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Acne treatment with Blue Light Therapy?

How does it work on acne? Blue light helps with acne scars?

Doctor Answers 4

Blue light therapy works!

Blue Light Therapy is performed using a blue LED (light emitting diode) Light.  The wavelength of the blue LED works to kill the p.acne bacteria implicated in acne, therefore reducing acne lesions.  

This is a painless and extremely effective procedure.  

I recommend having treatments about 1-2 times a week for 6 treatments.  Some patients may require more treatments depending on the severity of their acne.  

Unfortunately blue light therapy will not help with acne scarring.  One would want to consider chemical peels, microdermabrasion or Mixto laser resurfacing to improve acne scars.   

Blue Light Therapy kills Acne Bacteria

Blue light therapy is a safe, effective option for inflammatory acne (red pimples, pus bumps).  It can be considered a safe, long acting alternative to antibiotics.  The spectrum of light (411nm) used with blue light therapy activates a chemical compound (porphyrins) found in the bacteria associated with acne (p. acnes bacteria).  This chemical activation ultimately results in the death of the bacteria.

Results usually take 6-8 weeks to see their full effect, but results may last for up to 9-10 months.  It is still wise to continue topical therapies during and after Blue Light therapy ot maximize and extend these results.  It is very safe and comfortable treatment.

Jeffrey C. Poole, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Blue Light treatments can help acne

The Blu-U and other Blue Light devices like it help with acne by killing acne bacteria. We use the Blue Light treatments in combination with ALA (amino levulanic acid) for the treatment of severe acne to shrink the sebaceous (oil) glands. This treatment is typically used by our patients as an alternative to Accutane.

Blue Light treatments will not help with acne scars.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

BLU-U light therapy more useful when preceded by Levulan, namely Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

The advantage of BLU-U light therapy is attributed to absolutely no downtime. However, BLU-U as a stand alone therapy is mildly helpful for acne and not at all for acne scarring.

On the other hand, photodynamic therapy (PDT) which is BLU-U, preceded by Levulan (a metabolite of hemoglobin in red blood cells) application can be a very useful adjunct for resistant inflammatory acne vulgaris as there has been documented eradication of bacteria responsible for triggering inflammatory acne as well as reduction of sebum production.

Typically, one may benefit from a series of 4 PDTs, 2-4 weeks apart with increasingly more aggressive protocol involving combination of incubation time (the duration Levulan is left on the skin) and exposure time (the duration in front of the BLU-U light).

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.