Blue Light (BLU-U) is an innovative technique in photo-facial therapy, using light instead of drugs to treat acne. BLU-U is a unique blue light that kills the P. acnes bacteria in your skin. Treatments are simple. The patient sits comfortably with his/her face positioned close to the light for a short period of time, determined by his/her doctor.
- The cost of topical therapy has become very expensive
- Blue light treatments are most often covered by insurance
- Topical treatment requires several weeks, during which the skin is often red and uncomfortable
- Although there is still redness and peeling with Blue light, it is usually only a 1- 2 times treatment done in the office and redness and peeling are gone in 7-10 days
- Blue Light does not require daily application of medicine
- One treatment is often all that is necessary, but a second one in 4-6 may be needed
Levulan (5-Amino Levulinic Acid) is a medication that is applied to the skin. This medication makes acne-causing bacteria and precancerous sun spots more sensitive to the Blu-U (Blue Light) treatments. The addition of levulan acne therapy can work for patients even if prescription pills have failed. Results with Levulan PDT are especially impressive when compared with conventional treatments, such as topical medicines and oral antibiotics.
In addition to acne treatment, Levulan Photodynamic Therapy using Blue Light can be used for non-surgical skin rejuvenation. This procedure results in significant improvement in pre-cancerous skin conditions, such as actinic keratoses, sun damage and potentially superficial skin cancers.
Levulan is absorbed by precancerous cells and when combined with Blue light, the Levulan kills the cells leaving the healthy skin unharmed. It has the added benefit of skin cancer prevention – killing abnormal cells before they can become a skin cancer.
When used with Blue Light, Levulan can
- Remove precancerous skin lesions
- Help prevent skin cancer
- Improve skin texture
- Treat sebaceous hyperplasia (enlarged oil glands)
No two individuals are the same, and results may vary. Some conditions can improve dramatically in some patients and not respond in others.
Overall, patients with severely sun-damaged skin with actinic keratosis, texture, and tone changes, including mottled pigmentation, dull or sallow skin, and skin laxity, may see good to excellent improvement with PDT. There can be improvement of large pores, non-pitted acne scars, and active acne.
The Blu-U treatment is very safe. The blue-violet light penetrates just deep enough into the tissue to reach the acne target. It contains no ionizing radiation. There will be redness after treatment and the treated area may flake or crust. Your skin will be sensitive from a few days to a couple of weeks after treatment. Your Dermatologist will give you specific information on how to prepare for your treatment and care for your skin after treatment.
The side effects of the Blue-U Light Treatment are minimal and not very damaging. The light therapy does not go deep enough into your skin to affect the tissue -only the acne lesions it’s targeting. The treatment itself isn’t painful, although it could be slightly uncomfortable to have your face in a chin rest for 15 minutes.
The reported side effects of Blu-U are usually mild and include redness or other temporary pigment changes, swelling of the treated areas and dryness. These symptoms should go away a few hours after the treatment is complete, so talk to your dermatologist if your skin is still red or dry after a few days.