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Light treatment is used for various conditions including jaundice, eczema and acne. Experts noticed that acne often improved after being exposed to sunlight, but continuous exposure to sunlight is dangerous for many reasons. Therefore, they utilize the red light acne treatment to help heal acne outbreaks.
How Red Light Acne Treatment Works
Light that is 660 nm in wavelength is the red light that experts need to treat acne. This light is able to reach inside layers of skin without damaging it, and it kills the bacteria in the pores that cause infections and acne. In addition, the red light stimulates cells under the skin that can help fight off the infections in the pores that cause acne. The process that occurs when using the red light also releases oxygen into the pores, which can help kill or slow the growth of the bacteria present.
Because the red light triggers the growth of new cells under the skin, it can help improve the overall appearance of the skin. This can aid in reducing the appearance of mild acne scars, and improve the clarity and youthfulness of the skin. Typically, individuals will need a series of red light acne treatment rather than just one treatment. Most will take up to 10 treatments and will start to notice results in as little as two weeks. Treatments are usually given every few weeks.
Cost of Red Light Treatment
While the cost of this type of acne treatment will depend upon the number of treatments, the doctor you visit and your location, the average is anywhere from $60 to $200 a session. Because these types of treatments are still being studied, most insurance companies will not pay for the treatment. However, because of the effectiveness, many people feel it is worth the cost.
Studies of Red Light Therapy for Acne
One study published in the 2007 issue of Dermatologic Surgery studied a group of 28 patients who suffered from mild to moderate acne. Each of these patients was treated with red light therapy, but only on one half of the face for 15 minutes twice a day over the course of eight weeks. At the end of the study, doctors found that the side of the face which had been treated with red light therapy experienced a lower instance of pimples and acne than the side of the face which was not treated.
Combination of Treatments and Side Effects
Red light therapy is most often used in combination with other treatments, such as topical types of acne treatment. This seems to be the most effective method, and most doctors do provide a cream that helps with side effects of the red light treatment. Side effects often include a mild redness and tingling on the area of the skin the red light was used on. This disappears quickly and leaves no lasting effects.
Red light treatment can be a very beneficial treatment that fights acne and scarring. It is important to speak with a physician before seeking this type of treatment to ensure that you are healthy enough and that it will not interact with any treatments you are currently taking.