May 19, 2018

BBL Aftercare

Written by Dr Kate Jameson

treating skin condition with BBL

Thank you for attending Youth Lab for Broad Band Light Treatment.  Please take the time to carefully read your post-treatment instructions below.

The following aftercare applies to BBL Corrective, BBL Forever Young, and BBL Forever Clear

The natural extrinsic consequences of ageing on the skin include sun damage, freckles, age spots, and redness caused by broken capillaries and rosacea. Some skin defect consequences may arise from intrinsic hormonal factors that create an overproduction of melanin as in melasma or hereditary factors that produce more vessels.

Phototherapy involves the reduction of these signs of ageing and skin defects using non-invasive pulses of BroadBand Light (BBL).  

If brown spots or pigmentation are the target, BBL penetrates the skin to reach the melanocytes. The particles of the cells left behind will peel or slough off within 7-14 days. This can appear as darkening and flaking on the skin. 

If redness is the target, blood vessels in the deeper layers of the skin absorb the light and the heat created by the light damages the vessels. The vessels are shut down and the body continues to absorb the destroyed vessel remnants.

Client responses can vary after a BBL treatment. Erythema (redness), darkened pigmentation (black spots) and oedema (swelling) in the treated area is often noted within a few minutes after the completion of the procedure. 

With subsequent treatments, the recovery is much less with less noticeable darkening, flaking and redness due to the improved condition of the skin from the previous treatments. 


  • Use only gentle cleansers, hyaluronic acid/hydrating or soothing serums, gentle moisturisers, and SPF daily for 7 days. Active ingredients can be introduced after 7 days. 
  • The use of the Youth Lab x Skinceuticals Aftercare kit is highly encouraged for optimal healing.
  • Strictly avoid ANY sun exposure to the treated area for a minimum of 14 days after a BBL treatment. The treated area is more prone to sunburn and pigmentation change. Keep the area covered and use a sunblock with a protection factor of 50+. Delayed blistering secondary to sun exposure has been noted up to 72 hours post treatment.
  • Mineral makeup may be applied immediately after the treatment as long as skin integrity has not been compromised. 
  • Do not use fake tan or spray tan for 7 days. 
  • Avoid washing the area with hot or cold water – only use tepid water. 
  • Do not shave the area until the sensitivity has subsided. 
  • Avoid swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, saunas and ocean water for 72 hours or until sensitivity has subsided. 
  • Avoid any heat inducing activities or strenuous exercise for 24hrs. 
  • Do not pick or scratch the treated skin. This can lead to scarring, infection and pigment changes. 


The listed below are all normal side effects of a BBL and should self-resolve within a few days to weeks. Please note that the severity of recovery and downtime is not an indication of the expected results and varies on a case-by-case basis.

  • After the treatment, your face will feel red, irritated and sensitive. A sunburn sensation in the treated area is also normal and expected
  • Swelling will also be experienced in the first week. The severity of these temporary effects varies between individuals and can be mild to quite significant. Swelling can be minimal and last only a few hours, to severe lasting up to a week.
  • Itching or hive-like appearance of the skin can occur (urticaria). 
  • In some vascular or blood vessel treatments bruising can occur which is normal. Bruising will subside within one week
  • There may be erythema (redness) and slight edema (swelling) around the treated vessels. Often they are lighter in appearance and look somewhat smudgy or less defined.
  • Micro-crusting/darkening of treated pigment may occur. This can last anywhere from a few days to over one week. The face heals much quicker than body areas such as the neck, chest and arms. 

More severe side effects may include:

  • Severe bruising from vascular treatments
  • Blistering or ulceration of the skin. This is a rare side effect from the BBL treatment and must be managed urgently. Ensure you contact the clinic for immediate follow-up. 
  • Infection such as reactivation of cold sores in those who are prone. 
  • The above are consented risks for the procedure. 

If you experience any of the above severe complications, please contact the clinic on or; (08) 9324 1604 (West Perth), (08) 9260 6800 (Claremont), (08) 9260 6880 (Joondalup) or (08) 9260 6820 (Applecross)  so we can arrange to examine the skin to ensure healing is adequate. 

For further information on how to manage these side effects, please see ‘Management’. 



Redness in the area of treatment is expected and can be combined with feeling hot and sensitive like a sunburn. This may last several hours or days, depending on the selected treatment. Corrective treatments are more likely to result in longer lasting, temporary erythema compared to maintenance treatments such as Forever Young. 

Redness relief

  • Keep the area cool / apply a cool compress. 
  • Avoiding heat and exercise until resolved


Swelling of the treated area is expected, particularly with BBL Corrective and vessel removal treatments. The severity of swelling will vary from patient to patient and can range from minimal to severe. 

Those prone to asthma, allergies, increased sensitivities or taking certain medications may be more likely to experience significant swelling post-treatment. Swelling is temporary and often will subside within 1-10 days. 

Swelling Relief

  • Apply a cool compress to the area for 10 minutes every hour on treatment day.
  • Take an antihistamine (e.g. 10mg loratadine)
  • Try sleeping on your back, slightly elevated, to prevent pressure build-up on the face.
  • In severe cases review can be arranged and oral steroids may be prescribed.

Urticaria / Hives

In rare cases, hives have been reported after BBL Corrective and hair removal treatments. If you experience an irritated raised rash after treatment contact the clinic. Antihistamines may be taken to help relieve the itchiness.

Urticaria, itching or hive-like appearance, is associated with the thermal light affecting the surrounding skin. This will subside within a few hours to days. 

Urticaria Relief

  • Take an antihistamine (e.g. 10mg loratadine)
  • Apply cool compress and avoid heat. 


Blisters may form up to 48 hours after treatment and can be more likely with Corrective and Vessel removal treatments. Other short-term effects include superficial crusting and discomfort. If these side effects occur please contact the clinic so we can examine the skin to ensure the healing process is adequate.

Blisters Relief

  • An antibiotic cream may be advised by your practitioner if required. 
  • A silicon wound protective cream such as Stratacel may be advised by your practitioner. 
  • Other protective ointments and repair cream, advised specifically by your practitioner, can be used for comfort and healing. 
  • Healite LED treatments can assist with the healing process
  • If the skin is breached at all and review is not arranged for adequate management, there is a much higher risk of hyper/hypopigmentation, infection and superficial scarring. 
  • Picking of the skin is to be avoided. 


Hyperpigmentation treatments (sun spots, age spots, freckles and discolouration) will result in visible darkening of treated pigment and micro crusting. This can result in a dry, coffee granule/ bronzed brown effect which is expected to shed 3–14 days for the face and up to 21 days on the body post-treatment. This is an expected side effect of the treatment and will self-resolve. Please note this part of the recovery process will be less with each subsequent treatment. 

Micro-Crusting Relief

  • This will self-resolve. No management is required. 
  • You may gently exfoliate the skin after 7 days


When should I get another treatment? 

Multiple sessions can be performed every 4 weeks until the desired result has been achieved. Subsequent treatments are based on your practitioner’s recommendation.

A course of 3 BBL corrective and forever clear treatments is required.

Forever Young BBL needs to be performed 3-4 times per year for optimal results.

How many treatments do I need?

A minimum of three, but up to six treatments is generally recommended for BBL Corrective treatments to obtain optimal outcomes. BBL Forever Young treatments are performed as maintenance treatments every 3 months long term. 

Please contact the clinic on (08) 9324 1604 (West Perth), (08) 9260 6800 (Claremont), (08) 9260 6880 (Joondalup) or (08) 9260 6820 (Applecross) if you have any questions about your treatment or aftercare instructions.