- What is Blue Light Therapy?
- What Blue Light Therapy is NOT.
- Risks & Benefits of Blue Light Therapy
- How to Put Blue Light Therapy to Work for You
- Acne Treatment and Prevention
- Staph and MRSA Treatment and Prevention
- Everyday First Aid
- Treat or Prevent Periodontal Disease
- Regulate your Mood, Sleep and Circadian Rhythms
- Support Your Liver
- The Wavelengths of Blue Light Therapy & Why They Matter to You
- Wavelengths Closer to 400 nm are More Antibacterial
- Longer Wavelengths Penetrate the Skin Deeper
- Blue Light Wavelengths and Relative UV (Ultraviolet) Content
- A Buyer’s Guide to Blue Light Therapy Products
- Here’s the three blue light therapy products we sell, what they’re best for and why.
What is Blue Light Therapy?
Blue light therapy is a branch of alternative medicine that uses natural blue or violet light to cure, treat or prevent unwanted health issues including:
- Depression & SAD
- Sleep Disorders
- Periodontal disease
- Neonatal jaundice
- Liver support
What Blue Light Therapy is NOT.
It is important to repeat that blue light therapy uses the natural power and qualities of light for its effectiveness. If some chemical is applied or ingested to make it work, that is no longer blue light therapy, but something else – most likely photodynamic therapy. The two are NOT the same. Blue light therapy is when blue light alone is having the healing, balancing or therapeutic effect.
Risks & Benefits of Blue Light Therapy
Risks & Side Effects
Blue light has been researched for decades and FDA approved for various treatments. There are no adverse side effects connected to the use of blue light therapy when it is used either short or long term. In study after study, no adverse side effects have been reported.
Consider the following two examples from thefield of blue light therapy to drive home this point:
- Blue light therapy for Neonatal Jaundice: Around the globe, newborn babies are treated for jaundice every day using blue light. This is shone on the most delicate and tender example of human skin, and yet no side effects occur.
- Blue light therapy for Crigler Najjar Syndrome: Patients with this condition need to spend extended amounts of time under blue light every day, for life. However, despite the quantity of hours spent under blue light on a daily basis (typically 10 hours or more), no long term side effects are reported.
The only valid risk of blue light therapy is over exposure of blue light to the eyes, or eye damage from the high glare of some devices. For these reasons, most blue light therapy products come with eye protection included, and you should always wear it.
Blue light therapy is:
- 100% natural
- drug free
- chemical free
- non-invasive (no needles or knives)
- non-ablative (does not damage the skin)
- painless (does not itch, burn or sting)
- requires zero downtime
- safe for all skin types
- safe for all ages
- no adverse short or long term side effects
- easily self-administered in your own home
- FDA approved
How to Put Blue Light Therapy to Work for You
Acne Treatment and Prevention
The most popular use of blue light therapy today is for the treatment of mild to moderate inflammatory acne. Blue light kills acne bacteria quickly, naturally, and without side effects. We have over 10 years experience with blue light therapy for acne, and we have a whole website dedicated to it at Intelligent Acne Treatment.com. Please visit there for everything you could want to know about blue light therapy for acne treatment, including a buyer’s guide.
Staph and MRSA Treatment and Prevention
Blue light also kills the bacteria that causes those nasty hospital staph infections, including the antibiotic resistant ones. Again, we have a whole website dedicated to this information. If you are here looking for that, please visit us at MRSA.LightTherapyOptions.com.
Everyday First Aid
Blue light kills bad bacteria, even the antibiotic resistant kind. It would be a good idea to have a blue light therapy product around the house to disinfect everyday cuts, scrapes, bites and burns for your whole family. About two minutes of exposure to blue light should be enough for prevention. The great thing is, it’s totally painless.
Treat or Prevent Periodontal Disease
Blue light also kills the bacteria that causes periodontal disease. You can find toothbrushes with blue LEDs embedded right in them exactly for this purpose. Teeth whitening devices that use blue light for activation should also work.
Regulate your Mood, Sleep and Circadian Rhythms
While it’s true that blue light therapy helps with this, I recommend bright light therapy instead. Ideally, getting outside in the broad daylight for 20 minutes in the mornings is best. If that’s not practical, then a 10,000 lux full spectrum light box is the next best thing. Little blue light therapy boxes are cute and portable, but they should really be saved for traveling. For more information about this, I highly recommend the book, “The Depression Cure.” It has a whole chapter on using light therapy for depression, SAD, sleep and the like. The rest of the book is excellent, too.
