FotoFacial: What is it? Who is it for?


Written by Dermacare Hampton Roads on .
FotoFacial: What is it? Who is it for?

The FotoFacial, performed on the BBL (which is an advanced IPL technology), is one of the top rejuvenation technologies around today that offers a no-downtime, anti-aging treatment to complement and maintain laser skin resurfacing, as well as corrects sun damage and redness. If you struggle with age spots, spider veins, acne, rosacea, uneven skin texture, or sun damage, a FotoFacial treatment can effectively treat these skin concerns in a non-invasive way with virtually no downtime.

One of the best things about the FotoFacial treatment is that it can be fine-tuned for almost any skin type, enabling most people to benefit. While any area of the body can be treated, the most common areas we see patients for are the face, neck, chest, and other areas exposed to damage from the sunlight. In this post, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions when it comes to the FotoFacial treatment.

Q: Do IPL and BBL mean the same thing?

While both treatments use light technology, there are important differences between the two

  • IPL uses intense pulsed light. You have limited correction of skin pigmentation and redness because there are fewer customization options. 
  • BBL uses broadband light. We like to think of this as “Advanced IPL.” This type of treatment offers more light which can be narrowed to more specific spectrums with different filters to provide more customization for acne, redness, pigmentation, and skin revitalization. 

Q: Which FotoFacial technology does Dermacare use?

At Dermacare Hampton Roads, we use Sciton’s BBL (Broad Band Light) technology, which is an advanced IPL. 

Q: What skin conditions can the FotoFacial treat?

BBL FotoFacial can treat: freckles, age spots, spider veins, irregular pigmentation, sun damage, rosacea, redness and flushing, acne, and uneven skin texture.

Q: I have a darker skin tone, can I get a BBL FotoFacial? 

At Dermacare Hampton Roads, we like to assess each patient with a thorough consultation to learn about their skin and about their skin needs. That being said, generally, if you have darker skin tone, BBL FotoFacial may not be the best choice for you as it can sometimes result in hyperpigmentation. For people with darker skin looking to achieve some of the effects of BBL FotoFacial, we might recommend Discovery Pico laser treatments or Vivace Radiofrequency Microneedling treatments. 

Q: On average how many treatments are required to achieve the desired results?

Usually, a series of three treatments is adequate for correcting superficial brown spots and pigmentation. Redness and vascular issues may require 4-6 treatments to correct or control.  Following correction of pigmentation and redness, we recommend single Forever Young BBL treatments spaced 3-4 months apart to maintain results and to provide beautiful anti-aging effects. (Forever Young BBL treatments are very similar to BBL FotoFacials, with just minimal correction of pigmentation needed.)

Q: Will I have to undergo any type of anesthesia for the treatment? Will there be any downtime afterward?

Generally, there is no need for even a topical anesthetic, and in most cases, you are able to apply makeup and continue on with your daily activities immediately after treatment.

Q: How long does each individual treatment session last?

A true comprehensive BBL FotoFacial calls for multiple passes over the skin with different filters in order to target different chromophores and issues with the skin. As such, our FotoFacials normally take a solid 40-45 minutes to perform.


Q: What does aftercare look like? Will I experience any redness or irritation?

We may recommend skincare products, especially a good sunscreen, as you will be sensitive to ultraviolet light and should avoid direct sun exposure for a few days until any pinkness has resolved. During the actual procedure, you may briefly feel a warm or “rubber band snap” sensation as the light is absorbed by the targeted areas. Afterward, you may experience some minor redness that should resolve within a few hours to a day or so. For superficial pigmented lesions, you will see a darkening or “peppering” of the spots, followed by fading and sloughing within several days.

Q: How long does it take to see results from the FotoFacial?

Most patients see more immediate correction of superficial sun spots, often even after the first treatment, as they tend to pepper and slough off within several days. The pigmentation of deeper sunspots gets “broken up” by the BBL energy and then gets reabsorbed by your skin over a period of weeks. Redness and vascular issues may take a few treatments before improvements are seen. Individual results can vary according to your skin condition and the number of treatments recommended.

Q: What can I expect my skin to look and feel like after the series of FotoFacial treatments are fully completed?

Your treated skin will feel smoother; fine lines and pores will be less noticeable; and sunspots, uneven pigmentation, and redness will be faded.

Q: Exactly how does the FotoFacial work?

The light energy delivered by the BBL will be absorbed preferentially by the different targeted chromophores or colors in the skin. The heat absorbed by the targeted areas will stimulate your skin cells to purge pigmentation, decrease vasculature and redness, and stimulate new collagen production. Additionally, it has been proven in a published, scientific study that treating the skin with BBL energy actually changes the gene expression of your skin cells, encouraging your cells to express or act more like 20-year-old cells! This is where the anti-aging effects of the BBL technology is fully realized.

Q: Do I need to come to my appointment with all makeup removed? Anything else I should know prior to my treatment?

It is important for your sunscreen and makeup to be fully removed prior to each BBL treatment. We will help you remove it if you are coming to your appointment from work or your daily activities with sunscreen and/or makeup applied. During your appointment, the expert who performs your procedure will be wearing a mask for the safety of all parties involved.

If you have any questions about the BBL FotoFacial treatment,
please give our office a call at (757) 330-5802, or
set up a FREE consultation here. 

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Dermacare Hampton Roads

Written By Dermacare Hampton Roads

Dermacare Hampton Roads
Our DermacareHR skin care experts listen to your concerns and design a customized treatment plan just for you. Dermacare Hampton Roads is the premier medical spa serving Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Chesapeake. We understand your desire to look as good as you feel, and with our Laser and Skin Care products, we can help you reach your skincare goals.
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