Broadband Light Treatments

At the Austin Clinic we have a variety of treatments available using our Sciton Broadband Light (BBL) machine. BBL technology is a non-invasive, medical light therapy that is used to treat various skin conditions and blemishes. BBL works by generating pulsed light at adjustable wavelengths. The area is sometimes pre-treated with ice and then a cold gel is applied before the actual treatment. Using this technology we can offer a relatively painless alternative to laser resurfacing which needs no time off work or special dressings applied to the area. This treatment involves intense light, similar to a flash of a camera. You may feel a slight pinch or snap like that of a rubber band. No local anaesthesia is required and any pain felt during the treatment usually disappears within a short time period. Pretreatment with ice where applicable, reduces this sensation. Our BBL’s unique and flexible design helps your doctor to customise treatments for your specific needs. BBL can efficiently treat a variety of benign skin conditions, such as facial skin imperfections, the signs of ageing and sun damage, birthmarks, unwanted hair, unsightly small veins and other blemishes. BBL is most effective on lighter skin tones but most people can be treated with BBL. Your doctor will determine at the time of consultation whether your particular problem is suitable.

BBL is ideal for small facial capillaries and veins, Rosacea, vascular birthmarks and even Campbell de Morgan spots (the small red lesions often appearing on the body as we get older). Vascular birthmarks include such things as port wine stains and haemangiomas, which are red, pink or bluish discolourations. They are often present at birth although they may also develop over time and with age. They are made up of many blood vessels grouped together under the skin. Small spider veins often appear on the face and other parts of the body with increasing age or as a result of sun exposure, accidents or medication.

BBL generates pulsed light, which safely destroys unsightly blood vessels so they fade and slowly disappear. Treatment is applied by placing a hand held treatment unit on your skin over some cooled gel. The treatment does not require injections or surgery.

We usually begin with a test dose on a small area to adjust treatment settings and to ensure that the full treatment will give the best results. Some small lesions will disappear in 1 or 2 treatments but it is common to need between 3 and 5 sessions. Veins around the nose, rosacea and Port Wine Stains often need several treatments before complete resolution. BBL treatments for veins and redness are usually done at 3 – 4 week intervals to ensure optimal results.

Short-term side effects may include a slight reddening of the skin, localised swelling or mild bruising, which usually disappear within a few days. Very occasionally there may be some blistering. Hypo and hyper-pigmentation are also possible, however your doctor will advise you if any precautions need to be taken.

BBL is not an effective treatment for leg veins. To see information on leg veins please go to the Leg Veins page.

BBL is used to eliminate age spots, sunspots, seborrhoeic keratoses, freckles, birthmarks, hyperpigmentation and other unsightly discolourations of the skin. Treatment for pigmented lesions are based on the same technology as those used for veins, which successfully treat spider veins, Rosacea, port wine stains and other benign vascular lesions.

BBL treatments use pulsed light, which safely reduces melanin, the dark pigment in the skin, so that pigmented lesions fade, and slowly disappear. Treatment is applied by placing a hand held unit over some cold gel on the skin.

The pigmentation treated will darken after each treatment and can take 2 – 3 weeks to fade. The pigmentation should gradually wash off the skin during this period. Freckles, age spots and sunspots often clear after one treatment. Other blemishes may take 2 – 5 treatments. Each session normally lasts half an hour depending on the size of the area being treated. BBL treatments for pigmentation are usually done at 3 – 4 week intervals to ensure optimal results.

You may experience some short-term side effects. These can include a slight reddening of the skin and localised swelling. These side effects usually disappear within a few days. In rare instances blistering may occur. Very rarely, hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation can occur, but are usually temporary.

BBL treatments generate pulsed light at varying wavelengths. It can be used to treat a wide range of skin and hair colours although the treatment is most effective on those with darker hair. Men and women with dark hair and fair skin respond best to this treatment. However all hair colours apart from white and grey can be treated. BBL hair removal treatment reduces the amount of hair that grows back in the treated area and after several treatments the hair may stop growing in that area. It is common to refresh treatment at yearly or bi-yearly intervals.

A cold gel and hand held treatment unit are applied to the skin. Pulses of light penetrate the skin and disable hundreds of hair follicles simultaneously. When the gel is removed much of the hair is wiped off with it, and the rest of the hairs normally fall out over the next 3 weeks.

Only actively growing hairs can be treated at any one time. Hairs that are resting or shedding cannot be treated. Depending on the body area, hairs take varying amounts of time to pass from one stage to another. Normally at least 5 treatments performed about a month to 6 weeks apart are necessary to clear an area. Some areas may require more treatments and some less.

You may experience some short-term side effects such as, but not restricted to, a slight reddening of the skin, local swelling and very occasional blistering. In darker skinned patients hypo or hyperpigmentation is rarely possible but is usually short-lived.

Photorejuvenation (PRJ) is a technique using Broad Band Light (BBL) for the treatment of sun damage, facial skin imperfections, birthmarks, unsightly small veins and other blemishes. Using this technology we can offer an alternative to laser resurfacing which is less painful and needs no time off work or special dressings.

After being assessed by your doctor it will be determined if you need pre-treatment of any veins and pigmentation with either the BBL facial veins and redness treatment or with the pigmentation treatment. A rejuvenation cream, available by prescription may also be used. Once any prominent blemishes or veins have been treated, a series of 3 to 5 treatments at 3 – 4 weekly intervals will begin.

Your eyes will be protected from the very bright light emitted from each pulse of the machine during the treatment, and then a cold gel will be applied to the area to be treated. The smooth sapphire crystal of the BBL handpiece is gently applied to the skin and the treatment begins. You may feel a slight sting with each pulse but normally there is little discomfort. Each treatment takes about half an hour.

Over the 3 to 5 treatments, the BBL technology not only removes veins, redness and pigmentation, but also causes thermal regeneration of dermal collagen thus reducing lines on the face. It also results in an improvement in the texture of the skin with a reduction in pore size. The final result is younger, more supple looking skin. Keeping sun exposure to a minimum can prevent further damage to the skin.

Unlike laser resurfacing, PRJ does not cause long-term redness and shininess of the face. On the contrary, it reduces redness and pigmentation and has a slower, less dramatic effect, which keeps improving for up to 12 months after the treatments cease.

The energy used in PRJ is very low so side effects are unlikely.   However possible temporary side effects may include redness, localised swelling and bruising of the area treated. Very occasionally blisters may occur but do not last. Rare side effects can include scarring, hyper or hypo-pigmentation. Your doctor will advise you of how to minimise the risk of these occurring.


Post Treatment Care

After your BBL treatment it is wise to avoid strenuous physical activity for 24 hours and avoid using hot water on the area treated. Your skin will be more sensitive to sunlight after your treatment and it is advisable to cover your skin, wear a hat and wear a minimum of 30+ SPF sunscreen on any areas that are left exposed.

BBL can also be used for skin tightening. Please see our page on Skin Tightening or talk to the doctor during your consultation, for more information.

A consultation is required for all BBL treatments although most of the time treatment can be done at the same time. The doctor will advise you of the cost of each treatment at the time of consultation. Cost may vary depending on the size of the area and the type of BBL treatment that is required.


Facial Veins and Redness – Before & After



Pigmentation – Before & After