Support Your Liver
Blue light therapy is the standard treatment for conditions where the liver function is reduced, such as neonatal jaundice and Crigler-Najjar Syndrome. It is able to penetrate the skin just enough to interact with the blood in the capillaries, neutralizing toxins as they pass though. It only stands to reason that if blue light can support the liver in such extreme conditions, it can certainly support the liver on a regular basis. For this type of treatment you would use blue light with a longer wavelength, such as 450 nm and above. You would also want a light that covers a broad area of your skin. A general treatment time would be 20 minutes.
The Wavelengths of Blue Light Therapy & Why They Matter to You
We all have a handful of names for whatever shade of blue we see. For example, we might see a color and say it’s “violet”, “navy blue”, “sky blue”, etc. Well, science names color by its “wavelength.” The wavelengths of light are measured in nanometers, which is abbreviated “nm.” So when you’re looking at blue light therapy products, you might come across the actual wavelengths of the light. Here’s how to tell what those numbers mean and which wavelengths are best for you.
Wavelengths Closer to 400 nm are More Antibacterial
When it comes to this field, blue light ranges from 400 nm through about 495 nm, as shown above.
So, for example, when you’re trying to kill acne or MRSA bacteria, wavelengths down near the violet end, such as 405 nm or 415 nm, would kill more bacteria and require a shorter treatment time than wavelengths like 450 nm or 470 nm.
Longer wavelengths are still effective, but would require a longer treatment time. However, they have the benefit of carrying the antibacterial power of blue light deeper into the infected area.
Longer Wavelengths Penetrate the Skin Deeper
The farther the wavelength is from UV, the longer the wavelength, the deeper it penetrates the skin.
For applications like liver support, then, wavelengths such as 450 nm and 470 nm are better because their slightly longer wavelength is able to penetrate the skin slightly deeper, enabling more interaction with the blood in the capillaries of the skin.
Blue Light Wavelengths and Relative UV (Ultraviolet) Content
Because of the wave-like nature of light, if a blue light therapy product peaks around 420 nm or below, it is going to also have a certain amount of UV in it. Because of their broader spectrum, incandescent and fluorescent lights will have more UV than LEDs with the same peak.
Here are a couple of examples:
Above is an SED Curve of a fluorescent blue acne light. You can see the peak output of the light is 417 nm, but there is also considerable non-peak light output that stretches into the UVA, and even a little UVB is present.
Here is another example:
A Buyer’s Guide to Blue Light Therapy Products
Because of the many different uses for blue light therapy, it would not be realistic to put together a buyer’s guide to cover them all. Here’s where to go for the specific information you need:
See the How to Buy an Acne Light
For Staph & MRSA Infections of the Skin
See the Buyer’s Guide to Blue Light Therapy for MRSA.
For Everyday First Aid
Use the same light you choose for Acne or MRSA.
For Periodontal Disease
There are not a lot of products to choose from yet. Our lights are not suitable this type of treatment because the light has to actually reach the bacteria. Shining it in your open mouth will not accomplish that because there will be bacteria hiding where the light can not reach.
For Depression, SAD, Sleep & Circadian Rhythm Disorders
There are not many lights to choose from. Philips is a good brand. None of our lights can be used for this type of treatment, because they are too bright.
For Liver Support
Try a GE Dichroic Blue floodlight if you can still find one online, a blue flood light off the shelf of your local department store, or our Peak 465™.
Here’s the three blue light therapy products we sell, what they’re best for and why.
1. The Peak 415.
This light has a peak wavelength of 415 nm, which is down near UV, but just far enough way to contain very little of it.
We had it created especially for acne treatment, since 415 nm was proven to be the most effective wavelength against acne bacteria. Over the years, however, research found this wavelength was also effective against MRSA and other bacteria.
We recommend the Peak 415™ for acne treatment.
2. The Peak 465™
This light has a peak wavelength of 465 nm, far away from UV. It still has the antibiotic power of blue light, but it contains zero UV. We recommend this light for?
- acne treatment for those in fear of UV because it is still effective but contains none
- for staph and MRSA infections of the skin because it allows for extended treatment times without the risk of UV
- for liver support, because the longer wavelength of blue light penetrates the skin deeper than 415 nm would.
3. The Tri Peak™
This light combines red and blue light. It contains 60% blue light and 40% red light. It contains both 415 nm and 465 nm blue light.
The Tri Peak is recommended for those wanting the most effective acne treatment in the least amount of time. If you own it, it’s great for first-aid. We don’t recommend it for skin infections like staph or MRSA because the power of the light is shared with red. When you’re trying to kill a potentially life threatening infection, you want the full power of the light dedicated to that purpose. Red is for healing. You can take care of that later.