FDA (The Food and Drug Administration: FDA or USFDA) approved the use of blue light wavelength of 400-455 nm in the acne treatment. This therapy does not use ultraviolet light or laser. The effect of blue light destroys the root of Propionibacterium acne and its inflammatory process.
Many clinical studies of renowned institutes have shown improvements up to 80% (Light Therapy in the Treatment of Acne vulgaris. Dermatol Surg 30: 139-146, 2004; Dr. C. Borelli, Münchener Universitätsklinik, Bericht im Hautarzt 11, S.1027-1032, 2005).
Blue light therapy uses the feature of Porphyrin produced by bacteria to absorb the blue light. Radiation of a probe or a lamp during the treatment results in the skin surface being covered in oxygen radicals destroying the bacteria that causes inflammatory acne.
Even if bacteria are not the direct culprit of acne, they certainly exist in skin pores, and so they are a potential source of creating new ones.
The treatments are quick and simple. Patients sit or lie during the treatment with a light source near their face for maximal of 15-20min per treatment.
Patients neither feel pain nor discomfort during the treatment, so afterwards they can continue with their usual activities.
When applied in these time frames, treatments are usually repeated weekly until achieving optimal results depending on the severity of acne.
Risks and Benefits of Blue Light Therapy
Blue light therapy is a non-invasive and safe method to target sebaceous glands and not the surrounding tissue.
Most patients notice changes very soon, although it should be noticed that the treatment requires persistence and patience. Important is that the results are usually permanent and each new treatment only contributes to skin improvement.
Blue light acne treatment is carried out by special devices that emit light through special LED lamps wavelength of 400-455 nm, which is on the border of visible light, and just under UV radiation.
Blue light therapy can be an excellent addition to hormone therapy in cases of severe forms of acne and inflammation.
The biggest advantage of light therapy is that it is completely safe for the skin; no chemical substances or materials are used, so there are no side effects.
British Journal of Dermatology published a study on light therapy conducted in the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London involving 100 patients with mild and medium forms of acne.
Patients are divided in 4 groups and treated with the following therapies:
Group 1 - blue light
Group 2 - mixed blue + red light
Group 3 - cold white light
Group 4 - 5% ointment with Benzoyl Peroxide
Groups treated with light would be given one-time therapy for 15min a day. The study has shown that the therapy over 12 weeks showed improvements in 76% of cases in groups 1 and 2. The results of other groups were significantly lower. 5% Benzoyl peroxide therapy showed that it can cause unpleasant dryness and itching.