Acne Light Therapy

Acne Light Therapy : A Safe Solution to Deal with the Problem for Good!

Affecting an estimated 80-90% of teenagers in the Western world, Acne Vulgaris is undoubtedly among the most common skin ailments troubling the present generation. The disease is characterized by pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, pinheads, nodules, scaly red skin, and possible scarring. Although the problem is far from being fatal, it can sure hamper the appearance of the person, and eventually take a toll on their self-esteem and social receptiveness.
The Causes

Simply put, acne develops as a result of blockage in hair follicles. The causes for acne can be many, including…

  • Hormonal
  • Genetic
  • Psychological
  • Infectious
  • Diet related
  • Parasitic

Hence, those who are dealing with the problem must be aware of the cause for the formation of acne in their case. That is because there are various proposed treatments for acne, but the results may vary depending on the cause behind the development.

Acne Light Therapy

The visible violet light present in sunlight has long been known to help cure acne; thanks to the antibacterial property of the ultraviolet spectrum. Ironically, the option cannot be used as a treatment as there is a fair possibility of long-term skin damage. However, it is not the case with artificial light therapy for acne.

How it Works?

In acne light therapy, the light is created by fluorescent lamps, bright LEDs or dichroic filament bulbs. It activates a Porphyrin (Coproporphyrin III) in Propionibacterium acnes that damages and ultimately kills the bacteria by releasing singlet oxygen. A total of 320J/cm^2 of light within this range renders the bacteria non-viable. This part of the spectrum is just outside the ultraviolet and produces little if any tanning or sunburn.
Use of Red or Blue Light for Acne Treatment

In order to improve the response rate, the treatment is often accompanied with application of red or blue light for acne, which produces a photobiomodulation effect and activates ATP in human skin cells.

What to Expect from Light Therapy for Acne

Application of blue light for three consecutive days can reduce the bacteria in the pores by up to 99.9%. As there are few porphyrins naturally present in the skin, the treatment is believed safe except for patients with porphyria. However, when undergoing a light therapy session, sound eye protection is necessary the retina has light sensitive chemicals.

Overall improvements of on average 76% for 80% of patients occurs over 3 months; most studies show that it performs better than Benzoyl peroxide but treatment is far better tolerated. However, here it is worth mentioning that approximately 10% of users see no improvement.