Acne LED Treatments

Acne LED Treatments At A Glance

  • Best Results2-6 sessions
  • Treatment RecoveryImmediate
  • Procedure Time12 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistNurse, Dermal Therapist
  • Duration of ResultsWeeks to Months
  • AnaestheticPainless
  • Back to WorkImmediately
  • Cost$

Acne LED Treatments

Red & blue light delivered via LED phototherapy can improve acne, breakouts and pimples. This form of acne treatment is a drug-free & natural method of suppressing acne lesions. Treatments are quick, painless & safe and can treat acne in all areas including the face, neck, chest and back.This treatment is best combined with chemical peels.

FactsFacts On LED Phototherapy For Acne

  • Phototherapy uses low level lasers to target acne breakouts
  • Light is a form of natural acne treatment
  • Phototherapy targets acne forming bacteria
  • Light can be delivered with a blue or red laser light source
  • Treatments are quick, painless & cost effective
  • LED therapy can be used to manage acne in pregnancy, breast feeding & patients not wishing to take medication
  • Phototherapy can be combined with chemical peels for best results
  • New lasers such a AviClear give better long term results compared to LEDs

How does Omnilux Blue and Red light phototherapy for acne work?

Blue light can treat acne, however it should be used in caution on darker skin types as it can lead to post exposure pigmentation .

This acne treatment uses intense light in the blue or red spectrum  to destroy acne forming bacteria. Depending on the depth of acne lesions, and medication history, specialists will elected to either use blue light phototherapy or red light phototherapy. Pain free low level laser light is delivered via Light Emitting Diodes to the target area for a prescribed time.

LLED can also speed up healing, reduce skin inflammation & can help remodel early & mild acne scars.

How effective is Omnilux and other phototherapy treatments for acne?

Studies have shown that acne LED treatments (phototherapy) can be effective in up to 76-90% of acne cases. Patients with papular, pustular & cystic lesions respond best. Blackheads & whiteheads can be treated with adjunctive chemical peels.

Ideal candidates for acne phototherapy treatments are patients who-

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding as phototherapy light does not require medications
  • Patients who would like to avoid oral medications
  • Patients who have predominantly pustule like lesions

How safe is Phototherapy?

Red light reduces inflammation, activates chemicals & stimulates collagen.

Acne LED treatments (phototherapy) are one of the safest methods to treat acne. Low-level light treatment using either the blue wavelength or red wavelength targets acne- forming bacteria without the use of irritating creams, chemicals or nasty tablets. Treatments are painless and easy and over in less than 15 minutes.

What are the advantages of phototherapy?

The advantages of acne LED treatments are-

  • Safe. Low Level Laser light is used with all our acne phototherapy systems including Healite, Omnilux, Red Light Actalite, & Blue light BBL.
  • Painless. Low level light systems are painless, as no heat is generated.
  • No side effects such as skin irritation or other side effects from taking antibiotic tablets or Roaccutane
  • No topicals are required, unlike Kleresca. Using LLED as mono therapy will prevent skin discolouration

In fact this treatment is so safe that we recommend red and blue light phototherapy as our preferred method of adjunctive acne treatment in pregnant or breast feeding patients.

What are the disadvantages of phototherapy?

The disadvantages of phototherapy are-

  • This treatment is NOT suitable for scarring acne. Scarring acne or severe acne should be treated by dermatologists using methods that have the highest CURE rate, & not temporarily suppress acne lesions. Even though scars can be revised, prevention of scarring is paramount.
  • Acne phototherapy is only effective for pimples (pustules and papules) and not indicated for blackheads, or cystic severe acne.
  • Blue and Red light phototherapy can provide temporary improvement in acne lesions, and not long term cure. This is because phototherapy targets the bacteria associated with acne and NOT the cause of acne itself. Ideally phototherapy should be combined with topicals including retinol, retinoids, ascorbic acid, AHAs or benzoyl peroxide.

Why are lasers far superior to LEDs in the treatment of acne?

Lasers such as AviClear have a distinct advantage over acne LED treatments- they offer a cure for acne as lasers target the cause of acne, namely the oil gland.

AviClear delivers highly precise laser light that penetrates to the deeper depths of skin. AviClear will be in Australia in 2023. My prediction is that it will make LED treatments obsolete.

Davin’s Viewpoint - Phototherapy for Acne

Phototherapy using different systems (Red & Blue Light) has been performed for the treatment of acne since 1996. Most recent papers have suggested that combination treatments using red and blue light phototherapy has a higher success rate of clearing up acne lesions compared to single wavelengths. The addition of ALA or photodynamic therapy in combination with blue (or red) light has an even higher success rate compared to dual wavelength treatments. This is basically Kleresca without the marketing dollars attached.

The basis behind phototherapy is to target the bacteria and oil glands associated with acne. Red and Blue light by itself can activate chemicals produced by acne forming bacteria, and temporarily decrease their counts. The addition of ALA (a synthetic chemical) can target the oil glands, and decrease BOTH oil gland size and acne bacteria numbers.

What does this mean for the patient who is considering phototherapy for their acne?  Firstly, this treatment should be medically supervised, as it does NOT treat the cause of acne, but can temporarily improve it. In the majority of patients we recommend this as adjunctive treatment-that is in combination with safe, supervised medical treatments. Secondly, this treatment should NOT be used as a sole method of treating scarring acne, improvement is marginal, and at best temporary.

Acne phototherapy is ideal for pregnant patients, breastfeeding mums, and patients who cannot tolerate oral medications. To commence on this treatment, book with our team of nurses, dermal therapists or medical dermatologists.

Disclaimer: I do not manage acne as this is a medical condition. My colleagues at Cutis Dermatology can help you.

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