Blue Light Therapy: Effectiveness
Blue light is part of the visible spectrum of light with a wavelength range of 400-489nm and occurs after the UV band. This is part of the visible spectrum of light and research has shown it to be beneficial to human physiology in many ways. This type of light is considered beneficial for a wide range of treatments both as a stand-alone procedure and to support other procedures.
The first blue light therapy approved by the US Food and Drugs Agency (FDA) for the treatment of inflammatory acne (acne vulgaris) was a narrow band high-intensity blue light emission with a wavelength within the 405nm-420nm range. This was seen to cause marked improvement in the condition of the acne, and there followed several tests with different wavelengths and combinations with other (white, red etc) light.
Blue light Acne treatment is incremental, that is, two to three quarter-hour sessions a week for up to four weeks are conducted most commonly. This treatment was only found be detrimental in a small percentage of cases where there were nodulccystic acne lesions (and this treatment is not recommended for those subjects who have this condition). The treatment was seen to make improvements to at least 80% of the subjects.
With Blue Light (405 to 425nm)
Testing with basic blue light of approximately 400-425nm showed about 55% clearance in the acne after this treatment (1).
The same light when applied to a group of 25 subjects produced a 40% improvement in the condition (2).
In another study 58 patients were divided into groups and treated with blue light, however this time for five consecutive weeks with two sessions every week and the effect was immediately apparent with 60 to 68% improvement (3).
In another group of 30 subjects treated, acne lesions decreased by 64% after five weeks of treatment (4).
With Combined blue light- secondary Light treatment and varying wavelengths
With mixed blue and red light treatment (Blue: 415nm and Red: 660nm); subjects were treated for three months with mixed light and showed an improvement of 75% (4).
With the use of 417 nanometer (nm) blue light-applied for 6 minute sessions results were observed as follows; 40% reduction in papular lesions, a 65% reduction in pustular lesions, and a 62% reduction in comedonal lesions (5).
Blue Light source using light with a wavelength at 410-420nm produced results of 70 to 80% reduction in acne vulgaris lesions (6).
1- Tzung TY et al. "Blue light phototherapy in the treatment of acne." Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. 2004 October; 20(5):266-9.
2- "New blue light edges out clindamycin." Dermatology Times. 2004 March:25(3):40.
3- Elman M et al. "The effective treatment of acne vulgaris by a high-intensity, narrow band 405-420 nm light source." Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2003 June;5(2):111-7
4- Kawada A et al. "Acne phototherapy with a high-intensity, enhanced, narrow-band, blue light source: an open study and in vitro investigation." Journal of Dermatologic Science. 2002 November;30(2):129-35.
5- Papageorgiou P, Katsambas A, Chu A. Phototherapy with blue (415 nm) and red (660 nm) light in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 142(5):973-8 (2000 May).
6- Goldman MP, Boyce S. A single-center study of aminolevulinic acid and 417nm photodynamic therapy in the treatment of moderate to severe acne vulgaris. J Drugs Dermatol 2(4):393-6 (2003 Aug).
7- Gold MH, Rao J, Goldman MP, et al. A multicenter clinical evaluation of the treatment of mild to moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris of the face with visible blue light in comparison to topical 1% clindamycin antibiotic solution. J Drugs Dermatol 4(1):64-70 (2005 Jan-Feb).
8- MEDSCAPE: www[dot]medscape[dot]com/viewarticle/572288_4