Blue Light Therapy
What is Blue Light Therapy?
Blue light therapy uses the power of light energy to treat a wide variety of skin conditions, such as acne. Blue light devices emit a narrow bandwidth of blue light that triggers different effects. For example, blue light kills the bacteria that cause acne. The treatment can also treat skin cancer lesions and skin damage from sun exposure.
Light rays from the sun travel in small waves, known as wavelengths. Scientists measure these wavelengths in nanometers (nm). The human eye can detect wavelengths of light measuring about 400 nm to 700 nm. At different wavelengths, light appears to have different colors. Light in wavelengths of 625 nm to 740 nm appears red, for example. Blue light wavelengths measure 435 nm to 500 nm.
The various wavelengths of light have different effects on the body. Red light stimulates the production of energy inside body cells, for example. Blue light has powerful anti-bacterial properties, making it an effective treatment for acne. Light in the blue wavelengths can also affect cancer cells. These effects makes blue light a safe and effective treatment for a number of conditions.
BLU-U® photodynamic therapy
Skincare professionals sometimes apply a special photosensitizing medication, known as Levulan, to the skin before administering blue light therapy. This procedure, known as BLU-U® photodynamic therapy, optimizes the benefits of blue light skin treatment. Once applied to the skin, oil glands absorb the Levulan; blue light activates the ingredients in Levulan. These activated ingredients destroy the cells in the oil glands, decrease oil production, and shrink the size of the oil glands.
While photodynamic therapy is more effective than blue light therapy alone, it can also cause more stinging, burning, redness and inflammation following treatment. Four treatment sessions performed every four weeks provides the best results.
Blue Light Therapy Benefits
Blue light treatment is comfortable and quick. Administered by a skincare professional, blue light therapy is also safe and highly effective. Blue light treatment is appropriate for a number of skin conditions, including acne, skin damage, and even skin cancer.
Blue light treatments work well alone or in combination with other types of treatments. This makes blue light therapy available to nearly everyone who has a skin condition.
Blue light therapy for acne
Several treatment options are available for moderate to severe acne, but they do not always work well for everyone. Some acne treatments fall short and allow breakouts to occur – and usually at an inconvenient time. Other treatments for acne are too harsh, leaving treated skin inflamed, red and feeling sore. Some patients are uncomfortable taking oral medications. For these patients, acne may seem like an inevitable part of life.
Fortunately, advanced treatment for acne is available. Many people with acne or other skin problems may benefit from BLU-U® blue light therapy. Blue light acne treatment is a quick, comfortable, safe and effective alternative to expensive and messy topical treatments. The blue wavelengths of light used in blue light therapy effectively kills the skin bacteria that contribute to the development of acne. Unlike many other acne treatments, blue light therapy for acne is pain-free and takes only 20 minutes. Most patients benefit from treatment once or twice a week for four to eight weeks.
Blue light treatment for sun damage
Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage skin cells. Sun damaged skin cells can turn into cancer cells and spread to the rest of the body. Blue light treatment kills these damaged cells before they can turn cancerous.
Blue light therapy for skin cancer
Skin doctors most commonly use blue light therapy to treat acne, but it is also effective in treating premalignant or malignant skin cancer growths, which are unhealthy skin cells that may turn into cancer someday. This treatment can prevent skin cancer and remove precancerous and cancerous skin lesions before they spread other parts of the body.
In some cases, blue light treatment for skin cancer can help people with cancer live longer and improve their quality of life, according to the American Cancer Society. The photosynthesizing drug used in photodynamic therapy reacts with oxygen to kill the cancer cells. This treatment can also stimulate the immune system, provoking the body’s natural response to the cancer. This approach to blue light therapy can also damage the blood vessels feeding the cancer cells, effectively starving out the cancer.
Blue Light Therapy Side Effects
There are almost no blue light therapy side effects, and any adverse reactions that do occur are typically temporary. Blue light therapy side effects may include red, swollen, tender, and mildly bruised or blistered skin in the treatment area. This is especially true following photodynamic therapy. In most cases, most people heal from these effects within seven days.
The treated area may crust over or peel as the treatment destroys abnormal cells or affects oil glands. This normally resolves within three to 14 days.
For more information about the benefits of blue light therapy for acne, cancer, skin damage or other conditions, consult with one of our skincare professionals.