BLU-U Light Treatment for Acne
BLU-U Light Photodynamic Therapy is a state of the art alternative treatment for acne. South Nassau Dermatology is one of the few practices on Long Island to offer BLU-U Light Photodynamic therapy. The BLU-U Light device shines gentle waves of narrow-band blue light on the skin, killing the bacteria that cause acne breakouts. BLU-U light treatments take only 15 minutes once or twice a week, and all patients have to do is sit comfortably beneath the light with a special pair of glasses to protect their eyes. Within a few weeks, BLU-U light can control or temporarily clear up acne breakouts.
The blue light kills the bacteria P. acnes that live in the clogged follicles of acne patients and causes pimples. Patients simply sit in front of the blue-light machine for about sixteen minutes, twice a week for one month. If solution called ALA or Levulan® is given along with the BLU-U Light, patients may need only three treatments spaced three to four weeks apart. Most patients experience a reduction in the severity of their acne and the number of pustules, comedones and papules that is often long term.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a special treatment performed with a topical photosensitizing agent called ALA or Levulan activated with the correct wavelength of light, either BLU-U light, V-beam laser, or Intense Pulsed Light. These treatments remove sun-damaged precancerous zones and spots called actinic keratoses. Sun damage, fine lines, and blotchy pigmentation are also improved. PDT also treats acne, rosacea, and acne scars.
During the PDT procedure, a topical photo sensitizer called Levulan is applied to the skin and left for an incubation period of several minutes to several days. Levulan is made of aminolevulinic acid (ALA), a natural substance found in the body. After incubation, the Levulan is activated with a wavelength light source. Patients may experience sensations of warmth, tingling, heat or burning during this part of the treatment. After light activation, the treated area is washed and patients can return home, and most return to work within one to two days after the procedure.
For optimal results, patients may need up to five treatment sessions, depending on the severity of their condition and the aggressiveness of their treatment. Sessions are spaced two to five weeks apart, and can be continued afterwards to help maintain the initial results of the treatment.
Although PDT is considered a safe treatment option, there are certain risks and side effects associated with any medical procedure. Some of these risks and side effects may include redness, pigmentation, bruising, infection and scarring. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own within a few weeks.
Pharos Excimer Laser
South Nassau Dermatology is now offering the innovative new laser for psorasis treatment and vitiligo treatment, the PHAROS EX-308. The “Excimer” laser works by delivering ultraviolet light to the skin and is indicated for mild to moderate psoriasis treatment. Patients must first have a consultation with their dermatologist before scheduling laser treatments.
How does PHAROS EX-308 Excimer Laser work?
The EX-308 Excimer laser creates a concentrated, beam of ultraviolet light that is delivered to lesions through a hand piece that rests directly on the skin. By precisely targeting only active lesions without exposing healthy skin, the laser safely delivers high-dose psoriasis treatment for fast clearing and long remission.
Who is a candidate for treatment?
The laser is ideal for mild to moderate psoriasis treatment. Traditionally hard-to-treat areas such as knees, elbows, and scalp are easily treated, thanks to the laser’s aiming beam and adjustable spot size hand piece. The targeted high-dose therapy can effectively treat stubborn plaques, even those that have not responded to other treatments.
How does treatment compare with other psoriasis treatments?
Unlike topical creams and gels, treatment with the laser may not require any daily maintenance. Each patient is unique, but some patients enjoy several months of treatment-free remission. Excimer laser treatments are relatively painless and take only a few minutes. Equally important, patients typically need fewer treatments than conventional NBUVB light therapy.
Is treatment safe?
Due to the targeted nature of laser therapy, healthy skin is not exposed to the ultraviolet light. This may reduce the risk of premature skin aging that is often associated with traditional phototherapy. Continued long-term use of steroid creams can cause thinning of the skin. Systemic therapies can affect many organ systems.
What can I expect during treatment?
Treatment will take place in your doctor’s office. First, your doctor will determine the best dosage level for you. Then the assistant will place the hand piece directly on the lesions and apply the laser therapy. You will hear a gentle hum and see a blue-colored light from the hand piece tip. Most treatments take only a few minutes.
Does treatment hurt?
No. Most patients experience no pain or discomfort. A few patients may feel slight warmth shortly after treatment. This warmth is mild and short-lived. No anesthesia is needed.
How many treatment sessions will I need?
We create a customized course of therapy for you based upon the extent, thickness, and location of the lesions. Some patients enjoy clearing after about 8 sessions. Sessions are twice per week.
How do I prepare for treatment?
No extensive preparation is required for laser therapy. Just ensure that the skin to be treated is clean, dry, and free of any make-up, lotion, or creams containing SPF protection.
Are there side effects?
The side effects of laser therapy are minimal. Most patients report no side effects. A few patients have reported a mild and short-lived redness at the lesion site. More serious side effects such as blistering and hyperpigmentation are rare and short-lived. Uncommonly the procedure may not be helpful.
Are laser treatments covered by insurance?
Many national, state, and local insurance companies cover the laser treatment, but coverage levels will vary by plan. A physician consultation is required prior to scheduling the laser treatment.