Acne problems plague countless people all over the world. Age, gender and social status are no barriers to a problem that causes concern and heartache for so many people. More recent developments in procedural cures have seen an upsurge in the popularity of alternative methods in treatment. One such alternative which is highly effective and workable is blue light therapy.

In this therapy, also known as blue photodynamic therapy, affected areas of the face are exposed to blue light from a special source (a lamp with the appropriate filament/filter), without the use of creams, drugs or any additional procedures. Since ancient times, the sun has been a cure for acne problems, and now scientists have identified the part of visible spectrum called blue light to the major factor in this.

How this treatment works

Porphyrins are a substance that occurs naturally in the human body, and results from the breakdown of hemoglobin in red blood cells. The bacteria in acne releases this substance and when it is exposed to light of certain wavelengths, there is damage produced from the combination which destroyers the acne bacteria, the Propionobacterium acnes (or P. acnes bacteria). The affected area of the skin is exposed to high intensity blue colored light of a wavelength range of 405-420 nm in order to do this, and is sometimes done after the application of a photosensitizing agent.

The patient is exposed to a blue light lamp for 15 to 20 minutes, usually bi-weekly for a period of four to six weeks. Often, after blue light treatment, red light is also applied as it is seen to activate ATP in skin cells and improve treatment response. The blue colored light also does not cause tanning or skin burn.


The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) classifies laser and light therapies as procedure-oriented treatment and considers it as a legal and safe procedure which is effective in treating acne. FDA approved narrow-band, high-intensity blue-light therapy for this purpose.

The effectiveness of a particular treatment may vary with person to person, and the intensity of the problem may require a custom schedule for the blue light treatment, with or without the use of photosensitizes, with varying intensities of the light and a period of treatment that may vary from one to six weeks. However, the effectiveness has been proven through testing and many people now employ the treatment, with dermatologists all over the world conducting regular treatment sessions with blue light lamps. On average, the light treatment produces 75%-80% results over the course of a three month period. In another test, the treatment caused the eradication of all bacteria in the pores of the skin where the rays of light were applied. Particularly, the treatment when conducted using high intensity, narrow band 405-420 nm light has proven to be a much faster and more efficient and even affordable to a great extent as blue light boxes can be used at home over the course of a longer term if required without adding to medical bills.

There are no noticeable side effects in most cases and where present, these are generally minor reactions. These may include temporary changes in the pigmentation (color) of the skin with some swelling and dryness in the treated area possible as well.

Now being widely advertised throughout the world, this is probably the best-known alternative therapy for acne treatment today.

Author's Bio: 

Allen Anderson is a content writer at 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.