Photodynamic Blue Light Therapy | Westchester Center for Dermatology
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Photodynamic Blue Light Therapy Fights Acne

Published on February 17, 2017

Acne can lead to a negative self-image. This is especially true for younger people, who often go through a rough cycle of anxiety, self-isolation, and depression due to facial acne. Photodynamic blue light therapy is one of the fastest and most efficient methods of controlling and clearing acne from your facial skin. You don’t need any risky oral drugs or strong antibiotics for acne when you use photodynamic blue light therapy.

Photodynamic blue light therapy is a special treatment that makes use of a photosensitizing molecule as well as a light source for activating an applied drug. It helps in eliminating certain types of skin cancer cells as well as acne. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis in the physician’s office or clinical setting.

How PDT Works

In PDT, a unique photosensitizing solution called 5-aminovulinic acid is used. After cleansing the skin, your doctor will apply this solution to the affected skin areas and allow them to soak the solution in. This may take anywhere between 30 minutes and a couple of hours.

In some cases, the doctor may even apply heat or a plastic wrapping on the skin, since these help the solution to get absorbed more easily into the acne glands and pores. Following this incubation period, the targeted skin areas are exposed to BLU-U, a special blue light. This light helps in activating the absorbed solution in the glands.

When this solution gets activated, it shrinks the size of the pores and acne glands, thereby minimizing oil production of the skin. It also helps in destroying bacteria that could potentially cause the formation of acne sores or lesions.

PDT not only halts active acne activity but also reduces the appearance of previous acne scars. This leaves your skin looking smoother and more attractive. Some of the main advantages of the photodynamic blue light therapy include the following:

• A more youthful and rejuvenated appearance for the skin
• No surgical cutting
• No scarring
• No side effects
• Quick and effective treatment of acne lesions appearing on the face

After the Treatment

After the photodynamic blue light therapy session, your skin is likely to appear temporarily reddish in color. You will also experience minor skin peeling or crusting for a couple of days following the treatment. The effects are usually intense only in the initial two days. However, these will seem minor in comparison to the significant improvements that you will notice in your facial skin later.

Your doctor will instruct you to stay inside for 48 after the photodynamic blue light therapy treatment. This is necessary to avoid any sun exposure. Since you are photosensitive, sun exposure could be risky and cause serious burns. You may use topical acne ointments/lotions in between the photodynamic therapy sessions after the redness on your skin settles down. This will take a couple of days.

Learn More Today

It’s important to find out more about treatments before undergoing them. To learn more about photodynamic blue light therapy, contact the office of dermatologic surgeon Dr. David Kriegel for a consultation.

Teledermatology with Westchester Center for Dermatology

Dear Patients,

Westchester Center for Dermatology hopes you and your family are staying safe and minimizing your out-of-home activities. In that light, we would like to offer a Teledermatology option.

This service will allow patients to continue their care with the physicians they know while staying safe in the comfort of their own home.

We are seeing patients both virtually and have modified hours for in-office visits. Please call the office (914-472-4100) to arrange these consults or you can send your virtual appointment request to

Click here for more information on our Teledermatology services.