Acne affects people of all ages. It is not a problem confined just to adolescents. Some people struggle with acne for most of their life, while others do not have acne at all until adulthood. An estimated 50 million Americans are affected by acne each year. There is no one-size-fits-all acne treatment, either. Oftentimes, the topical creams or treatments that worked for you as teen will not be as effective when you are an adult.
The blemishes of acne are caused by dead skin cells and excess oils blocking skin follicles, which then become infected with bacteria. Approaches to treating mild to moderate acne usually focus on controlling the bacteria with medications such as benzyl peroxide and antibiotics.
Other avenues of control include trying to get rid of the excess dead skin cells with exfoliating agents such as salicylic acid or retinoic acid. Some women can be treated with hormones that affect the amount of oil and dead cells that their skins produce. All of these chemical methods of control can produce significant side effects.
BLU-U photodynamic therapy is a new treatment for acne. It uses special wavelengths of strong light (blue light) to destroy the bacteria that cause acne. Because it does not use any medications, it is safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It also does not cause any of the dryness, peeling, and reddening that are frequent side effects of topical treatments for acne.
How it Works
The bacteria that cause acne preferentially absorb blue wavelengths of light. This light causes free radicals to form inside the bacteria, killing them. A useful side effect of blue light therapy is that it tends to decrease oil production from the sebum glands, for unknown reasons. However, decreased oil production also helps control future acne.
What to Expect
Treatments with BLU-U are simple. The patient simply sits for about 20 minutes with his or her face close to the special light emitting device. The treatment is not painful nor does it make the face feel hot.
Length of Time
Most patients have a treatment twice a week. It takes about 5 weeks to complete a full course of treatment. Most patients will begin to see results after a few weeks. Some patients experience a permanent improvement after one course of treatment, but most patients will need to repeat courses of treatment every 6 months or so.
How Well Does it Work
BLU-U is very effective against red nodules and inflamed blemishes (pimples), the most common manifestations of acne. A study of the BLU-U system reported a significant improvement in acne after 4 weeks of treatment.
If you’re suffering from acne, BLU-U Therapy at Dermatology Associates could be the perfect solution. Our medical team will work with you to determine the most effective treatment regimen for your individual skin. We can recommend treatment options and skin care tips that will help you get the beautiful, smooth skin you want. Contact Dermatology Associates today to schedule your consultation.