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Light treatment
Dec 31, 2003
There was a thread about home light treatment for acne a couple of days ago and it's disappeared... But that's beside the point.

Has anyone tried treating their acne with blue light treatment and speeding up the healing process with red light treatment?

This is the bumf I've found on a web site that sells a "light therapy system" (basically 4 specialised mini strip lights - two blue, two red - that you point at your face for 15 minutes per daily session):

[I]The bacterium that seems to cause acne is called Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes) and is present everybody’s skin, usually lodged in the hair root. This particular bacterium is what is called an anaerobic bacterium. That means that it can only live when there is a minimum amount of oxygen about.

Most treatments for acne, whether they be creams or tablets, work by killing the bacterium. This results in suppression of the inflammation and clears up the typical spots of acne.

P.acnes is, however, very unusual in that it naturally uses a chemical called porphyrin to help it ‘breathe’. Porphyrins, if they are exposed to certain wavelengths of light, will become excited and produce oxygen that will eventually lead to the death of this bacterium. The wavelengths of light that are important in this process are found in part of the blue spectrum. Research over a number of years has shown that wavelengths of light in part of the red spectrum influence the healing of tissues.[/I]

Now, I'm a gullible person. Especially when it comes to acne. If somebody blinds me with science (even in such basic terminology) I get all excited and start imagining clear skin. According to this site, noticably clearer skin is a acheivable through light treatment in 8 weeks with no side effects (including skin ageing and cancer risks). Sounds too good to be true, as usual.

What's everybody's opinion? Has anyone tried something similar in the home or elsewhere? Thanks for reading ;)
I am 25 and I have mild to moderate acne. broke out after my summer vacation! Strangely i never had acne problems before, except a couple of pimples every few months. I have done 2 light treatments which are called photodynamic therapy. The procedure was very simple. It started with a light microdermabrasion and then a drug called Levulan was applied on my face to absorb for 60 min (The first time was 30 min). After that blue light (BLU-U) was used to activate the Levulan for about 8 mins. This basically decreased the P.Acne bacteria and shrink the sebaceous gland. My face was all red for about 2 full days after the treatment. I noticed significant improvement after my 2nd treament (less oily and active pimples gone and red marks peeling off). My face was basically clear for 3 weeks after that but then oillyness and pimples came back. So I have concluded that PDT or light treatment is not a long term solution, but not useless. (My doc said 3 treatments were necessary but each treatment was expensive) At that time, I was also using Tazorac cream 0.05% cream but stopped after the 2nd treatment.

Now I am using Tazorac 0.1% cream (for a few days) and have noticed some improvement already. I hope this is going to be a long term solution for me. Sorry for the long post. Good luck to you all!

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