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Blue Light Therapy is a safe and effective treatment to clear mild to moderate inflammatory acne by eliminating the bacteria that causes acne. With the bacteria controlled, the acne begins to clear up and the skin begins to heal.
Acne and Common Ways to Treat It
Although acne can affect us at any age, it typically begins during adolescence when hormonal changes occur. Bacteria, predominately propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), multiply in the sebaceous (oil) glands that surround the hair follicles. The result is painful, inflamed lesions that can appear on the face and body. The key to successful acne treatment is to eliminate the bacteria while protecting the skin. Common treatments to control acne include topical creams, antibiotics, cleansers, and oral medications. Although these therapies work for some individuals, others either do not achieve sufficient improvement or have concerns about the long-term use of medical therapy.
Blue Light Therapy: A New Kind of Acne Treatment
Blue Light therapy is a kind of acne treatment that utilizes a wavelength of light to eliminate the bacteria that cause acne. When the skin is exposed to the light, the sebaceous (oil) glands create oxygen molecules that destroy the bacteria and help the healing process. After the skin is completely cleansed, the patient will be exposed to the blue light from 15 to 30 minutes. Treatments are spaced at weekly intervals, and the number of sessions required depends on the severity of your acne. Blue light treatments are painless and have no adverse side effects.
What to Expect after Blue Light Therapy
- Application of appropriate moisturizer and sunscreen as recommended by Dr. Biesman and our skincare specialists
- Slightly pink skin at the treated area, which typically resolves within an hour
ALA and Blue Light; A Combination Treatment for Stubborn Acne
For more aggressive treatments: the use of a topically applied medication called aminolevulinic acid (ALA) can be combined with blue light treatment to deliver greater effect. Dr. Biesman and his staff will make a treatment recommendation that is best for your skin. If ALA is applied prior to blue light treatment, the recovery may be somewhat longer. You will need to avoid bright light for 24-48 hours, keep your skin moist, and use sunscreen. The skin may have a pink sunburn-like appearance for several days. In the first week after combination ALA and blue light treatment, acne may not improve and in some cases the skin will look worse. However, as the treatments progress, patients with stubborn acne typically notice a decrease in lesion count and improvement in their skin’s overall appearance.
While most individuals will eventually outgrow their acne, some will remain susceptible to it throughout their lives. Blue Light therapy is a great option alone or in conjunction with topical products to treat and maintain healthier skin. Blue light therapy is also now available with a home use device so that you can maintain better control of your acne between office visits.