Acne is a common problem to millions of people all over the world. The medical treatment is often expensive and time consuming. In this article, we discuss the effectiveness of blue light treatment for acne and the advantages of using portable devices to conduct your own treatment sessions from the comfort of your own home. We discuss the questions most frequently asked about skin treatment through blue light therapy.

Overview

Blue light is a component of natural sunlight. It is light in the visible spectrum and has a wavelength range of 405-420nms. This range is the key to the effectiveness of blue light therapy for acne: The scientific explanation has to do with the photochemical reaction of the skin to this particular wavelength; acne is caused by the P.acnes bacteria which are found in the pores of the skin. Porphyrins found in the bacteria absorb blue light readily and the energy from this light destroyers the bacteria itself. Blue light of 410-420 nm is considered to be 'dermatologist grade blue light' and is harmless to the skin as it contains no UV rays; it has therefore been approved by the US-FDA for skin treatment.

FAQs

- Is blue light therapy effective for acne reduction?

Yes. Blue light therapy involves using the light in the visible spectrum of 405 to 425 nm wavelength. This light is absorbed by the bacteria which caused acne and as a result, the energy from the absorbed light destroys the acne bacteria that it comes into contact with. The FDA approves of blue light in the safe range (405-465 nm). Clinical tests have shown that over the course of a three month period, the treatment produced 70 to 80% results (reduced inflammation and fewer lesions).

- How often should it be used?

While it is prudent to consult a dermatologist before undertaking self-therapy sessions at home, it is generally observed that three sessions per week of about 15-20 minutes duration each session over a six to ten week period is the most common format and the frequency and length are generally defined by the intensity of the condition.

- Can it be used on parts of the body other than the face?

Yes. Blue light can be applied to acne lesions and inflamed areas anywhere on the body and is commonly used to treat facial and back acne.

- Is this form of light therapy safe for the skin?

Absolutely, and that is why the FDA approves it! Blue light (or dermatologist grade light) contains no UV rays, as these are from another (invisible) part of the light spectrum. UV rays are the most common danger to the human skin - and the absence of these rays is what makes blue light a safer bet. Controlled exposure to blue light also prevents cell-damage and DNA breaks and the enzymes in the skin can repair these naturally as long exposure is within prescribed limits.

- Is this therapy safe for the eyes?

Like any kind of light, prolonged exposure to blue light can damage eyesight. However, this danger is far less as compared to UV exposure (for instance to bright natural sunlight). Blue light therapy is conducted with protective glasses, goggles or an eye patch which also reduces any such risk to the eyes.

- Is Blue light therapy painless? Are there any side-effects?

Blue light therapy is completely painless and except for a little photosensitivity, causes no sensation on the skin. Side effects may include temporary rawness and temporary changes to the skin pigmentation (coloration) of the areas exposed to the light. Other short term effects are dryness and a little swelling for a while after the treatment session.

References:

- Tzung TY et al. "Blue light phototherapy in the treatment of acne." Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. 2004 October; 20(5):266-9.
- MED SCAPE: www[dot]medscape[dot]com/viewarticle/572288_4.
- Wikipedia en[dot]wikipedia[dot]org/wiki/Light_therapy#Acne_vulgaris.
- www[dot]skincarephysicians[dot]com/acnenet/article_lasers.html

Author's Bio: 

Allen Anderson is a content writer at TrophySkin.com. Trophy Skin provides BlueMD, one of the best light therapy products for acne treatment. It provides a powerful, safe, effective and affordable blue light therapy which is approved by FDA and the American Academy of Dermatology.