BLU-U Photodynamic acne treatment: Effective options, lasting results
Article by Brian Feinstein, DO
Palm Beach Dermatologist
In the age of supercomputers, nanoparticles, and genome science, why does it seem that we are in the dark ages when it comes to the treatment of acne? Well, not any more. Now we have Photodynamic therapy with BLU-U.
BLU-U Treatment offers effective acne management with two treatment options. It can be used alone or in conjunction with a photo-sensitizing agent called Levulan.
BLU-U Photodynamic treatments act in three different ways to combat acne:
- inactivating bacteria
- shuts down sebaceous glands
- unclogs pores by exfoliating skin
BLU-U treatment has the additional benefit of re-texturizing the skin to smooth the appearance of acne scarring. By addressing these root causes of acne, long-term to permanent reduction of acne is obtained. There are many types of acne. The most common is called acne vulgaris.
Almost everyone goes through a period of acne at one time or another. Just beneath the surface of the skin lie hundreds of tiny glands called sebaceous glands. Their function is to collect and excrete the oily substance called sebum, to keep the skin healthy. However, the tiny pathway for the sebum to escape often becomes clogged, and a bacterium grows inside. In a short time, the area swells up, and forms a pimple on the skin. At certain times of life, this process becomes very active, troublesome and hard to control.
The BLU-U is not a laser. Lasers deliver light as coherent beams, while the BLU-U delivers incoherent light scattered over a larger area. A BLU-U session with Levulan takes about 15 minutes. If Levulan is being used, then a period of 45 to 60 minutes is needed in order for the Levulan to fully absorb into the sebaceous glands.
Sessions are typically performed twice weekly for a minimum of 4 to 5 weeks and twice monthly for those are using BLU-U with Levulan. After which, many will remain acne free for months to years. Touch-up sessions are sometimes needed to help control acne breakouts.
BLU-U is also used for a number of cosmetic and medical conditions. These include Photo Rejuvenation and the treatment of solar lentigos (sun spots, liver spots, brown patchy pigment), softening of fine lines and wrinkles, actinic keratosis (AK, pre-cancer skin lesions), as well as some types of skin cancers. Some of these conditions are covered by most health insurance plans as well as Medicare.
So don’t live in the dark ages and consider trying something other than a cream or a wash for your acne.