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Acne Light Treatment - Light Therapy In Treating Acne

Apr 1, 2008
Many adults suffer from recurring acne. Oftentimes, their acne is too stubbornly persistent that creams, washes, or antibiotics that can be bought over the counter no longer work on them.

It was long believed that the ultraviolet (UV) lights of the sun can help improve problematic acne condition. This is true mainly because of the antibacterial benefits from the ultraviolet light spectrum. However, sunlight has been proven to have long-term and much serious skin damage effect, making it unsafe as an acne treatment.

But thanks to advance medical technology that we have today, many treatments are now available to reduce, if not totally cure acne. One of the effective treatments is the use of light therapy.

Acne Light Therapy

Light therapy has been technically and scientifically proven to minimize the extent and severity of acne condition, by destroying the bacteria responsible for acne infections.

Phototherapy or light therapy involves exposure to light with specific wavelengths, by using the following:

1. Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
2. Lasers
3. Very bright or Dichroic bulbs
4. Light with full spectrum
5. Fluorescent lamps

It was discovered that a number of the violet (or blue) light visible from the sunlight, within a range of 405 to 420 nanometers, activates the Coproporphyrin III found in the acne-causing bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes. The porphyrin destroys and kills the culprit bacteria as it releases singlet oxygen. An amount of 320 Joules per square centimeter of light in the 405-420 nm range prevents the survival and viability of the bacteria. This portion of the light spectrum, which is outside the sun's ultraviolet spectrum, produces minimal sunburn or tanning.

Safety of Acne Light Therapy

Application of this blue light for three successive days was proven to reduce the surface skin bacteria by about 99.9%. The artificial light is typically created by using bright LEDs, Dichroic bulbs, or fluorescent lamps. The treatment can be safely used by most acne sufferers, with the exception of those who also suffer from Porphyria. Eye protection, by using eye shields, is crucial because the retina has chemicals that are sensitive to light.

For best outcome, the blue light treatment goes together with the red light application, which activates the very essential energy-transporter, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), in the cells of the skin. This combination of blue and red light reduces the number of acne spots by approximately 75%.

Phototherapy using a combination of red and blue light has been proven to be very effective in acne treatment, possibly because of its combined anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action. Also, this acne treatment has shown no significant adverse effects.

At home, another form of Phototherapy is used by individuals who have long-term acne condition. They use light boxes as it is generally effective and convenient for them. Such light boxes produce both red and blue light wavelengths and may be used for about 15 minutes every day. It is also way cheaper compared to the light treatments that professional dermatologists use. Phototherapy, as one of the best and effective acne treatments, does not solely cure the symptoms, but the bacterial cause as well.

(note: This article is extracted from http://www.acne-shop.com/acne_treatment5.html. Author is the webmaster of www.acne-shop.com. Please let us know if you need further clarification. Thanks!)
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