Phototherapy or light therapy has been used for a few applications, mainly as an adjunct therapy for mental health and skin restoration. For instance, blue light, which is emitted by electronic devices, effectively treats skin problems, including acne.
Most skin clinics have blue-light-emitting beauty appliances for mild to moderate acne, and the overall response has been favorable. In fact, some companies have opened a product line for light masks that can be used at home. You can check out here to learn more about such products.
As promising as blue light therapy is, however, it’s not for everyone. While most have reported favorable results, few individuals may experience adverse side effects.
In this article, discover the pros and cons of using blue light therapy to manage acne for your peace of mind.
What To Expect During A Phototherapy Session
Before recommending blue light therapy, your doctor should be able to assess your acne condition. Note that this treatment is effective only for mild to moderate casees. Severe cases may require another type of therapy.
Once your dermatologist has determined that blue light therapy is ideal for you, you’d be asked to visit weekly for your phototherapy treatments. The frequency and length of each session will be monitored and checked by your doctor.
Before the session, you may be asked to take methyl aminolevulinate (MAL) and aminolevulinic acid (ALA) to make your skin more sensitive to light.
You’ll then be asked to sit or lay down, facing a light-emitting diode (LED) panel for 30 minutes. This panel may be emitting blue light, red light, or both. Once you’re finished, the doctor may ask you to avoid sun exposure or tanning beds for a while.
Most acne sufferers have reported significant improvements in their skin using blue light therapy in five weeks. Some patients who used blue light therapy at home for a month have also reduced acne scars.
Pros Of Using Blue Light Therapy For Acne Treatment
Acne develops when dead skin cells, oil, dirt, and bacteria mix and get clogged inside your pores. The bacteria cause these elements inside your pores to swell and turn into acne.
When given in safe doses, blue light can provide a host of benefits to acne sufferers. These include the following:
- Addresses Acne Problems From The Roots
Unlike topical acne creams, phototherapy reaches deep into the skin and addresses acne problems from their roots. It prevents swelling, redness, and inflammation caused by this skin problem. Blue light can also kill and stop the proliferation of acne-causing bacteria on your facial skin.
- Provides Other Skin-Enhancing Benefits
In addition, blue light is said to help reduce the size of oil-producing glands after a few applications, helping prevent different types of acne from developing. Besides seeing improvements on their skin after using blue light therapy, some users have reported that blue light has helped reduce the appearance of acne scars.
- Easy To Use
You can set an appointment with your doctor and have it done in a few minutes. Unlike surgical procedures, phototherapy doesn’t require you to go under the knife to improve your skin. Using blue light is a preferred treatment among patients who don’t want to experience downtime after doctor’s visits. Some beauty companies have created their own red and blue light-emitting aesthetic devices that you can use at home.
Cons Of Using Blue Light Therapy For Acne Treatment
Before embarking on blue light therapy, it helps to know the different acne triggers and treatments, so you may know how to prevent this skin problem from coming back. Because no matter how promising blue light therapy may be, it could cause adverse effects.
- Causes Photosensitivity
If you’ve taken photosensitizing medications, as mentioned earlier, you’ll be extremely sensitive to light as such brief sun exposure may cause your skin to become painful or burn. Tanning beds will have the same impact.
- May Lead To Skin Inflammation
Before achieving flawless skin, you’d likely have to suffer from the potential side effects of blue light. These often include redness, dryness, swelling, peeling, and skin patching.
- Not Ideal For Those With Certain Health Issues
Because of potentially serious health implications, people who are sensitive to light or have eye problems should avoid using blue light, so are pregnant women, epileptic and cancer patients, individuals taking antibiotics, and those with allergies to photosensitizing medications. Retinol also makes your skin more sensitive to light, and people using this in their skincare routine should avoid phototherapy.
- May Cause Skin Damage
Some have claimed that prolonged use of blue light, especially from electronic devices, can trigger skin damage, including wrinkling, pigmentation, and swelling. However, there’s no solid evidence to support this claim. Regardless, it’s always crucial that you visit your dermatologist before embarking on blue light therapy at home.
Blue light therapy is effective in most users who have mild to moderate acne problems. However, because of its potential adverse effects, it’s crucial to seek advice from a dermatologist to ensure that this type of therapy is suitable for you.