Dealing with acne can be not only embarrassing, but time consuming and confusing. With the wide array of acne products and treatments available, the options can be overwhelming. Add to this the fact that acne may occur at any time and for a number of reasons and the situation becomes even more complex. Thankfully, a simple treatment regimen capitalizing on the bacteria-killing properties of a narrow band of blue in the visible light spectrum may simplify matters for those with mild to moderate acne.
What is is blue light, or LED, therapy for acne?
Blue light, or LED, therapy for acne is a phototherapy treatment using a specific frequency of blue light from the visible light spectrum and applying it to the skin to treat, reduce, and prevent acne outbreaks. Clinical studies have shown not only that LED therapy may treat current outbreaks but that in many patients it prevents new outbreaks from occurring. Statistically, blue light therapy for acne has a success rate of more than 80 percent, which is significantly higher than most over-the-counter acne products available today.
How LED, or blue light, therapy works
LED therapy is used to treat acne either as a primary treatment or in conjunction with other options, including topical skin care and pharmaceutical treatments. During LED treatment, the patient sits in front of the blue light system for approximately 16 minutes, typically on a weekly cycle. It’s virtually as simple as that. The blue light does its work while you rest and relax in front of the system. The exact duration of treatments, as well as the frequency and total number of treatments needed will vary from patient to patient depending on the severity of the acne.
Benefits of LED therapy for acne
Among the primary benefits of LED therapy for acne is that it is clinically proven to be effective for more than 80 percent of all patients. In addition, blue light therapy is gentle with virtually no discomfort, and most patients experience no side effects. LED therapy is chemical-free, doesn’t require a prescription, and doesn’t require mastering a complex multi-step treatment plan. It is gentle on the skin and affects only the targeted acne and bacteria, leaving the surrounding skin and underlying tissues intact and unharmed.
Defining mild to moderate acne
When talking about skin care and acne, clinicians often rate acne as mild, moderate, or severe. However, what these terms mean may not be entirely clear to patients.
Mild acne: Mild acne is defined as primarily inflamed, red pimples, fewer than 20 white or blackheads, or fewer than 15 red pimples, or a total of less than 30 pimples of any kind.
Moderate acne: Moderate acne involves numerous inflamed, red pimples as well as pustules, or lesions with visible pus beneath the skin or 20 to 100 whiteheads or blackheads or 15 to 60 red, inflamed pimples, or 30 to 125 total pimples of any kind.
Severe acne: Severe acne involves significantly more lesions or pimples than mild or moderate acne, and may also include other related skin irritations adding to the severity of the acne.