Blue Light Therapy: Is It For You?

  • Posted on: Aug 25 2016
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Blue light (photodynamic) therapy is based on the interaction between blue light and a photo-sensitizing agent, such as aminolevulinic acid (Levulan). Levulan solution is applied to the skin and then activated by a specific wavelength of light (blue light). The purpose of activating the Levulan is to reduce pre‐cancerous, sun-induced skin lesions called actinic keratoses. Blue light therapy has been FDA-approved for actinic keratoses, and remains a great option for fair-skinned patients with such spots (photos below).

Actinic Keratoses



Actinic Keratoses: After


Blue light therapy has been shown to substantially improve photodamage. Patients with chronic sun damage appreciate a significant improvement in their skin after blue light therapy. In these patients, blue light therapy can be used in a combination therapy with other treatment modalities, such as topical medications, other modalities, and photoprotection.

The use of blue light has expanded to include other skin conditions including acne and inflammatory dermatoses such as psoriasis, lichen planus, hidradenitis suppurativa, and erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp. The group of Dr. Kroumpouzos published a study in JAMA Dermatology that reported a great response of an inflammatory skin condition called erosive pustular dermatosis of the scalp to blue light therapy (see excerpt below).


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