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Blue light therapy / red light therapy

Blue light and red light therapy are light-based, anti-acne therapies. Simply bask in the glow as your acne-causing bacteria perish.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: June 26, 2012

Pimples, zits - call them what you like, but these pink spots are caused pesky bacteria known as propionibacterium, or P. acnes. These microscopic bacteria live beneath the skin and trigger acne breakouts. The more P. acnes you have, the worse off your skin may be.

Blue and red light therapy are forms of light-based therapy. When the light is combined with a topical medication (ALA), the treatment of photodynamic therapy (PDT) helps kill off P. acnes, reducing both active acne and cutting back on acne recurrences.

What It's Good For

Recommended Uses
Name Description Cost
Acne Blue and red light therapy are noninvasive methods for killing off P. acnes. The UV free lamp emits blue or red light that kills bacteria without injuring the outer layer of your skin. ...more About eight sessions are usually recommended, which can add up to about $800 - $1,600.

Who it works for: Anyone can use light therapy.

Recommended age range: Acne can be treated with light therapy by the age of 13.

When will I see results?: Patience is important with light therapy. Your skin can actually get worse before it improves, and it will be at least a week until any improvements are seen. Skin typically starts to clear after the second session. By session eight, more than 75% of your acne may be gone.

How long it lasts: The American Academy of Dermatology reports that results from light therapy treatment may last three to eight months.

Key benefits of blue light therapy / red light therapy: The UV-free lamps can be used to treat mild to moderate acne. The light used falls beneath the UV spectrum and therefore cannot cause skin damage like sunburns or worse, skin cancer.

Licensed uses: The FDA approved blue light devices in 2002 for acne treatment.

Did you know?: Acne affects up to 70% of adolescents.

Find experts who offer blue light therapy / red light therapy near you