We now offer Narrow Band UVB light therapy
Total body Narrow Band UVB light therapy is a safe first line treatment for many dermatologic conditions. Covered by most insurances.
Narrow Band UVB Light therapy
Red light therapy
Blue light therapy
Photodynamic therapy / ALA (aminolevulinic acid ) with Red light or with Blue light
RED LIGHT therapy
Red light is our "feel good" light of the sunlight spectrum, but it also packs a punch to other problems like acne, hair loss, and wounds. Located in the far right of the visible light spectrum, its long wavelengths means it penetrates further into the skin. Our Poly RED light machine has a peak wavelength spectrum of 633nm+/- 10nm.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF RED LIGHT?
It is natural. Part of the visible light spectrum of sunlight, it does not include harmful ultraviolet rays, nor does it burn or age your skin like UVB and UVA. It has minimal side effects, but great benefits.
WHAT CONDITIONS DOES IT TREAT?
Acne: Decreases inflammation and bacteria resulting in less acne, redness and oiliness;
Wound healing: Increases blood flow, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and fights oxidative damage;
Anti-Aging: Stimulates the production of collagen and elastin which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles;
Well-Being: Improves mental clarity and confidence, improves general positivity, calm, and reduces anxiety.
MECHANISM OF ACTION OF RED LIGHT THERAPY
Activation of hair stem cell via B-catenin
Prolongs the anagen or growing phase of the hair
Dilates blood vessels to increase blood flow.
Release of nitrous oxide which promotes mitochondrial oxidative metabolism & production of growth factors.
Red light is anti-inflammatory
Stimulates production of collagen and elastin
Increases sense of well-being.
BLUE LIGHT therapy
Blue light is best known for its antibacterial effects on the acne causing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes. Because P. acnes is most sensitive to blue wavelengths, blue light therapy can kill the bacteria and help clear skin. Treatments are most effective when combined with prescription medications and extractions.
Photodynamic therapy for treatment of actinic keratoses
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) for Actinic Keratoses
Sun damage can result in precancers called actinic keratoses and skin cancers. We can use this to our advantage when we treat with photdynamic therapy.
A photosensitizer called ALA (aminolevulinic acid) is applied to the treated area and left on the skin for 1-2 hours to allow for absorption. ALA is structually similar to what's made by our liver during the process of making red blood cells which makes this procedure safer and more natural. ALA is absorbed faster by metabolically active cells such as precancerous and cancerous skin cancer cells. Upon activation by light of an appropriate wavelength, it exerts a destructive effect on the abnormal cells causing them to die.
What are the results? This can result in clearance of actinic keratoses, and skin cancers such as superficial basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in situ. It has an added cosmetic benefit of improving skin roughness, fine lines, sun damage, and sallow complexion.
Light sources used is usually red LED light, but blue and natural sunlight can also be used. Red light with its longer wavelength of 633nm allows for deeper penetration and provides better treatment of thicker lesions and hence a more durable response. Blue light with its shorter wavelength of 400-500nm penetrates less deeply but the advantage is that it can be milder procedure and less painful.
How effective is it? PDT with a photosensitizing agent such as ALA and red or blue light is as effective as topical 5-fluorouracil with 78-93% clearance, but with shorter but more intense down time and the added cosmetic bonus of having what amounts to a strong chemical peel. The disadvantage is its inflammatory reaction is intense being compressed into a fewer number of days.
Does insurance cover this? Yes, most insurances currently PDT/ ALA for the medical treatment of actinic keratoses, but you may have a deductible or coinsurance that is patient responsibility. We can check a prior authorization at your request.
What to expect during the treatment? On the day of the procedure, wash your face and do not apply any makeup or moisturizer on your skin. In the office, your face will be degreased with acetone and then abraded to allow for better penetration of the photosensitizer. The photosensitizer is clear and no one will know you have it on. We ask you to incubate (leave it on your skin) for 1-3 hours usually at home. When you come back, we will place you under a red or blue light source for approximately 10-15 minutes. You can expect to have a tingling, burning sensation. We will provide you with a cool air blower for your comfort.
AFTER CARE INSTRUCTIONS: After the treatment, your face will be red and sunburnt appearing and the burning sensation will be intensified with any intense light or sun exposure. This is because the ALA is still active for 40 hours after application and we ask that you avoid the sun for approximately 2 days after the procedure. During this time, you can apply liberal bland moisturizers such as vaseline petroleum jelly or Aquaphor to soothe the burning. We will prescribe a topical steroid which can be used as needed to calm more severe itching and inflammation. It is normal for your skin to be quite red during this time. Over the next few days, your skin will feel dry and this will be followed by skin peeling and crusting that can start within 3-4 days with healing over 7-10 days. More severe sun damage, may result in more inflammation with healing over 10-14 or more days.
If you have excessive swelling or crusting, please call the office.