Today’s post will be featuring the latest acne treatment options that can help reduce breakouts STAT! Who has time for a stubborn pimple anyway? From a work event to a first date I can get rid of that blemish ASAP!
Acne light therapy treatment AKA “red/blue light” is used in my practice to speed up the acne treatment process. There is barely any down time and it’s virtually painless! I will take you step by step through what this treatment is, why we use it, and how it can benefit your skin!
Red/Blue light is a LED therapy that benefits patients who have acne prone skin (think: oily skin, inflamed pimples, etc.) The treatment is broken down into two – 15 minute sessions. The first 15 minutes is a blue light that helps kill the Propionibacterium acnes, (P. acnes) bacteria found in our oil glands that cause pimples. The last 15 minutes is a bright red light (infrared) that minimally heats the skin, decreases the size of our oil glands, and eliminates inflammation (bye bye redness!) For best results the treatment should be performed at least twice a week. This acne light therapy is safe to use with any topical or oral acne treatment regimen. In fact, I even recommend this to my isotretinoin (accutane) patients! I love this treatment because it can be done during a lunch break or before/after school.
Prior to starting the area being treated is cleansed with alcohol. The patient is then given goggles to wear during the half hour procedure for eye protection. The LED panel is then placed approximately 1-2 centimeters over the body treatment area (such as face, back and chest.) The settings are set and the patient is ready to go! So easy, right?
We can also use the blue light by itself for a procedure called Photodynatic Therapy. PDT is used with a medication called levulan ( 5-aminolevulinic Acid.) This is a very effective treatment for patients who have moderate to severe acne. Typically patients will need a series of treatments for optimal results.
First, the area is cleansed with acetone at least 2 times to remove any dirt or oils. Next, the photosensitive agent levulan is applied to the area affected with acne for an incubation period. The incubation period ranges from as little as 15 minutes to as long as 45 minutes depending on skin type and number of treatment sessions. After the incubation period patients are given goggles to wear, and are then placed under the blue light for 15 minutes. Post procedure it is VERY important to stay out of the sun for at least three days. It is also important to wear SPF (I love EltaMD UV Clear) stop all topical acne treatments, and wash your skin with gentle cleansers twice a day. Patients should expect redness, dryness, and peeling of the skin post procedure.
Companies such as Neutrogena have come out with #athome light therapy treatments. The question is always asked – what’s the difference? Naturally in-office treatments have stronger LED capabilities and depth. What’s the cost of #redbluelight treatment you might ask? It will vary from office to office as it is not covered by insurance. In my Smithtown office I charge my patients $150.00 per session.
If you are someone who has a lot of redness on the face, cysts that are painful and won’t go away or even just one or two white heads THIS TREATMENT IS FOR YOU!
Wishing all of my #dermdivas a great Monday!
PS. Acne light therapy is in People Magazine ! Take a look at this article that features Dr. Schweiger!