UVB light therapy uses light in the blue wavelength range to kill the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes, on the skin. Phototherapy for acne, also called light therapy for acne, is a well-known and respected treatment for mild to severe acne anywhere on the body.
Light treatment for acne is just one of many available remedies, but you may find it works when other treatments have failed to provide acceptable results. LED light therapy for acne can be especially effective in cases where other treatments have not led to successful outcomes. In this post, learn how phototherapy for acne works, the different kinds of uv light for acne, what to expect during and after a light therapy treatment and more.
How Does Light Therapy Work for Acne?
Phototherapy, or light therapy, uses special bands of ultraviolet (UV) light to target skin bacteria. While much has been written about the harmful impact of sustained exposure to ultraviolet light, not as much has been shared about the very beneficial impact uv light therapy can have for problem skin.
This is because ultraviolet light is still the best purifier on the planet! Ultraviolet light works to literally change the chemical composition of toxins so they are unable to replicate and do damage.
How does this apply to your acne, you might be wondering?
When used in focused treatment to target specific problem areas on the skin, uv light therapy can target the bacteria that clogs your pores and causes breakouts. When the uv light contacts the bacteria, the light changes the bacteria’s structure and neutralizes its harmful impact.
Using focused, time-limited light treatments for acne can also help to actually shrink the oil-producing glands beneath your skin. When these glands shrink, they produce less oil and your pores are less prone to becoming clogged.
What Type of UV Light for Acne Is Used?
There are two main light bands used to treat acne: blue light and red light. Each light band has different beneficial properties to help clear up your skin.
Blue light for acne.
Blue light for acne is often used because the blue UV light band is easily able to penetrate the individual hair follicles on the skin.
So it can work to neutralize toxins and bacteria that are at work both on top of the skin and below the skin’s surface that would otherwise eventually clog your pores and give rise to acne.
Red light for acne.
Red light for acne is often recommended when your skin has become inflamed due to the persistent presence of acne.
Red light has known anti-aging properties because it will tell your skin to make more collagen. Collagen, of course, is the skin-plumping protein that can turn back the clock and make your skin look and feel younger and healthier.
You can use both blue light and red light to treat acne, or choose one or the other that seems to be the best fit for the type of skin problems you are experiencing.
However, it can be beneficial to use both blue light and red light because they target skin problems in different ways and the red light can help build your skin back up after it is detoxified.
How to Get Started With Light Therapy for Acne
Phototherapy for acne can be done either at a doctor’s office or dermatology clinic or it can be done at home as needed. Home phototherapy lamps that emit blue light and red light have been shown to be quite effective at keeping acne breakouts from occurring.
UVB lamps may emit just blue light or just red light or both light spectrums. If you are not sure which treatment is best, it can be smart to choose a UVB lamp that offers both light spectrums.
Home UVB lamps are quite compact and easy to store when not in use. You can use your home UVB lamp anywhere that is convenient for you.
To get the best results from led light therapy for acne, it is important to follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for frequency and duration. Always start with the lowest light setting until you see how your skin reacts.
When used properly, any temporary side effects should be mild and manageable. Temporary side effects can include reddening of the skin, swelling, skin dryness or a change in skin tone. Some people experience slight discomfort during the treatment due to the intensity of the light. Not everyone experiences side effects and those who do typically see them resolve quickly following a treatment.
As always, if you are under a doctor’s care for the management of any skin condition or health issue, it is smart to talk with your doctor before adding anything new to your healthcare regimen. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive, talk with your doctor before trying light therapy for acne.