Over the past few years, there has been significant buzz about two new smartphone apps that claimed to treat acne through the phone. The concept was patterned after Red and Blue LED Light devices; the apps claimed that the light emitted from the phone could provide similar results to Blue and Red LED light therapy. After investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, it was determined that these apps did not help reduce acne. The FTC ordered the apps to stop marketing to consumers as effective acne treatments.
Dr. Schweiger explains that, “There are absolutely options for at-home Red and Blue LED light therapy, but the answer is not in your iPhone. I recommend the Tria Skin Perfecting Blue Light for our acne patients to use at home. Five minutes of Tria Blue Light treatment every day can have a significant antibacterial effect on p. acnes bacteria.”
Red and Blue LED light therapy is also available as an in-office acne treatment. Red light provides an anti-inflammatory effect, while improving the appearance of the skin, and Blue light fights the p. acnes bacteria that leads to acne. There is no downtime after Red and Blue LED light therapy.
Blue LED light is often used to activate a medication called Levulan, during a treatment called Photodynamic Therapy. Levulan is applied to the skin’s surface for a set amount of time; Blue light is then placed over the skin to activite the Levulan. The result is a decrease in sebum production and a reduction in p. acnes bacteria that causes acne.