Red Light Therapy for Acne

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When it comes to acne treatment, there are a number of different methods that you can use to try and keep the skin clear. These include diet, cleansers, medications, surgeries and now light therapies. Light therapy began as a treatment when someone noticed that people who got a lot of sun tended to have clearer skin than those who were inside most of the time. Studies were done on this, and light therapy for acne was created.

Two Light Wavelenghths for Acne Treatment
As the effectiveness of light on acne was studied in depth, two color wavelengths were isolated as the main contribution to acne reduction. The blue light was linked to killing bacteria. The red light stimulates hemoglobin in cells, bringing more blood to areas that are swollen and infected. Red light can also close off the sebaceous glands that produce oil, lowering the likelihood that you will get new pimples.

How Red Light Therapy Works
Currently, there are a number of red light devices that can be bought and used at home. Most devices recommend twice daily treatment to be most effective. The light is turned on and passed over the face or other body area with acne briefly. Some variation may exist from device to device, which is why it is important to always read the instructions that come with any red light wand that you buy. As you continue to use the wand, the blood vessels in your skin will strengthen, and allow infections to be fought more quickly and efficiently. Oil production will drop, which will make it less likely to bring new pimples.

With everything, there are pros and cons to use. Red light therapy may not be effective for everyone with breakouts, particularly those with severe cystic acne. Also, as the sebaceous glands are reduced, there is an increased risk of dry skin. This may lead to flaky skin, chafing, and premature wrinkles over time. However, the same red light waves have been shown to prevent and reduce wrinkles in other studies. If you use the light wand often enough, it can also increase the risk of sunburn if you go out without sun protection. It is also possible to burn the skin on your face if you hold the light wand too still or long on one part of your skin.

Most people who use the light treatment correctly are happy with the results. This is especially true if they purchase a wand that allows you to alternate between blue and red wavelengths so that all of the advantages of the light spectrums can be used by the skin. If you are trying to reach areas like the back, there may be some difficulty finding reliable help.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "Red Light Therapy for Acne," in, March 25, 2016, (accessed August 10, 2022).