The Difference Between IPL, BBL, and Laser Technology

The medical esthetic field has really grown in the last few years. It has filtered into our everyday lives and is no longer only in the reach of celebrities and the wealthy. Now that these treatments are widely available and more cost effective, it can be overwhelming to understand what the best treatment is for you.

I was very lucky to work for a dermatologist in Nashville for many years that had a research center solely dedicated to laser research. I had my hands on every laser that was about to hit the market. The biggest confusion I hear from patients is what’s the difference between laser technology and Broad Band Light (BBL)/ Intense Pulse Light (IPL)? The technology is very advanced and how each one works is very complex, so I want to use my experience and knowledge to give you a little information to simplify these differences.

Your skin is made up of many different layers. When lasers and BBL are used on the skin, they are penetrating specific depths. One of the main differences between laser and BBL is that a laser goes to a fixed depth, while BBL/IPL can penetrate to a variety of skin levels. That is why we have so many options when it comes to laser treatments. Lasers can penetrate much more deeply, it can be a more aggressive with more downtime and discomfort. BBL/IPL has very little downtime and the cost per treatment is lower. BBL/IPL has several different wavelength options which relate to visible light spectrum. That’s why BBL can do several different types of treatments (photo rejuvenation, skin tightening, acne therapy, and hair removal.)

I prefer the BBL compared to IPL, although they are a very similar technology, from my experience the BBL is much stronger and I get better results with all patients. At The Med Spa at NSPS we have the most sophisticated laser and BBL, the Sciton Laser. It is the Ferrari of lasers!

The BBL has been proven in studies to have another component, it can stop the clock on the appearance of aging skin. In a long-term clinical study led by Dr. Anne Lynn S. Chang of the Stanford University School of Medicine, patients received regular BBL treatments over the course of a decade. At the end of the study, doctors judged the patients to appear 11 years younger than their actual age.

Now that you know the differences between BBL/IPL and lasers, the key for any new patient is always to schedule an appointment for a consultation. What works for your friend or family member, is not necessarily what will work best for you. A consultation will help to narrow down the range of treatment options to what will best address your unique skin. Call us today to book your consultation 312-266-6240.

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