Harsh chemicals, invasive surgeries, and painful procedures are no longer the only treatment options for your health concerns. Thanks to advancements in light therapy, treatments like blue light therapy have become widely accessible as therapeutic alternatives.
Like its cousin, red light therapy, blue light therapy offers important benefits that may provide help for your most pressing health concerns.
What Is Blue Light Therapy?
Blue light therapy is a form of phototherapy that harnesses natural violet or blue light to treat conditions on or just underneath the skin. This type of light therapy can even become photodynamic when blue light is used to activate a light-sensitive drug used to address a specific condition or problem.
The Healing Powers of Blue Light Therapy
Clinical research suggests that blue light therapy is capable of healing and improving a number of conditions, including acne, skin cancer, fatigue and Parkinson’s disease.
Blue light therapy can be used anywhere on the body to reduce and reverse signs of acne. So whether pimples are breaking out on your face, back, or another area of skin, blue light therapy can penetrate deep into your pores to kill acne-causing bacteria and nurture the skin back to health.
This safe, gentle treatment offers a welcome alternative to conventional acne medications such as antibiotics and oral retinoids. Though more research is required to evaluate the full impact of blue light therapy on persistent acne, you can expect a noticeable reduction in ache within two to four weeks of professional blue light therapy treatment.
Thanks to blue light’s anti-inflammatory benefits, this therapy can ease skin inflammation, reduce the size of oil glands, and even diminish the appearance of acne scars — all while keeping your most frustrating acne outbreaks under control.
One of blue light therapy’s most significant applications involves skin cancer treatment. Dermatologists specialize in this treatment, known as photodynamic therapy. Cancerous or precancerous spots are treated with a photosensitizing medication that makes the treated area highly sensitive to blue light. Once the medication soaks into the skin, your dermatologist shines blue light onto the treated skin for about 15 minutes.
That’s all the time it takes to kill the damaged cells that have absorbed the sensitizing medication. Dead, damaged skin flakes away after the treatment, allowing healthier, undamaged skin to emerge.
Blue light therapy is especially popular to treat actinic keratoses (AK), precancerous skin lesions that appear as rough, scaly spots as a result of exposure to UV light. Over time, they become red, tan, or white, but if left untreated, AK can morph into squamous cell carcinomas, the second most common form of skin cancer.
Fatigue is more than exhaustion; it’s the feeling of extreme daytime sleepiness that can’t be overcome. Research shows that high-intensity blue light therapy may help alleviate fatigue when used for 45 minutes a day over four weeks.
The findings are consistent with past research, which suggested that exposure to short-wavelength blue light during the day created improved alertness and performance. Some companies are now experimenting with blue-enriched white light in the workplace to help stimulate employees and support a more productive environment.
Parkinson’s disease causes many difficult health problems in the body, including difficulty sleeping and resting. This neurodegenerative disorder compromises motor and non-motor skills, leading to diminished daytime functioning and interruption of a healthy circadian rhythm.
Since light provides the most consistent and effective cue for healthy sleep cycles, scientists are experimenting with blue light glasses as a potential way to help those with Parkinson’s disease manage sleep problems.
Blue light glasses emit a carefully formulated light wavelength and intensity to reduce daytime fatigue and improve quality of nighttime sleep. According to research, nearly 75% of patients had a positive experience using blue light glasses, showing promise for this therapy in the future.
Does Blue Light Therapy Have Side Effects?
Blue light therapy is generally safe, but it’s important to consider the potential side effects of blue light used in photodynamic treatment.
Since photodynamic blue light therapy increases the skin’s sensitivity, skin may swell, turn red, peel, blister or scab after treatment. You also need to take precautions in the two days following a photodynamic skin treatment:
- Stay out of strong, direct light.
- Wear protective clothing.
- Avoid surfaces that may reflect strong light.
As long as you receive your treatment from a trained provider and take the proper precautions, photodynamic blue light therapy should help improve your skin, not damage it.
The Best Blue Light Therapy Products Available
Your dermatologist is the best person to perform professional photodynamic blue light therapy procedures, but you can also purchase products that allow you to enjoy the best of regular blue light therapy from the comfort of your couch.
Laser pens like the Blue Light Therapy Pen for Varicose and Spider Veins are affordable and make it easy to tackle unwanted skin blemishes from home. This type of laser pen delivers high-intensity light to reduce vein blockages and help veins shrink in size.
Blue light’s therapeutic and anti-inflammatory properties also promote blood circulation, kill bacteria, and promote lymph detoxification for simple DIY acne treatments. Use on your arms, legs, abdomen, face or anywhere else your skin craves some TLC.
If you have a bigger budget to spend on blue light products, consider the Omnilux Contour Face Mask, which is FDA-cleared and dermatologist-recommended to improve skin quality and promote a youthful complexion.
Simply hold the mask to your face for ten minutes, three to five times per week, for six weeks, to enjoy these benefits:
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Reduce the appearance of pigmentation and redness.
- Promote youthful skin.
Blue light facemasks eliminate the need for harsh chemicals, invasive procedures, and time-consuming dermatology appointments.