Blue light therapy: The safe alternative

Published: 09th July 2009
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Acne is a well known skin problem that most of the people reading this article have faced in their lives at some point in time and in some form or other with respect to intensity. Well known treatments include many western and eastern medicines as well as a host of alternative treatments in Homeopathy and various tradition care methods which may or may not be successful from person to person.


One of the most recent alternatives for acne treatment is blue photodynamic therapy or blue light therapy. Scientists have discovered that light of a certain wavelength (within the 400-480 nm range). The naturally occurring Porphyrins in the human body is a substance released by the breakdown of blood cells and Acne Bacteria ('Propionobacterium acnes'- or- 'P. acnes'); releases this substance as well. When it is exposed to this light in the blue spectrum, there is damage produced which destroys this bacteria.


Safety profile for Blue Light treatment


The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) classifies laser and light therapies as procedure-oriented treatment and considers it as a legal and safe procedure which is effective in treating acne. FDA approved narrow-band, high-intensity blue-light therapy for this purpose. The most important thing to note is that this treatment is painless and can easily be carried out by oneself at home.


Known Side-effects


Blue light therapy does not cause any known permanent damage. It has been observed that the side effects that are experienced are temporary, such as temporary changes in the pigmentation of the skin with some swelling and dryness in the treated area. Since there is no presence of UV rays in blue light apparatuses, there is little danger to skin cells. Low intensity blue light is also often suggested for daily use and causes little or no dryness, irritation or other side effects.


Blue light effect on eyesight


There has been much speculation of the effect of blue light therapy on the eyesight. Some scientists believe that blue light is a possible cause for the enhanced development of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) which is directly related to the retinal stress that results from exposure of the eye to visible blue light; especially amongst older test subjects (the term used is blue light hazard). This degeneration is common amongst all adults over the age of 40 as it is a natural process. To understand this factor better, consider the fact that blue light belongs to the visible spectrum, that is, the spectrum of light is beyond the UV range of light (light in the UV range or ultra violet light, is non-visible and is the major cause for damage to the retina). The major damage is considered to occur with prolonged exposure to (the direct viewing of) bright blue light. This is true for all light treatments as the glare from bright light can potentially damage the eyes anyway. Blue light treatment is usually limited to two sessions a week for 15 fifteen minutes each, thereby reducing any possible risk to the eyes. The human eye is conditioned to receive this (blue) wavelength of light and therefore it is not harmful, especially if controlled exposure is used for treatment along with appropriate eye cover such as a patch or dark glasses.


It is important for patients especially those with eye conditions, retinal damage, have undergone recent eye surgery (e.g. cataract removal), or have other conditions that affect sight such forms of diabetes to should regularly consult an ophthalmologist before and during any form of light therapy.


Blue light therapy for skin


Blue light therapy for skin treatment, especially for acne treatment, is considered safe. Blue-light devices do not contain UV light, which damages skin cells, as is a known fact. Visible blue light has been suggested to cause DNA breaks although there is no evidence for this; with limited exposure treatment, enzymes within skin cells are understood to repair these breaks. There is also no evidence of cancer development as a result of damaged cells.


About Author


Allen Anderson is a content writer at TrophySkin.com. Trophy Skin provides BlueMD, one of the best light therapy products for acne treatment. It provides a powerful, safe, effective and affordable blue light therapy which is approved by FDA and the American Academy of Dermatology.



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