Blue light acne treatment refers to the process of treating acne using a blue colored light. The most common blue light source used is the Blu-U by DUSA pharmaceuticals.
The Blu-U emits light in a specific range that kills the bacteria that are associated with acne. The range is within the blue color spectrum of light, and to get technical, it peaks at a wavelength of 417 nm.
For blue light treatment to be effective, the light that is emitted has to be in the proper range, and it has to be powerful enough.
Blue light can be used all by itself, but most of the time, it is combined with a medicine called Levulan. Levulan is a liquid that is applied to the skin and gets absorbed by the oil glands. Levulan is easily activated by blue light, and once activated, it creates a reaction that temporarily cripples the oil producing glands and kills the bacteria associated with acne. Levulan can also be activated by various lasers. This treatment is called photodynamic therapy (PDT), and it is a method of laser acne treatment.
PDT can be a great treatment for acne. In my experience, it works best for the inflammatory lesions of acne including pimples and cysts. Typically, 3 – 4 treatments are needed, and each one is spaced 2 – 4 weeks apart.
After Levulan with blue light, most patients experience a sunburn type reaction, and they may get peeling and flaking that lasts a few days.