Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Blue Light Acne Treatment

Blue Light Acne Treatment Blue Light Acne Treatment Blue Light Acne Treatment

Overview

Most teenagers suffer from pimples. Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting 40 to 50 million people each year, mostly teens, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Although most sufferers rely on mainstay acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics to fight their blemishes, the AAD says some acne cases are resistant to those treatments. Blue light acne treatments can fight those stubborn acne cases.

Acne Causes

There's no one single cause of acne. The skin disorder results from a combination of factors. First, the skin's sebaceous glands, which produce the lubricating oil sebum, begin to make too much sebum. Then, dead skin cells combine with this excess sebum to form a pasty white substance that can block pores and irritate hair follicles. Finally, the overly oily skin provides the perfect environment for the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, which causes acne-related infection.

Function

Blue light acne treatments only fight P. acnes bacteria; the treatments do not calm overactive sebaceous glands or clear pores. Dermatologists generally recommend the treatments for acne that has not responded to other treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide-containing topical medications. The treatments appeal to acne patients who have tired of daily skin care regimens involving messy topical lotions, and to patients who don't want to take oral medications for their acne.

What to Expect

Dermatologists generally recommend a series of eight blue light acne treatments over one to two months. The treatments take 15 to 20 minutes each, with patients merely sitting in front of blue light emitted at a specific spectrum for that period of time. Common side effects include mild swelling, skin reddening and dryness, and generally subside within a day or so. It can take up to two months after the treatment series ends before patients see full results.

Effects

Studies show that many patients see significant improvement in their acne following blue light acne treatments, although the therapy does not help everyone. For example, in one study that was reported in the "Journal of Cosmetic Laser Therapy" in 2006, 45 patients received two treatments per week for four to eight weeks. Half the patients said they were highly satisfied with the results, and nine patients had completely clear skin at eight weeks.

Considerations

The AAD says that blue light acne treatment generally provides about 55 percent clearing of acne lesions. The therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is one of the best-known light therapy treatments for acne. However, since blue light acne treatment won't help everyone, the AAD recommends that any acne patients considering the treatments consult with a board-certified dermatologist to determine if the treatment will work in their case.

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