What to expect after treatment
Please follow the post treatment routine outlined by your nurse or therapist. Also be aware that the skin on different parts of your body takes different times to recover after treatment, with the skin on your face typically the fastest to recover, and the rest of the body slower.
The following are the main concerns after treatment.
Most patients will have some redness and a sensation similar to mild sunburn in the treatment area. This almost always resolves on its own within a few hours. If this bothers you, apply a cool compress to the area.
A few patients may have some mild puffiness under their eyes on the day after treatment. That will typically clear within a day. Again a cool compress can help to settle this.
Darkening of pigmentation
You may notice darkening of your pigmented spots, or tiny grey/dark brown specks. This is often a sign of successful treatment. The darkened spots fade and flake off after less that 1 week on the face and 2-3 weeks on the body. If they bother you, makeup can be used to cover the spots.
Burns are rare with BBL treatments. When compared to traditional IPL treatments, BBL's reduced fluence combined with multiple passes results in an effective treatment, with much lower risk of burns. However, burns can on occasion happen, but the outcome after healing is typically excellent.
If your treatment results in broken, burnt or blistered skin, contact the clinic immediately. We have a treatment protocol to speed up healing and minimise the chances of adverse results. If you are unable to contact the clinic for any reason then apply the following treatment until you can:
- initially apply cool compresses for the first few hours
- after that, apply a petroleum ointment such as Vaseline or Bepanthen
- aloe vera cream can also be applied to help sooth the skin
Skin care recommendations
Cleanse the skin twice daily with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser ( eg Cetaphil). Use your hands and fingertips to cleanse using gentle patting motions.
Do not rub, scrub or use skin care brush in the treated area.
Do not use soap or exfoliants on your skin.
Moisturiser should be applied generously with clean hands over treated area and reapplied whenever your skin feels dry.
We recommend SolarCare, a moisturiser containing vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide). Vitamin B3 has been shown in clinical trials to improve blotchiness, pigmentation and fine wrinkles associated with sun damage and skin ageing.
While the skin is healing, avoid anything that will irritate the it, such as:
- active, sensitising products like acids or retinoids
- very hot or cold water
- swimming pools and spas with multiple chemicals/chlorine
- vitamin E cream. It has been shown not to provide any skin healing benefit, and commonly causes irritation or dermatitis if used on healing skin.
Avoid sun exposure
Sunscreen is essential. It should be used daily beginning the day of treatment and used consistently.
Use sunscreen with Broadband UVA and UVB protection and a SPF of at least 30. Reapply sunscreen 4-hourly during periods of sun exposure.
Do not expose your skin to direct sunlight for 14 days. The treated area is more prone to sunburn and pigmentation change.
We recommend Cetaphil Sun Kids sunscreen.
Even low-intensity sun exposure can lead to freckles and lentigines. To maintain the best results following your treatment, we recommend that you wear sunscreen every day, even in winter.
Clothing and hats
If possible, make sure that your treatment area is covered, e.g. long sleeves or a high neckline. If your face was treated, wear a broad-brimmed hat while you are outside, even if you are already wearing sunscreen.
Work and exercise
In most cases you can return to normal work duties immediately after treatment.
Avoid strenuous exercise and sweating until after your skin has healed.