Using Blue light for acne may sound like something out of Star Trek, but it is a great way to treat pimples. It destroys acne without having the unwanted side effects of medications or the irritation that topical treatments could impose. Here are 5 things you should know about this innovative treatment.
1. About Using Blue Light for Acne
You may be thinking “what makes blue light so special that it will clear up my acne?” Well, the first thing to know is that all blue lights are not created equal. You cannot just use any blue light on your face and expect your acne to magically disappear.
Blue light that is used to clear acne has specific wavelengths, usually between 405-420nm. These wavelengths allow the blue light to effectively penetrate the skin and kill the bacteria that causes acne. Blue light therapy helps to prevent new acne from appearing too.
One of the best benefits of blue light therapy is how gentle it is. A lot of acne treatments available can be irritating or drying to the skin. Blue light is able to treat whiteheads and blackheads gently and naturally.
2. How Blue Light Treats Acne
To understand how blue light treats acne, you first need to understand how acne forms. Acne happens when oil and skin cells build up under the skin and plug up the pores. Bacteria growth is attracted to these clogged pores, specifically Propionibacterium acne also known as p. acne. Your body responds when there is too much bacteria by becoming inflamed and infected which results in a pimple.
Using blue light for acne therapy works by targeting the bacteria that causes pimples. The bacteria has pigments in the cell membrane that responds to wavelengths of the blue light. The light then will break down the cell membrane, therefore destroying the pimple.
The same bacteria causes both whiteheads and blackheads to form, making blue light therapy an effective treatment for both types of acne. Using blue light for acne therapy is not recommended for cystic acne because the light will not penetrate the skin deep enough to treat it.
3. At Home vs. In Office Treatments
Using Blue light for acne can be done at home or as an in office treatment. Having the therapy performed by a specialist allows for more area to be covered, as most offices use a large light panel for treatment.
The lights used in an office are more powerful because of their stronger battery. This allows the treatments to work faster. The stronger lights are better for those who suffer from moderate to severe acne. In office treatments also offer the option of using blue light for acne along with other light treatments, such as red light that treats inflammation.
Having your blue light therapy performed by a specialist can be costly and time-consuming. In order to achieve maximum results, it is necessary to receive the blue light for acne one or two times a week over a period of a few months. These trips can start to add up as each treatment can cost between $190-$290.
In home devices are available from many different brands. This allows you to perform your treatments in the comfort of your own home. Devices that are meant for at home use are more affordable, portable, and can be used more often. They are a great option for those that get occasional localized breakouts. Just make sure you are willing to add the use of this device to your skincare routine. Keep in mind it requires holding the light over the area for at least 20 minutes. Here are a few options for Blue light Treatment at home:
4. Whether or Not it Be Combined with Other Acne Treatments
Not all acne treatments are LED compatible. If you are using any other acne medications, topical or oral, it is best to talk to your dermatologist about adding blue light therapy to your current skincare routine. They will be able to tell you if any of your medications will cause any problems. For example, Accutane, an oral acne medication, is not recommended to be taken while using blue light for acne because it causes your skin to become very dry.
Blue light therapy can be combined with other light therapies and often is during an in office treatment. As mentioned above red light can help decrease inflammation, which is helpful when trying to get rid of pimples.
5. How Long it Takes to See Results
Although it may seem like your breakout just appeared overnight, it actually took a while for your pimples to form; so it will take some time for them to disappear. It usually takes a month for acne to completely vanish, but everyone’s skin is different. Visible results will begin to show after the first few weeks of treatment.
Using blue light for acne is a great treatment that is gentle on the skin. By attacking the source of acne it is able to help destroy pimples and prevent new ones from appearing. Blue light provides great results without irritation. Would you switch your usually acne treatment to give this one a try?