Treating Acne with Light Therapy

lightacnetreatmentGreat success has been achieved on the acne resolution front.  Acne can now be resolved completely or improved drastically with advanced treatments that are now available. This technology is available to all ages and stages. One of the newest treatments for acne is a light-based system.  It involves a short, completely painless treatment regimen with tremendous results and relatively no side effects or downtime. Clear light treatments destroy acne-causing bacteria within the skin. The treatments are generally applied over a four week period with most patients experiencing a dramatic decrease in the severity of acne blemishes and lesions. Some report that improvement can be seen in even less time. The addition of alternate red light treatments increases the effectiveness of acne light treatments by acting as an immediate anti-inflammatory. Acne patients are discovering faster, more visible response to their acne clearing.

Treatment sessions generally last approximately fifteen minutes.  The patient lies quietly while the high intensity light illuminates the acne. Protective eyewear is provided during the entire treatment. The light utilizes a unique spectrum of light that causes the acne bacteria to self-destruct while having no effect on the normal skin. The treatment is suitable to all areas of the body, including the back, chest, and face.  Normal activities can be resumed immediately after treatment.  The light system’s high-intensity blue-violet light activates special bacteria-fighting agents in your own body called porphyrins. These porphyrins start a chemical reaction that produces peroxide, which destroys acne bacteria (the root cause of inflamed blemishes).

Traditional acne treatments can have various side effects. Topical therapies often cause redness, irritation and/or peeling. Topical-only treatment can be effective in the management of mild acne but rarely has the desired results for those suffering from constant and persistent acne.

Oral antibiotic therapies may have even more side effects. Although not to be discounted and frequently helpful in combined treatment, typical oral antibiotics alone simply don’t “get the job done”. Ongoing antibiotic use in women often results in imbalances that encourage yeast infections and requires self-monitoring of sun exposure.

Clear light therapy treats mild to moderate inflammatory acne. Severe acne requires more aggressive treatment and many cases will respond well to the newer “non-ablative” lasers. Non-ablative lasers do not remove or burn skin, but work from within the skin. In addition to this, no blood test or antibiotic is necessary. There is no peeling or irritation so normal activities can be resumed immediately following. Makeup can be applied directly following treatment.

Though the inflammation will be gone for the majority of patients at the end of the treatment series, some mild redness may be noticed where the blemish is located. The redness will dissipate in a short time. Clear light therapy is not designed to clear cystic and/or nodular acne. Acne is not a medically “curable” condition, but it is one that can be controlled and managed. Some require maintenance treatments to keep the clearing at an optimum level.

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Source: Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Definition.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 21 Oct. 2011. Web. 02 Jan. 2013.


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