Blue Light Therapy
- About Blue Light Therapy
- Causes of Acne
- What can I expect
- Safety / Side effects
- Before treatment instructions
- After treatment instructions
Blue Light Therapy involves the use of visible blue wavelengths of light that create a toxic environment inside the pore that kills the acne-causing bacteria, P. acnes. It is used to treat active lesions and helps prevent dormant glands from becoming active lesions. The P. acnes bacteria pumps out tiny molecules called porphyrins. When those porphyrins are exposed to certain wavelengths of light (blue light in this case), they produce free radicals that kill the P. acnes bacteria. Without the P. acnes bacteria present, and allowed to grow, inflammation diminishes and acne clears up.
Acne is one of the most common of all skin problems, characterized by whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and, in some people, deep painful bumps that look and feel like boils. When it's severe, acne can cause permanent scarring of the skin. There are many factors which contribute to the development of acne, including hormones and genetics. The most common reason is due to hormones. When hormones surge during puberty or pregnancy, the sebaceous glands enlarge in the areas where acne occurs. There is also a genetic component involved with acne. Individuals may inherit an increased chance of suffering from acne if their parents did.
Acne occurs when the lining of the wall of the hair follicle sheds skin cells, which then stick together with the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands. This causes a plug to form below the surface of the skin. This plug cannot be washed away. This process can take days to weeks for a visible lesion to form. Whiteheads and blackheads are the result. The sebum and cell debris together contribute to the growth of bacteria that naturally live in your pores. Your body's own immune system will naturally attempt to clear the clogged pores by sending in certain specialized cells that invade the follicle to help clean it up. However, in the process, the wall of the follicle may weaken and rupture, emptying the contents of the follicle into the surrounding tissue. When this occurs, swelling or redness can develop around the affected follicle, resulting in the larger bumps or pimples characteristic of acne. These are known as papules and pustules and can sometimes cause scarring.
- 100% natural and non-invasive
- Drug-free with no adverse side effects
- Safe for all ages
- No downtime
Blue Light Therapy is quite simple. The procedure involves a series of pain-free exposures to high-intensity blue light and consists of sitting in front of the source for approximately 6-10 minutes. Treatments are conducted in weekly intervals. Your frequency and level of treatment may vary based on your desired outcome and situation.
Blue Light Therapy is gentle, safe, and effective with rare, if any, adverse side effects or discomfort. You may experience some temporary redness and dryness in the treated areas. The therapy was FDA approved in 2003 to treat mild acne.
Blue Light Therapy can also be used in conjunction with additional pre-treatments. Most commonly, topical applications of ALA or Levulan® (aminolevulinic acid) are used with the blue light source to help treat acne vulgaris. To better prepare your skin, the ALA solution, which helps increase photosensitivity, is applied and remains on the skin for roughly 30-60 minutes. The Blue Light treatment is then delivered and lasts for approximately 6-10 minutes. The severity of your condition will determine the necessary amount, frequency, and duration of treatment.
After your treatment you may experience temporary redness and dryness in the treated area. Improvement is noticeable after the very first treatment. Your acne will diminish and continue to clear following subsequent treatments.
Some patients who have undergone Blue Light Therapy are acne-free for up to two years after ten treatments. Other patients need occasional treatments for flare-ups. Using ALA in conjunction with Blue Light Therapy has also been proven to have long-term effects in clearing acne.