Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acne Treatments With Light

Acne Treatments With Light

Acne causes embarrassing blemishes and may leave scars that affect the appearance of the skin. When other therapies fail to treat acne effectively, acne treatments with light can eliminate acne-causing bacteria and treat the scars caused by acne blemishes. Discuss your options with a dermatologist to determine which therapy will treat your acne successfully with the fewest risks and side effects.

Intense Pulsed Light

Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy, also known as flashlamp therapy, treats mild to moderate acne with light energy. During the procedure, a technician applies cold gel to the target area and positions the flashlamp on the surface of the skin. This device delivers pulses of light to the skin. IPL sessions last approximately 20 minutes, according to the New Zealand Dermatological Society. Treatment continues for three to six weeks or until desired results have been achieved. Side effects of flashlamp therapy include pain, bruising, blistering, pink skin and hair loss at the treatment site.

LHE Therapy

LHE therapy combines heat with light to treat acne. The University of Chicago Medical Center reports that this therapy may destroy the bacteria that cause acne. LHE therapy may also shrink the oil glands of the skin, resulting in fewer acne breakouts. One FDA-approved system uses green light waves with heat to treat mild to moderate acne. In a study published in the June 2004 issue of the "Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy," 19 participants received LHE therapy twice each week. After one month of treatment, they experienced significant improvement in their lesions.

Blue-Light Therapy

Blue-light therapy treats acne without the use of ultraviolet radiation, which reduces skin damage. This treatment kills the bacteria that cause acne, and has fewer side effects than other light therapies. Robin McClain, an advanced registered nurse practitioner from the University of South Florida, reports that this light therapy treatment is best for cases of acne vulgaris. This therapy takes place during eight sessions over a four-week period. Side effects of blue-light therapy include swelling, dry skin and temporary changes in skin pigmentation.

IPL with Medication

ALA is a light-activated medication used with intense pulsed light. This therapy treats acne and sun damage. One to three hours before this procedure, a technician applies the ALA to the skin. Numbing cream desensitizes skin to reduce pain and stinging during the treatment. The technician applies this cream 45 to 90 minutes before the IPL treatment, according to the Baylor College of Medicine. The procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes, and most people recover within one day. Side effects of intense pulsed light with ALA include redness and some bruising.

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