Light therapy ‘best for acne’ reports BBC

light therapy for acneA blue and red light mixture seems to be most effective treatment for acne – reducing the number of spots by three-quarters, says research reported by the BBC.

As many as one in 20 adults have persistent acne, which can prove stubbornly resistant to both over-the-counter creams and washes, and antibiotics.

Some acne does clear up significantly when exposed to UV light, but this is unsuitable as a long-term remedy because of the increased risk of skin cancer.

The new treatment, tested by doctors at Hammersmith Hospital in London, uses light, but removes the potentially damaging UV and this was found to be very effective and doesn’t harm the skin.

The bacteria that causes acne is called  P. acnes and can be killed by visible blue light. This is because P. acnes produces a tiny, light-reactive molecule called porphyrin and this absorbs the blue light and converts it to heat energy. This activity destroys the bacteria.

Lumie Clear has a blue and a red light at the same wavelengths as specified in the research. The blue light kills P. acnes and the red light helps to calm and heal the skin as it clears from spots.

Continued use of combined blue and red light can stop P. acnes growing and prevent new spots developing; improving the appearance of the skin.

At the end of a 12 week period, patients in the trial showed on average a 76% decrease in the number of visible spots on the area treated. The BBC, in the interests of balance,  also asked another ‘expert’ to comment on the peer reviewed research. He said that the improvement seen by all patients was a ‘placebo’ effect if this was true why didn’t all the treatments tested in the trial, which included white light, offer a similar improvement?

The research was reported in the British Journal of Dermatology.