Light therapy attempts to help prevent papules and pustules, those everyday “zits” that many people get that are inflamed and red. Smaller acne lesions such as non-inflamed blackheads and whiteheads, as well as severe acne lesions such as cysts and nodules tend to respond more poorly.
How does it work?
Light therapy, usually administered with at-home devices is normally performed twice per day, and uses blue and sometimes blue + red light. When blue light reaches the sebaceous (oil) glands in the skin, it can help excite porphyrins, which are compounds inside acne bacteria. When activated by light, these porphyrins convert to singlet oxygen and kill the bacteria from the inside out.
When will I see results?
Immediately you see the oil and bacteria being suctioned from the follicle resulting in clearer appearance of the skin. The redness and size of the lesion will start to subside the next day and continue to heal at a faster rate than normal.
Are there any contraindications?
You should not have acne light therapy if you have used Accutane in the last year, are on blood thinners, used Retin-A in the last 48 hours, or recently waxed.
Are there any side effects?
No, there are no side effects.
What does the treatment feel like?
Acne light therapy is very comfortable. You will feel a gentle and warm sensation as your skin is drawn into the treatment tip. A very gentle light energy will be applied to the treatment area, immediately after which you will feel you skin being gently released back into normal position. Patients describe the sensation as being similar to that of a warm massage.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments varies by severity of the acne. Most patients need 4-8 treatments at weekly intervals.