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 issues
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, that is called photodynamic therapy. The two are NOT the same. Blue light therapy is when blue light alone is having the healing, balancing or therapeutic effect.
The Benefits of Blue Light Therapy
Blue light benefits you in at least three major ways:
- It kills bad bacteria.
- It helps regulate mood and circadian rhythms.
- It supports your liver.
Blue light therapy is also:
- 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
What About 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 the field of 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 Crigler Najjar Syndrome 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 products come with eye protection included, and you should always wear it.
How to Put Blue Light Therapy to Work for You
Use it For 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. Visit our Blue Light Therapy for Acne page for every detail.
Use it For Staph and MRSA Treatment and Prevention
Blue light also kills the bacteria that causes those nasty hospital staph infections, including the antibiotic resistant ones. To learn much more about blue light therapy for staph and MRSA treatment, see this page.
Use it For 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.
Use it to 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.
Use it to 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.
Use it to 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:
This one is an LED blue acne light, our Peak 415™. LED lights have a much tighter wavelength span than incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs. This light peaks at 415 nm and it still dips into the UV, but only UVA is present, and at a lower output than the fluorescent example above.
If UV is a major concern for you, choose LED over fluorescent, and choose a product with a peak wavelength around 450 or above.