Light Therapy for Acne


Patients suffering from acne often visit Herndon Dermatology seeking a solution for the breakouts and blemishes caused by acne. Although prescription creams and antibiotics are available to target the various causes of acne, Dr. Dang-Vu and her team offer light therapy as a popular alternative for best acne treatment.

Blue light is one of the most commonly used wavelengths, but red light has also proven to be effective. Light therapy using blue LEDs is believed to destroy the bacteria that leads to acne. Red LEDs alternating with blue LEDs helps to reduce inflammation and redness of acne lesions. For moderate to severe acne, Photodynamic therapy (PDT), using either blue or red light treatment following an application of a photosensitizing agent, typically 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), can shrink the oil glands affecting the cause of acne. It can also kill the bacteria and improve the skin’s overall texture. Before the treatment, Dr. Dang-Vu may apply a medication to make the targeted area more sensitive to light.

The patient sits under the light for approximately 15 minutes. Some swelling and temporary reddening immediately following PDT may occur, and is typically gone in two to three days. Patients must avoid exposure to the sun for 48 hours following the treatment, as well as extreme temperatures, including wind and hot water. This treatment is most effective when done in a series for optimal results, which can be discussed with Dr. Dang-Vu during your initial consultation.

Light Therapy Benefits:

  • Treats moderate to severe acne and sebaceous hyperplasia
  • Removes precancerous skin lesions
  • Improves skin texture and pigmentation

Photodynamic Light Therapy (PDT) helps to:

  • Shrink the skin’s oil glands
  • Kill the bacteria which causes acne
  • Improve the skin’s overall texture
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