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What causes acne?

Acne occurs when the oil produced by sebaceous glands does not reach the surface of the skin but is trapped in tiny pores or follicles. This plug may close off the pore, causing the follicle wall to bulge, which creates a whitehead. If the pore stays open, the top surface of the plug may become darkened, causing a blackhead. In both cases, the bacteria P. acnes thrives in the clogged follicles. When the bacteria and pus leak from the follicle into the surrounding tissue, pimples are formed.

Why is it so hard to control?

Unfortunately, acne is something most of us have experienced at one time or another. As many as three out of four teenagers have experienced it to some extent. It is most prevalent during adolescence because hormonal changes stimulate the sebaceous glands (oil glands) into producing more sebum (oil), increasing the chance of acne. While most people outgrow acne in their late teens or early twenties, many continue to be affected much longer. Aggravation of acne in later life may occur with menstrual periods, use of birth control pills, use of oil-based products and stress.

Treating Acne

In the past, treatments for moderate acne have included topical antibacterials and antibiotics, oral antibiotics, Retin-A™, Accutane™, astringents and exfoliants.

You may have heard that "blackheads are dirt"; "only teens have acne"; "junk foods cause acne"; or "it will just go away by itself". These and other myths have prevented many from seeking the appropriate acne treatment for years. Now there is a safer, easier way to treat acne.

BLUE Light - the new way to treat moderate acne

The treatments previously mentioned may not be right for your acne. BLUE Light PhotoDynamic Therapy is performed by Dr. Petrin for patients from Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue to treat patients with moderate acne.

How does BLUE Light work to treat acne?

The BLUE Light PhotoDynamic Therapy kills the P. acnes bacteria in your skin. The BLUE Light can be administered alone or in conjunction with a topical application of ALA, or Levulan® (aminolevulinic acid), for the treatment of acne vulgaris. Studies show that BLUE Light provides treatment for both active lesions and other inactive sebaceous glands that are not creating active lesions. Pretreatment with topical ALA may offer additional reduction of lesions, pustules, and papules.

What are the BLUE Light treatments like?

When our physician performs BLUE Light only, patients will simply sit in front of the BLUE Light delivery system for about 16 minutes. Treatments are spaced at weekly intervals. The number of your treatments, your treatment time and your treatment interval may vary with the severity of your acne.

Patients receiving the topical application of ALA with their BLUE Light treatment sit with the ALA solution on for about 30 minutes, then sit in front of the BLUE Light delivery system for about 8 minutes. Treatments are spaced 2 weeks apart. The number of your treatments, your treatment time and your treatment intervals may vary with the severity of your acne.

Are there any side effects with BLUE Light treatments?

Unlike other topical treatments, treatments with BLUE Light and ALA have shown minimal adverse side effects or patient discomfort. The BLUE Light treatments are gentle and do not harm surrounding tissues.

What results can I expect from BLUE Light treatments?

After 2 - 4 weekly treatments, most patients experience a reduction in the severity of their acne and a reduction in the number of pustules and papules. Studies have shown that the application of ALA, in conjunction with BLUE Light treatments, also provides long term resolution of hyperactive sebaceous glands.

Are you ready to treat your moderate acne?