If you suffer from acne and are tired of the pills and creams, there is an alternative it called photodynamic therapy.
It is not a new concept....the technology has been around for about eight years.
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for acne treatment, the blue light emitted from the machine actually destroys the bacteria responsible for the acne.
Martin Moore APN with the Nevada Center for dermatology says he describes the treatment to his patients this way, "Narrow band of visible light, the blue light. The light is penetrating the skin into the sabaceous cysts and is essentially killing the bacteria that is one of the components of acne."
Moore says while some acne patients see improvement with the blue light alone, in cases where the acne is more severe, this chemical called, Levulan a topical liquid is used to achieve better results. Levulan is an acid that occurs naturally in the body and makes the cells more sensitive to the blue light. While the two step system works on acne...research shows it also is affective against pre-cancerous skin growths called Actinic Keratoses.
The sessions under the light are similar to that of acne...patients sit for 15-minutes sessions sometimes over a period of six weeks.
There is some down time with this treatment especially if Levulan is used. Patients must stay out of the sun for a period of time as the skin remains sensitive to light. Some patients report reddening or swelling around a-k sites but studies show its gone by four weeks after treatment.
Insurance companies will not pick up the costs for acne treatment. But Medicare is paying for photodynamic therapy in A-K patients, other insurance companies are expected to follow.