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Blue Light Treatment for Acne
Light therapy is a way to treat skin conditions by exposure to artificial light. LED emits infrared lights in different wavelengths, which in turn travel deep into the skin to trigger intracellular reactions.
Is Blue Light Therapy Safe for Treating Acne?
Blue light therapy is FDA-approved for mild to moderate acne vulgaris which has not responded to other therapies.
Which Type of Medical Professionals Perform Blue Light Therapy Treatments?
Typically, a nurse or medical aesthetician will perform blue light therapy treatments after an initial evaluation by a physician.
Does Blue Light Therapy Effectively Treat Acne?
In one study, patients reported a 65% reduction in acne lesions after a series of 8 treatments over the course of 4 weeks.
How Does Blue Light Therapy Treat Mild to Moderate Acne?
Blue light treatments are FDA-approved for mild to moderate acne vulgaris which has not responded to other therapies. It is able to kill Propionibacterium acne, the bacterial species responsible for acne breakouts.
How Does Red Light Therapy Differ from Blue Light Therapy?
Red light therapy does not have antibacterial effects but increases the circulation and helps to decrease inflammation.
What Benefits Do Blue Light Therapy Treatments Offer?
Blue light therapy is able to kill the bacteria that causes acne, Propionibacterium acne.
Advantages of using blue light therapy for the treatment of acne:
Blue light treatments are safe and gentle and can be used on almost every part of the body. No medication is required, and the treatments are painless. They can be used in conjunction with most other acne treatments, and do not cause scarring.
Preparing for a Blue Light Therapy Treatment for Acne
To prepare for your treatment, come to the office with clean skin without makeup or moisturizer on the day of treatment. Expect to spend 30-45 minutes in the office. Notify your physician if you are taking any medications, such as antibiotics, or using retinol or Accutane.
A Blue Light Therapy Treatment: What to Expect
You should come to your appointment with clean skin without makeup or lotion. You will have a consultation to determine if light therapy is appropriate, and the treatment session will last 15-30 minutes. Your eyes will be protected with shields, and you will rest comfortably under the light. When targeted blue light therapy is used, pulses of blue light from the light therapy device are applied to targeted areas. Several repetitions are performed in each area of the face being treated.
How Many Treatments Does a Patient Need?
Most patients require 2 treatments per week for 4 weeks, for a total of 8 treatments.
Recovering After Blue Light Therapy for Acne
There is no downtime following a light therapy treatment. Mild swelling and redness are common but usually dissolve within several hours. The skin may be mildly sensitive, and makeup can be applied immediately if desired. Avoid any exfoliation or retinol products for 4-5 days, and do not pick or touch the treatment areas. Sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 should be used daily.
Results are seen within 2-4 weeks.
After the Initial Set of Treatments, Are Maintenance Sessions Required?
Maintenance treatments may not be required if the patient does not note a recurrence of acne.
Possible Side Effects
There are no long-term side effects when performed correctly. Common initial side effects may include redness, swelling, and mild discomfort. Rarely, dry skin, peeling, burns, blisters, hyperpigmentation, and bruising can be noted.
Is There Anyone Who Should Not Have Blue Light Therapy Treatments?
Patients who should avoid light therapy include pregnant women, anyone taking antibiotics which make them more sensitive to light, anyone very sensitive to the sun, lupus patients, and patients with porphyria.
Are There Any Issues that Visible Light Therapy Cannot Effectively Treat?
Light therapy cannot effectively treat whiteheads, blackheads, and nodular acne.
What About At-Home Light Therapy Treatments?
At home light therapy treatments are generally not as effective as professional treatments and are indicated only for mild acne. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.
FAQs: Blue Light Treatment for Acne
How do LED light treatments work?
What colors of LED light are used, and how do they help the skin?
What does red light therapy do?
What does blue light therapy do?
Is it okay for me to wash my face after I have a Blue Light treatment for acne?
How effective is blue Light therapy for treating acne?
What are some side effects of LED therapy?
Is there a chance that having LED skin treatments could damage my eyes?
Could blue LED light therapy be used instead of topical antibiotic for the treatment of acne?
Can facial fillers be done at the same session as LED treatments?
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