Updated April 2022
Want to know how to deal with dark spots on your skin?
Clear up bothersome breakouts?
Or sport that lit from within glow?
Whilst it’s true a good facial can boost your skin.
The wood’s lamp will help you see what is under your skin.
Here at the Naked Chemist, we are all about problem-solving skincare.
So join us as we look at this very cool tool and how it can help you diagnose your skin conditions.
What Exactly is a Woods Lamp?
It is a tool that uses transillumination, a light that emits long-wave ultraviolet that can detect fluorescence in your skin or hair.
The wood’s lamp colour chart is known as fluorescent spectroscopy, which shows changes in colour or fluorescence.
This colour corresponds with certain skin conditions, which we discuss below.
If your skin is normal with no underlying conditions, there won’t be any fluorescence or glow under the light.
If your skin leans toward the oily side, then yellow spots will show, or purple spots may be present if your skin is dehydrated.
You can also use a woods lamp for an eye exam, which determines if you have a corneal abrasion or a scratch on the surface of your eye.
What to Expect From Your Treatment
The procedure is simple. Your skin care specialist will darken the room and place the wood’s lamp base around 4 to 5 inches from your face.
Next, they will look for any changes in fluorescence.
You do not need to take any special steps beforehand. But it is worth noting that the ingredients in some skincare products can cause the skin to change colour under the wood lamp.
So we recommend keeping your skin clean and not applying any products or perfume on your skin before treatment.
What Does a Wood’s Lamp Exam Diagnose?
The woods lamp colours can tell you a lot about what is going on with your skin:
Healthy skin shows up as blue.
Dehydrated skin shows as a light purple.
Sensitive and thin skin shows as purple.
Wound infection shows as a vivid green.
Oily areas or comedones on your skin show as yellow.
Thick skin or a build-up of dead skin cells will show as white spots.
Acne shows as orange/red due to the cutibacteria in the hair follicles.
Porphyria is a genetic disorder that can cause rashes, blistering, and scarring that shows up as red/pink.
Hyperpigmentation has more melanin and shows clearly defined borders under the wood light; areas with more melanin absorb more light.
Fungal infections like pityriasis versicolor, a slightly scaly, persistent rash that will be present on your chest or back caused by malassezia yeasts, will emit a yellow/orange glow.
Vitiligo is where your skin loses colour, a condition where an area of your skin cells that produce melanin dies or stops functioning; these areas show as a blue-white or yellow-green light.
Will the Wood’s Lamp Harm My Skin?
The examination is painless and safe, and the light emitted by the lamp won’t damage your skin.
Wood lamp examination is very short and unlikely to cause any damage, even if you have photosensitive skin.
To conclude. The naked truth
As skincare specialists, we can gather a lot more information about your skin when performing a wood’s lamp test.
Skin conditions that the naked eye can’t see are much more visible, which helps to give us an accurate diagnosis.
Ultimately, this enables you to understand your skin and any conditions present so that you can have an effective treatment.
So the next time you book a facial, why not check to see whether they offer a wood’s lamp facial analysis so that you can get the best results from your treatment.
Are you keen to take a deeper look under your skin? Then the article how the sun sees you is worth a read, which looks at people’s hyperpigmentation using this light.