Light therapy for acne involves bombarding the affected area with specific wavelength of light for around 10-15 minutes per session. From clinical studies, it is evident that the treatment works to improve acne.
People affected with acne start looking for other options, when conventional treatment appears to be ineffective. Also, many times moderate to severe forms of acne do not respond to application of topical ointments. In such circumstances, light therapy often works to restore the natural appearance of the skin.
As light therapy targets the root cause of acne, the success rate is high with this form of treatment. Depending upon the wavelength and frequency of light source, this form of acne therapy is available in different variations:
Blue Light Therapy
In this method, a low intensity blue light is targeted on the affected area. The rays from the blue light source destroy the bacteria responsible for causing acne. The blue light passes through the outer layer of the skin to wipe out the bacteria that cause excess sebum production and trigger acne. Most importantly, blue light therapy is backed by clinical studies as well as FDA approved. Studies have shown that the blue spectrum of light in the range of 405-420 nm is useful to combat acne successfully.
The good news is that this form of treatment can also be conducted at home. The equipment that emits blue acne light is affordable and very simple to operate. All you have to do is focus the light head of the source on the acne-affected skin. Also, make sure the distance between the equipment and the skin is around 7 inches. The skin should be exposed 5 to 6 times every week for approximately 20 minutes. Within a fortnight of treatment, there will be a drastic improvement in the overall appearance of the skin.
Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy
In this procedure, high intensity light is targeted on the acne affected area to get rid of skin problems. Intense pulse light is not the same as laser as each pulse of IPL produces multiple wavelengths of light. The intense pulse light is delivered from flash lamps attached with capacitors. Capacitors are electrical devices that generate heat, which also helps to remove acne from the skin. Thus, when IPL comes in contact with the affected skin, it not only destroys the bacteria as well as reduces the size of the sebaceous gland. This in turn reduces the production of sebum, thereby allowing acne to heal naturally.
Limited studies have shown that inflammatory acne vulgaris responds quite well to diode laser. Light beams emitted from a laser diode have been successful to treat acne as revealed through small scale studies. The 1450-nm diode laser brings down the production of sebum, by damaging the sebaceous glands. The heat generated from diode laser alters the way, sebaceous gland function, in turn helping to improve acne.
Unsightly scars that appear after acne heals, can also be eliminated with carbon dioxide (CO2) laser treatment. This form of laser surgery has also been effective to remove depressed facial scars. In this type of procedure, the laser pulses are allowed to penetrate through a chamber filled with carbon dioxide gas before hitting the skin.
The laser peels off the uppermost layer of the skin, which helps in acne scar removal. The skin upon exposure to CO2 laser also produces more collagen. This in turn tightens and improves the texture of the skin. During the course of treatment, the doctor may also prescribe topical creams to speed up healing. On the whole, the process of healing is slightly time-consuming and may take more than a year for complete recovery.
A point to note here is that attending just one or two sessions of light therapy is not enough to eliminate severe acne. Generally, 5-6 sessions and sometimes even 8 sessions are required to get a clear skin free from acne. As far as side effects are concerned, in most cases, the area bombarded with light rays appears red and dry for a short while only.
So, if you are tired of using expensive topical creams it is high time that you switch over to light therapy. It is a reliable method that works to clear acne within a few weeks.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.