Patient Suffers Facial Blistering Following Phototherapy Session


This case involves a 29-year-old woman with complaints of persistent acne on her face. She presented to her dermatologist who recommended blue light phototherapy. During the first treatment she was instructed to wear goggles and a type of helmet before she was exposed to blue light for 7 minutes. During that treatment, the technician sat next to her and counted down the minutes. The patient had no adverse reaction and her condition vastly improved. Three months later, the patient went back for a second treatment wherein the technician placed the patient in the helmet, but left the room once the treatment started. The patient felt a long period of time had passed since the technician left but was unaware of exactly how long. After the second treatment, the patient saw the dermatologist who checked the records and saw the patient had been exposed to blue light for 18 minutes and 11 seconds. The dermatologist seemed somewhat concerned and told plaintiff to return in 2 months. The day after her second treatment, the patient began experiencing terrible pain on her face, including severe blistering. She immediately presented at the dermatologist’s office, where they prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication. The notes from the dermatologist office indicate she had an “allergic reaction” and did not take notice to the burns on her face. Subsequently, it took over 5 months for the patient to heal and she is still left with some discoloration.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you have prescribe blue light phototherapy to your patients? If so, how often?
  • 2. Is there a time limit on how long a patient should be exposed?
  • 3. What safety measures should be in place to prevent a patient from suffering burns?

Expert Witness Response E-006737

I am an internationally recognized laser dermatologist. I would like to discuss this with the attorney over the phone.

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