Technological innovations have greatly improved our lives in many ways and acne sufferers are one of the groups seeing a huge benefit in their skin, thanks to these advances. In-office light treatments for acne are among the most-requested procedures at the dermatologist’s office. For best results, it’s recommended to use light treatments as a combination therapy, alongside topical acne medications and sometimes oral acne medications, such as antibiotics or birth control pills.
The top light treatments for acne include variations on blue light therapy, such as photodynamic therapy and Isolaz acne therapy. All of these treatments employ the use of blue light in different ways. When deciding between which in-office acne treatments to ask for at the dermatologist’s office, it’s important to know the differences between these three treatments and what their individual benefits are.
Blue Light Therapy
What it is: Blue light therapy harnesses the therapeutic properties of the blue wavelength in LED lights. This type of light can kill the p. acnes bacteria when it is shined onto the skin. Multiple treatments are generally needed to get the best results.
How it works: Blue light kills the bacterial, while red light therapy is shown to help reduce inflammation and build new collagen. A blue light therapy session is painless. You will sit for approximately 15 minutes with the light shining on your face and your eyes will be protected.
Who should get it: If you are looking for a way to step up your acne regimen, adding a blue light therapy add-on is a great idea. It’s also a great alternative for those who do not want to take a systemic approach to treating acne (ie with oral antibiotics).
Isolaz Acne Therapy
What it is: Isolaz delivers a one-two punch to acne. Isolaz uses two different mechanisms to kill active acne and prevent new pimples from forming.
How it works: Isolaz is an innovative piece of machinery that is able to deeply clean the pores with a vacuum-like technology that removes cellular debris and other acne-causing matter that gets trapped in the pores. After the deep pore-cleaning is completed, a therapeutic blue light is shined on the skin to kill any acne-causing bacteria. The pores are much more susceptible to the light after they have received their deep clean.
Who should get it: The clinical studies of the Isolaz are promising, they show a drying and flattening of active acne lesions within 24-48 hours after the treatment. Making this a great procedure for acne sufferers that need to clear their skin prior to a big event. Patients who undergo Isolaz also enjoy decreased overall oil production after just the first treatment as well as fewer breakouts in general. Isolaz is a wonderful option for those with stubborn acne who have not seen any skin improvement after other acne-clearing methods. Isolaz acne therapy has been shown to give those who are non-responsive to other acne treatments a 75% decrease in acne breakouts in just two months.
What it is: As one of the most effective acne treatments for acne, photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a non-invasive therapy that utilizes light treatments in combination with the application of a photosensitizing agent, typically a medicine called Levulan® (5-aminolevulinic acid), to reduce acne breakouts and clear the complexion.
How it works: The way Photodynamic Acne Therapy works is that it shrinks the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands) that contribute to acne formation, which greatly reduces the amount of oil within the pores, thereby reducing comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). Second, Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) kills the bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) that live on facial skin and cause acne breakouts. In addition, PDT improves the skin’s overall texture, and may speed the resolution of acne-induced discoloration (red or dark spots that remain after the pimples have resolved).
Who should get it: Photodynamic therapy is a great treatment option for those who do not want to begin taking antibiotics or Accutane. Photodynamic Acne Therapy was originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration for the treatment of skin pre-cancers, but it has also been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for acne.