While most people won’t know how they are going to respond to light therapy before they try it, it is important to know as many facts beforehand so you can get the best possible result.
So is it ok to wash my face after blue light therapy? Keeping the skin hydrated after blue light therapy is essential so washing it with a gentile cleaner that will hydrate rather than dry out is important. It is also advisable to use warm or cool water, but never hot.
Blue light therapy can be used for a range of skin conditions. It is performed using a special solution (liquid), cream or sometimes an intravenous drug and a light source which activates the solution or drug. It sensitises the skin to light and has been found effective in conditions such as certain types of acne, superficial skin cancers and sun damaged skin.
But once your treatment is over, how do you care for your skin? Can you wash it as normal? Do you need special creams and lotions? What condition will your skin be in and what can you expect?
Everyone Is Unique and Responds Differently
There are many factors that influence how a person will respond and how they will need to care for their skin post treatment. They include:
- The severity of their condition
- Their skin type
- The length of treatment
- The starting condition of their skin
- Their individual immune system response
How Should I Wash My Face?
There isn’t a specific method for washing your face post treatment, but there are some guidelines.
- Never use hot water – warm is best
- Wash gently, never vigorously
- Never use products with fragrances in them
- Gently pat dry when finished
- Apply an unscented moisturizer with a gentle patting motion (not dragging on the skin) when finished
The skin is sensitive, so it is imperative when washing not to drag the skin in any way. Patting or small circles is best and light pressure. Try not to wash too many times in a day or for too long. The more you wash, the more it is going to dry out the skin and that will lead to increased discomfort.
Why Should I Wash My Face?
Following treatment it is extremely important to keep the treated area clean with as minimal washing as possible. You don’t want to dry out the area and too much or too vigours washing can aggrevate the skin resulting in an increased feeling of heat and tenderness.
While it may be tempting not to wash, dirt and dust particles that are in the air naturally can lead to infection if they penetrate the skin. Infection can lead to scaring and further complications so it is important to keep the area clean.
Use of a good moisturizer afterwards will ensure your skin does not dry out and can be soothing and reduce the feeling of heat.
7 Day Plan of What You Should Do Following A Blue Light Therapy Treatment
|Day 1||Avoid the sun and strong light||For the first 48 hours it is important to avoid the sun. Your skin will be super sensitive to light and being in the sun will damage your skin.|
This also includes strong sunlight coming through the windows. Draw the curtains and if you need to go outside, protect the skin with special sunscreens, a hat and scarf etc. Make sure the skin is covered.
|Keep the area dry||While it is important for the treated area not to dry out, it is also important not to have it constantly wet.|
|You can wash your face||Wash using cool or warm water and a gentle, moisturizing cleanser. Never use hot water as it will dry out your skin|
|No showering||Try to avoid showering or bathing on the first day of treatment|
|Use unscented moisturizer if necessary||If the area starts to weep or forms a crust, you can use an unscented moisturizer and lightly apply it to the area. This should help to ease any discomfort|
|Mild Swelling||There may be mild swelling that may last from 1 – 3 days|
|Day 2||Avoid the sun and strong light||This will be the 2nd day that you need to avoid sunlight to protect the skin|
|Washing your face||Washing the skin is fine but once again, warm water, never hot as it will increase discomfort|
|Shower and bathe as normal||Using warm water but not hot. Very hot water will dry out the area and increase discomfort.|
|Swelling||Swelling may continue but for some, it may subside on day 2|
|Moisturize||Continue to use an unscented moisturizer if weeping persists or if the crust is drying out and uncomfortable|
|Men – no shaving||For men, no shaving until day 4 after treatment|
|Soaking with a solution to calm heat||You can gently soak the area with a solution of 1 tsp white vinegar to 1 cup of water. Soak a soft cloth (not towelling but something like linen or calico) and gently place over the affected area. Replace as necessary in a 15 minute period. This will help to calm any heat you may be experiencing. Moisturize gently afterwards with an unscented moisturizer as natural as possible. If you don’t have anything else you could use petroleum jelly.|
|Never pick!||Don’t pick the crust or scab if one is starting to form. It can damage the skin and cause scaring.|
|Days 3 – 7||Bathe and shower as normal||Showering and bathing as normal but don’t use any scented or strong products on the face.|
|Men – shaving||If the skin feels good, men can shave from day 4 onwards. If some sensitivity, leave it a couple more days|
|Moisturizers||While normal moisturizers could be used from day 4 or 5 onwards, I would encourage you to continue to use the unscented one for 7 days and then go back to your normal products|
|Stay out of the sun||While you may not need to cover up like a Mummy, make sure you still wear a hat and protect your skin until day 7. No going to the beach and sun bathing!|
|Post 7 days||Sunscreen||It is important to still protect your skin against the sun. When outside, wear a sunscreen with SPF minimum 30, 50 would be even better if you can get it. This stops the sun doing further damage to your skin and maintains the positive effects of the blue light therapy treatment|
How Long Does it Take To Recover From Blue Light Therapy?
Most people see a huge improvement in 48 hours, but effects can persist up to 7 days. There are ways that you can help relieve any discomfort if you follow a few simple steps. If you understand what you can and can’t do for the first 7 days, then recovery will be quicker and the results will be more permanent.
Suggested Products For Post Treatment Care:
If you are looking for some lotions to use if your skin is inflamed and uncomfortable, here are some suggestions with 1% hydrocortisone.
PLEASE NOTE: These are only suggestions of creams that may be suitable but all skin types are different as are levels of sensitivity. You must test a small area first to establish suitability.