Does Blue Light Therapy Really Work to Get Rid of Acne?

Does Blue Light Therapy Really Work to Get Rid of Acne?

People are always searching for the next big thing in skincare, from anti-aging technology to treatments that leave you looking like you’ve just returned from a relaxing vacation. For those with acne-prone skin, most are up for trying anything in the hopes of finding some sweet relief from stubborn breakouts. Lately, acne sufferers are looking to blue light treatments to clear their complexions, but does it really work?

What is Acne?

Before treating acne, it’s important to understand just how this condition affects the body, and skin. Acne is attributed to a hormonal imbalance, which can affect the function of the sebaceous glands, whose job it is to create sebum, or oil. This oil travels along the pore to hydrate and protect the skin on the surface. When too much sebum becomes clogged within a pore and pairs with dead skin cells from the surface, bacteria forms, triggering an inflammatory response from the body. This process is known as the acne cascade, and usually results in red, swollen bumps known as pimples, a symptom of acne.

What is Blue Light Therapy, and How Does it Work to Fight Acne?

Blue light is, quite simply, a type of visible light. It can be found in sunlight, and provides that glow on those phones and computers we all tend to spend a little too much time on. Unlike red, orange, yellow and green lights, blue light rays have shorter wavelengths, making them stronger and more energy-packed than those lights at the opposite end of the light spectrum.

In terms of acne, treatments involving light therapy operate under the premise of diminishing the level of acne-causing bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes, on the skin and in the pores. This bacteria often results in swollen pimples after the body sends in white blood cells to fight off the “infection,” so blue light works to rid the pores of such bacteria, thereby preventing the inflammatory response that can result in breakouts. Blue light is said to be capable of killing 99.99% of acne causing bacteria with multiple professional treatments, and can usually work to provide temporary relief from milder acne breakouts.

Because this treatment is rising in popularity, several at-home kits have since been developed to allow for a  less expensive alternative to the treatment that won’t require a doctor’s appointment. These kits, however, not only rely on the use of blue light, but also infrared light, which has been known to temporarily shrink the size of the sebaceous glands - and with it, oil production. This sounds like it should eliminate acne, but tampering with the sebaceous glands can create potentially devastating changes within the body. Some patients report prolonged stinging or burning sensations, over-sensitivity to sun or indoor bright light, and over dryness, redness and peeling of the skin.

Infrared (IR) radiation is an invisible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum adjacent to the long wavelength of the visible light range and extends to the microwave range, and it needs to be said that there is a profound difference between using infrared light under medical supervision as a part of cosmetic surgery, to stimulate collagen production, for instance, and using it to treat acne symptoms using at-home devices. If you are considering exploring what blue light at-home, or in office, treatments can do for your skin, it is advised that you consult a medical professional first to become aware of the possible side effects of such devices.

The Verdict

Blue light treatments can allow for a temporary improvement of the condition of acne, and have produced some positive results in working to eliminate acne bacteria. This bacteria, however, is known to grow back fairly quickly, making it an ineffective means of treating acne and breaking the cycle of acne once and for all. While it may improve symptoms, it can’t technically treat the medical condition of acne, which is caused by a hormonal imbalance that causes the sebaceous glands to overproduce sebum. Light treatments can make for a helpful addition to existing acne treatments, particularly for anyone attending an event that might seek to banish a last-minute blemish, but certainly won’t make for a replacement for an internal acne treatment. The only way to attack acne is by going to the source - the sebaceous glands - and this is what our AcnEase users enjoy.  A systemic solution, AcnEase works by creating a buffer between the sebaceous glands and hormones to ensure that only the amount of sebum needed to maintain healthy skin is being created, AcnEase works to prevent acne before it starts, while simultaneously treating existing acne symptoms. Since AcnEase is always working for you, no matter how mild or severe your acne symptoms may be, it can actually help ease the seasonal transition’s effects on your skin, allowing you to enjoy your warmer days worry-free, and acne-free as well.

We want to hear from you! Have you tried a blue light, or other laser or light therapy treatment? What did you think? Tell us in the comments!

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