If you have moderate acne and are uncomfortable taking antibiotics or are unhappy with your current topical treatment results, BLU-U® blue light therapy - using light without drugs or antibiotics - may be something for you to try. The BLU-U® is a unique blue light that kills the acne-causing P. acnes bacteria in your skin. Treatments are simple - you sit with your face close to the light for a short time, approximately a 17-minute session about once or twice per week. The treatments could go on for up to five weeks. It's safe, not hot and not painful. After some weeks, the blue light can help control your acne.
The BLU-U® light illuminator is even more effective in treating acne if you first "prime" the skin with a topical solution known as Levulan® Kerastick® (20% aminolevulinic acid HCL). The first step is to exfoliate your skin with a brief microdermabrasion treatment. Next, Levulan® solution is applied to your skin for approximately 60-90 minutes, where it is absorbed by metabolically "active" in the oil glands. Levulan® is then converted inside the cell to a chemical that makes the oil gland extremely sensitive to light. When the skin is exposed to the BLU-U® Blue Light Illuminator a reaction occurs which injures and destroys the oil glands. Not only are acne causing bacteria destroyed, but acne is reduced at its source...the oil gland.
A series of several treatments two to four weeks apart are required to achieve the best results.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for Actinic Keratosis
The Acne Light Therapy (Blu-U®) illuminator can also be used to treat actinic keratoses (AK's) over a large area of the chest, hands or face.
An actinic keratosis is a small, rough, raised area found on skin that has been exposed to the sun over a long period of time. Actinic keratosis is caused by sun exposure, but it takes many years or decades to develop. Risk factors include light colored eyes or hair, frequent sun exposure and older age. Actinic keratosis is usually found on the face, scalp, back of the hands, chest or other sun-exposed areas.
Actinic keratosis may be gray, pink, red or the same color as the skin. Often, they have a white or yellow scale on top. They begin as flat and scaly areas. Later they develop a hard and wart-like or gritty, rough, and "sandpaper-like" surface and may develop a horn-like texture. The skin lesion may be easier to feel than to see.
Because about 5% of actinic keratoses go on to develop into squamous cell skin cancer, actinic keratosis should be treated effectively. Your dermatologist may burn, freeze or scrape away the occasional or odd actinic keratosis. However, when many actinic keratoses are found, treatment over a broader area is required and photodynamic therapy (PDT) should be considered.
In PDT, Levulan Kerastick Topical Solution is applied to the AK. The solution is then absorbed by the AK cells where it is converted to a chemical that makes the cells extremely sensitive to light. When the AK cells are exposed to the Blu-U® Blue Light Illuminator, a reaction occurs which destroys the AK cells. PDT targets and destroys most minimally to moderately thick actinic keratosis in a single treatment with relative short downtime and excellent cosmetic results (typically no scarring or loss of pigment). Healing is similar to a mild to moderate sunburn and is usually complete in about 4 to 7 days.