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Blue light therapy can be used in Algonquin, IL to effectively treat acne
Posted by Dr. Vikram Khanna
Acne can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition for those who suffer with it. Repeated breakouts of pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, or cysts often occur on highly visible areas of the body, making patients self-conscious. Fortunately, there are effective, non-invasive treatment options that can clear up skin, eliminate pain, and prevent flare ups. At Dermatology Specialists of Illinois in Algonquin, IL. We offer Blue Light acne treatment.
What is acne?
Acne occurs when bacteria that is found in the sebum (oil) becomes clogged in the follicles and pores. The bacteria begin to multiply, leading to the inflammation and breakouts associated with acne.
What is Blue Light treatment for acne?
Blue Light acne treatment uses blue light waves to destroy acne causing bacteria. While similar to ultraviolet light, blue light is on a different wavelength so there is no free radical damage to the skin. The treatment is directed at the dermal layer of skin to kill the bacteria that causes inflammation from clogged follicles. In addition to killing the bacteria, the blue light triggers a pigment in the body to have a chemical reaction, producing peroxide that will kill any lingering bacteria. Blue light therapy can be used as a stand-alone treatment or along with topical acne treatments.
What is Blue Light treatment with Levulan?
Levulan is a photosensitizing agent that is often used in combination with blue light treatment for a more aggressive approach to treating and rejuvenating the skin. Prior to the light therapy, the Levulan is applied topically to the skin and left there for 1-2 hours. The acne-causing bacteria absorbs the Levulan allowing it to more effectively absorb the blue light. After the incubation period, the Levulan is washed off and light therapy can begin.
Patients will sit under the blue light for a period of time. For regular blue light, treatments are about 25 minutes each session. Patients typically need about 8-10 sessions performed twice each week. For blue light treatment with Levulan, the entire process can take up to three hours and patients typically need three to five follow-up sessions scheduled every three weeks. To schedule a consultation, call us at 847-307-7546.
The light therapy is painless, although patients will likely feel a warming sensation around the treated area, similar to a tanning bed. After the treatment, sunscreen is applied, as skin will be highly sensitive to light as the Levulan can continue to remain active for up to two days. It is important to avoid sunlight for 48 hours after treatment, including in the car. Make sure to wear a hat and sunglasses, and keep skin completely covered.
Side effects and risks
While side effects from blue light treatment are typically minimal, patients may notice redness that resembles a sunburn. There are certain conditions and medications that may not react well with blue light therapy. We will ask you about any medications you are currently taking or any conditions you may have that could interfere with treatment. Protective eyewear is worn during the procedure to reduce the risk of eye irritation.
Choosing between Blue Light or Blue Light with Levulan
Blue Light therapy is a quick, one step treatment that requires more sessions. It is usually recommended for individuals with moderate or temporary flare-ups.
Blue Light therapy with Levulan is a longer, multi-step process that requires fewer sessions. Because the Levulan allows the clogged pores to absorb more of the light, it produces immediate results. Blue Light therapy with Levulan is often preferred over more aggressive medications.
You don’t have to live with the painful, unsettling side effects of acne. At Dermatology Specialists of Illinois, our team is equipped to provide you with treatment that can clear up your skin long term. In addition to blue light therapy, we also offer a wide variety of other acne treatments such as topical and oral medications, steroid injections, chemical peels, and acne surgery. During your initial examination we will discuss your options and determine which treatment is right for you. In many cases, patients may benefit from a combined approach of multiple treatments.