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Blue Light Therapy / Photodynamic Therapy
Are you dealing with a common skin condition, such as acne or actinic keratosis, and are interested in treating it with a non-invasive, pain-free procedure? At Cumberland Skin in Hermitage, Tennessee, we offer blue light therapy to help our patients address a variety of skin conditions.
Learn more about this revolutionary treatment by reading our blue light therapy / photodynamic therapy guide below.
What is Blue Light Therapy / Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)?
Commonly referred to as both blue light therapy and photodynamic therapy (PDT), this form of treatment utilizes natural blue or violet light to cure, treat, or prevent unwanted skin issues. Blue light therapy turns into photodynamic therapy when paired with photosynthesizing (or light-sensitive) drugs, such as a light-activated topical or cream.
Blue Light Therapy FAQ
Blue light therapy works to rejuvenate and benefit the skin by utilizing natural blue or violet light. For example, blue light therapy can address and treat acne, as it has been shown to be antimicrobial and kill the bacteria that causes acne.
Photodynamic therapy works by combining photosynthesizing (or light-sensitive) drugs and a high-intensity light source to activate them. This type of alternative treatments is effective for certain types of non-cancerous and precancerous skin conditions, like actinic keratosis, as it can destroy AK cells.
The main benefits of blue light therapy are that this treatment is non-invasive and virtually painless. There’s also no scarring associated with blue light therapy.
Additionally, this type of procedure can be used to treat several different skin conditions in an outpatient setting, such as the Cumberland Skin dermatology clinic.
Furthermore, blue light therapy downtime is minimal, meaning you can get back to your normal, everyday activities shortly after the procedure.
At Cumberland Skin, we use blue light therapy and photodynamic therapy to treat two specific skin conditions: acne and actinic keratosis.
Blue light therapy has been shown to be effective in minimizing acne symptoms and reducing the chances of a breakout. The natural blue or violet light is naturally antimicrobial and has been shown to kill the bacteria that primarily causes acne.
Photodynamic therapy is an advanced treatment for actinic keratoses (AKs). A light-sensitive topical is applied to the actinic keratosis, and the solution is absorbed by the AK cells and converted to a chemical that makes them extremely sensitive to light. When the AK cells are exposed to the blue light illuminator, a reaction occurs, destroying the AK cells.
Yes! Blue light therapy is one of the top alternative ways we help our patients overcome their acne and diminish the appearance of acne scars. However, blue light therapy for acne is most effective when paired with another acne treatment, such as topical or oral acne treatments.
The most common side effects with blue light therapy and photodynamic therapy include:
- Swollen, tender skin.
- Mild bruising or blistering (common with the light-sensitive medication with PDT).
- Crusty or peeling skin.
- Sensitive skin for several weeks following the treatment.
For more questions about side effects and risks associated with blue light therapy, get in touch with one of Cumberland Skin’s dermatologists today.
This depends on how blue light therapy is being used and your specific skin care goals. For example, in many cases, actinic keratosis can be treated with just a few treatment sessions, while period blue light therapy treatments may be required to ward off acne and maintain clear skin.
We do not use blue light therapy to treat spider veins at Cumberland Skin. Instead, we recommend sclerotherapy for spider veins. You can find out more about that spider vein treatment here.