Acne Light Treatment – an Acne Cure?

As futuristic as it may sound, there is a new skin blemish remedy called acne light treatment, also called Blue light therapy or Clearlight. This is mainly for acne patients who have had little success with other treatments. This amazing therapy focuses on destroying the bacteria that causes most forms of acne, propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). P. Acnes creates the small molecules known as porphyrins that in turn help produce the bacterium that causes most types of acne inflammation. Blue light therapy works by homing in on the porphyrins. Strangely enough, porphyrins that are exposed to the blue light are able to produce free radicals that destroy the P. acnes bacteria.

Acne light treatment is rapidly becoming a popular acne remedy because it is a fairly easy and a drug-free way to help heal blemishes. As you know, many topical medications contain strong ingredients that damage sensitive skin, resulting in peeling, redness, and increased sun sensitivity. Ouch ! But, Blue light (not the beer, if you are a Canadian) therapy is widely regarded as an excellent alternative to most acne medications. Some individuals have expressed concern over the safety of this procedure, because this procedure used to use ultraviolet (UV) light that was harmful to the skin. Fortunately, modern Clearlight treatments have been FDA approved and free of UV dangers.

The FDA approved blue light therapy for acne in August of 2002. In studies, two 15-minute exposures a week for a period of four weeks produced a 60 percent reduction in acne in 80 percent of patients. Reported remissions from acne lasted as long as three to eight months. The first approved system of treatment, ClearLight, is now available through dermatologists. This method involves a new therapeutic blue or red light that uses what is called Acne PhotoClearingTM – APCTM technology. It targets and destroys the surface of the acne and quickly and easily repairs it. It is also known to be effective in clearing inflamed acne in one month.

So how does blue light therapy work?

Basically, patients are exposed to a low intensity blue light source (405 nm to 420 nm) for 15 minutes twice per week for 4 weeks. Each session costs between $50 and $150, making a full course of treatment an average of $800. But, wouldn’t you know it, acne light treatment is considered cosmetic and is therefore not covered by insurance.

Another form of acne light therapy that is used more and more is known as pulsed light and heat energy (LHE) therapy.

LHE therapy uses both light and heat to eradicate the root causes of acne. Very much like blue light therapy, LHE therapy uses light to destroy acne-causing bacteria. It also uses heat to reduce the production of sebum and to help shrink sebaceous glands. It is an attractive option for many acne sufferers because it promises fast results. Usually, improvement in the symptoms of acne can be seen in as little as 30 days. Not surprisingly, this is becoming popular because it is a fast treatment, with most sessions done in just over 10 minutes. The FDA has approved LHE therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate acne.

While different kinds of light therapies may seem attractive, they can also be expensive, and may not be covered by most health insurance plans. If you are looking for an answer that is milder and less expensive, consider the many herbal therapies that are available. Some acne sufferers swear by certain herbal supplements, including black currant seed oil, evening primrose oil and others. Follow the instructions on the bottle or ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice. Also, never take any herbal medication if you are taking prescription drugs as their could be side effects. Consult with your Pharmacist or Doctor first.

Visit a skin specialist or dermatologist for more information on acne light treatments.