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What is Blue Light acne treatment and how does it work?

Can blue light treatment help your acne? Find out...

phototherapy for acne

Shining a light, a blue light that is, is becoming one of the accepted ways for acne treatment. Used by itself or together with other techniques, some claim that this method is not only very safe, but also very effective.

Though not yet mainstream, dermatologists are beginning to make this therapy available in their offices.

What good does light do? Why not just go outside in the sun for 15 minutes? These are two good questions about light for acne treatment. As an acne treatment, intentional sun exposure has come and gone in popularity. Reasons for its decline have to do with sun damage that leads to cancer and lack of consistent results. By separating light into its various parts, it is possible to reduce or eliminate many side effects.

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Recent studies on this acne treatment, though not large scale, have shown that blue light has an actual effect on Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria involved in producing the acne inflammation..


What happens is this: the patient protects their eyes with special goggles then sits close exposing the acne to a special light box that emits blue light (minus the harmful UV spectrum). The blue light penetrates the skin like light through a sheer curtain and attacks only the P. acnes, which causes the bulk of the problem.


It takes about eight acne treatments, two a week for four weeks, to see reliable results. Some, it is reported, see improvement after two or three exposures.


Blue light is an acne treatment, not how to cure acne. The p. acnes bacteria are very prolific and this does not totally eliminate it. However, used in conjunction with other acne remedies, those with mild to moderate acne may have good results.


The reported side effects include some swelling and / or dryness in the treated areas that subsides without need to discontinue the acne treatment. There is no pain involved with the light exposure.


Blue light acne treatment normally takes place in the dermatologist's office under supervision. Since it is an ongoing treatment, not a cure, some patients acquire the equipment, available without prescription on the Internet, to use at home. Like any home remedy, your doctor should be informed that you are using it as an additional acne treatment.
In a new twist, red light is added to the blue light. It is thought that while the blue light destroys the bacteria, the red light enhances circulation and healing of the tissues involved in the acne treatment. The use of red light to enhance healing has been around for some time and is still under study, especially for those with diabetic wound problems.


At this time, many insurance companies regard blue light acne treatment and "experimental and investigatory." This means that they won't pay. Fortunately, these acne remedies are relatively inexpensive. Working with a cooperative dermatologist may make this a choice for those looking for a treatment with relatively few side effects and potentially good results.

Effective acne treatment remains a problem for a significant segment of the population for their entire lives. New forms of non-toxic treatment may give those suffering an opportunity to escape disfiguring scars and low self-esteem. Blue (and red) light treatment, for those able to use it, may be that chance.

 

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