Blue Light Therapy for Cystic Acne

blue light therapy for acneLast Updated: Jan 28, 2015 | By Bridget Coila
Acne occurs when oily secretions, also known as sebum, and dead skin cells, accumulate in the hair follicles and pores of the skin. Bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) can infect the clogged pore, feed on the sebum and cause inflammation. If a hard, painful cyst forms from the debris and bacteria that feed on it, this acne is called cystic acne.

Treatment

Cost

The cost can range between $40 and $200 per session to over $1,000 for a full series of in-office treatments that also include ALA application before the light therapy treatment. A handheld home unit can cost from $300 to $400.

Advantages

Blue light therapy for cystic acne is convenient and quick, since it can be scheduled in a

doctor's office or done on a set schedule at home. It also tends to be gentle on the skin, which can be especially important for people with sensitive skin who react poorly to harsh topical acne treatments.

Disadvantages

Because the bacteria that cause cystic acne multiply quickly, multiple treatments are usually needed. The cost can be another disadvantage, since creams, antibiotics and other methods of treating acne tend to be less expensive than blue light therapy.

Considerations

Potential side effects are mild, but include temporary redness and dryness of the treated skin. However, because blue light therapy to treat cystic acne is a relatively new process, there may be potential side effects that are still undiscovered. Also, blue light therapy treatment can only help with acne that is cased by bacterial infection. Other types of acne will not be affected by using this type of treatment.

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