Cosmetic Dermatology: How Light Therapy is Changing Skin Treatment
We have made major advances in the world of cosmetic dermatology. Every day we find ourselves making serious strides in the ever-growing search for the newest form of treatment for skin conditions. The latest advancement? Light therapy. This has become a truly popular solution to various skin conditions. Let’s dive a bit into what light therapy is and why it has become so popular.
What is Light Therapy?
Light therapy refers to the use of UV rays (this includes natural light, artificial lamps, LEDs, or lasers) of specific wavelengths in a controlled exposure to the skin. This exposure has varying effects but they all are healthier and safer alternatives to previous solutions offered like topical creams, steroid injections, and oral medications, which are known to have major side effects.
How is Light Therapy Used?
Light therapy is used to treat many different skin conditions in different ways.
Light therapy has been popularly used to minimize the symptoms of mild to moderate acne. In this treatment, the skin is exposed to blue light with a wavelength range of 380 nanometers to 500 nanometers. This wavelength is ideal for killing the bacteria that creates acne without harming the skin. Treatment can be administered in a doctor’s office or at home with a blue light mask. There are rarely any adverse side effects experienced after the use of blue light and it has been proven to reduce the amount of acne on the face.
Vitiligo is a skin condition that results in the loss of pigmentation in certain areas of the skin. Light therapy has been a successful treatment for this condition and results in the return of color in the lightened areas. Narrow-band ultraviolet light B or nbUVB is the most popular form of light therapy in this instance. During treatment, patients are positioned in a light chamber consisting of several dozen lamps that emit light at a wavelength of 310 to 315 nanometers. It is theorized that this light therapy stimulates the dormant melanin cells in the colorless patches of skin, activating them and allowing the cells to function properly and produce color.
While there is no true cure for cancer, continuous research and experimentation have proven that light therapy is a viable option for treatment. Photodynamic therapy is a technique that neutralizes the cancer cells within a specific area of the body. In this treatment, the patient is administered a photosensitizing agent. This is a drug that is either applied as a topical cream or via injection. Once the drug enters the body, it is eventually absorbed by the cancer cells. At this point, the patient is exposed to near-infrared light. This exposure activates the drug inside the body creating a chemical reaction that kills the cancer cells.
4) Wrinkle Reducer
Light therapy can be used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Using a laser, light energy is passed over the problem area. This energy promotes cell regeneration and an increase in collagen production. These changes eventually lead to the growth of healthier, smoother skin, thus taking the place of the dry and wrinkled layer.
Light therapy has many applications and has become a major solution to serious conditions and even simpler ones. If you are in the greater Ohio area and are considering light therapy for your skin treatment, reach out to The Dermatology Group. Our experts are ready to give you advice, resources, and possible treatment. Give us a call today!