10870 Brockway Road
Truckee, CA 96161
Call for an appointment:
Mon/Tues: 9am - 5pm
Wed/Thurs/Fri: 8am - 4pm
Closed Daily: 12pm -1pm Lunch
Dr. Dianne Kamenetsky, MD / Dr. J. Hibler, DO
BLU-U® Blue light treatment (www.dusapharma.com)
BLU-U light alone is FDA cleared for treating moderate acne. It kills the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria responsible for causing acne. It is a safe alternative to antibiotics. BLU-U can also be used in conjunction to your acne regimen.
For acne: The BLU-U takes advantage of the fact that the P. acnes bacteria naturally makes a porphyrin (light-sensitive chemical). The blue light activates this chemical which selectively kills the P. acnes bacteria. Although, not FDA approved, BLU-U light can be used with Levulan to help more severe acne, by temporarily disrupting the sebaceous glands that form oil in the skin in addition to killing the P. acnes bacteria.
For actinic keratoses: The BLU-U is used in combination with a topical medication called Levulan Kerastick® for the treatment of actinic keratoses (AK’s). Actinic keratoses are pre-cancerous, scaly, rough lesions that occur as a result of sun damage. They are often treated with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) in the dermatologist’s office. However, when many actinic keratoses are present, it often makes more sense to treat the entire affected area with something like Photodynamic Therapy as opposed to just spot treating multiple small areas.
Levulan (Aminolevulinic acid 20%): A naturally occurring photosensitizing compound which has been approved by the FDA to treat pre-cancerous skin lesions called actinic keratoses. Levulan is applied to the skin and subsequently “activated” by specific wavelengths of light. This process of activating Levulan with light is termed Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). BLU-U light in conjunction with Levulan (Photodynamic Therapy) is an excellent treatment for actinic keratoses (pre-cancerous lesions) that are rough, scaly patches resulting from sun damage.
The BLU-U can be used to treat your face, scalp, and/or other places on your body. Although effective and commonly utilized for the scalp and body it is considered “off-label” as it is not specifically approved by the FDA for these areas.
Treatments for acne using BLU-U light alone are simple. You simply sit with your face close to the blue light for about 15 minutes wearing protective eye goggles. The treatment is very safe. It is not hot or painful at all. Treatments should be done once or twice a week for up to 5 weeks at a time.
Treatments for actinic keratoses are somewhat more involved because you will need to sit from 30 to 90 minutes with the topical medication (Levulan) on the area we are treating prior to being placed in front of the blue light for 10-17 minutes. During the treatment for actinic keratoses you may experience sensations of tingling, stinging, prickling or burning of the treated AK’s. These feelings of discomfort should improve at the end of the BLU-U treatment and should subside shortly after the BLU-U is turned off. Following treatment, your skin may become red, swollen and become scaly for a few days and up to a week or so depending on the severity of the sun damage you have. These effects are temporary and should completely resolve by 4 weeks after treatment. It is important to keep the treated area protected from light for 48 hours after the procedure because the Levulan medication remains active for 48 hours and exposure to light can result in a burn.
BLU-U treatments alone for acne should be done once or twice per week. The treatments may go on for five weeks or so. After some weeks, the blue light can control your acne, or clear it up for a very long period.
BLU-U with Levulan for acne treatment should be done monthly until improvement occurs.
BLU-U with Levulan treatment for actinic keratoses will be done based upon your response to the treatments. Usually, a minimum of two treatments is necessary. The costs of these treatments are often covered by insurance.
Please plan to stay indoors for 48 hours after your BLU-U treatment with Levulan Photodynamic Therapy.
Avoid exposure of the photosensitive treatment sites to sunlight or bright indoor light at least 48 hours after the blue light treatment. Exposure to light during this time may result in a stinging or burning sensation and may cause a more severe reaction than necessary.
Sunscreens will not protect against photosensitivity reactions caused by visible light.
Please do not consider this treatment is you are pregnant or nursing.