL to improve photo-aged skin is now well known and universally accepted. Keeping skin healthy and delaying the signs of skin aging (e.g. fine wrinkling, laxity, age spots, uneven pigmentation and textural changes) are newly described benefits of regular BBL treatments. Delay of skin aging and maintenance of healthy skin are two very desirable goals for patients of all ages and skin types. While the focus of virtually all aesthetic treatments is to correct issues such as sun damage and aging, helping our patients keep their skin healthy and delaying the inevitable signs of skin aging is perhaps the most important service practitioners can offer their patients.

Introduction of Forever Young BBL using Sciton’s BroadBand Light (BBL) technology encompasses all of the advantages of the original procedure with the newly recognized benefit of delaying skin aging. Because the common effects of photo-aging, such as sun damage, are often less pronounced in patients with darker skin, the benefits of Forever Young BBL to these patients may have been overlooked. Aging in dark skin is reflected in texture, tone, and other factors, all of which can be greatly improved via a BBL treatment regimen. Previously, treatments with pulsed light devices for patients with darker skin types have been met with more challenges and greater risks of complications than treatments for lighter skin patients. This paper describes the safe use and advantages of Forever Young BBL in treating patients with skin types IV and V.

The term Forever Young BBL has been coined to describe the newly recognized benefits of BBL in delaying skin aging. The common effects of photo-aging are often less pronounced in patients with darker skin types, yet these patients do inevitably experience skin aging.

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