Acne is the most common skin condition, and it affects about 80 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30. While not a serious health threat, acne can cause scarring. Fortunately, broad-spectrum light can be used for acne treatment.
What Causes Acne?
The skin’s pores are connected to oil glands that produce a substance called sebum. Hair follicles connect the sebaceous glands to the pores, and they serve as a canal that transports oil and dead skin cells to the surface.
In acne, the skin cells, sebum and hair clump together and form a plug that blocks the follicle. Bacteria multiply and cause swelling. As the plug starts to break down, a pimple develops. In some cases, the swelling gets so severe that the follicle’s wall breaks down, and the sebum leaks into neighboring tissues, causing inflammatory acne.
Current research indicates that some people are more sensitive than others to an increased amount of sebum and/or the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes. The bacteria do occur in healthy hair follicles, but if too many gather in a clogged follicle, they can secrete enzymes that break down sebum and cause inflammation. A person that is unusually sensitive to Propionibacterium acnes will develop acne.
What is Broad-Spectrum Light Therapy?
Light therapy or phototherapy is the use of light to treat certain conditions. Full spectrum describes light bulbs that are designed to mimic sunlight and thus include ultraviolet, infrared and visible light. A broad-spectrum light consists only of infrared and visible light, and is an effective acne treatment.
How Does Broad-Spectrum Light Help People with Acne?
Broad-spectrum light therapy can do two things for people with acne: It can lower the bacteria population, and it can decrease the oil production in the sebaceous glands and thereby reduce inflammation. The medical professional will use blue light to kill the bacteria and red light to dry out the sebaceous glands. The red light can also promote healing of the acne.
What Does the Acne Treatment Involve?
The patient will be given protective eyewear. In some cases, the doctor will apply an ointment to the treatment site to make it more responsive to the light. The treatments typically take about 10 minutes each. Most patients will need biweekly or daily sessions to get the desired results. It should be noted that broad-spectrum light therapy works best on patients with inflammatory acne.
Learn More About Acne Treatment
Located in Wilmington, Head to Toe Med Spa offers broad-spectrum light treatments as a safe and effective way for patients to address their acne. You don’t have to live with your unsightly condition any longer. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more.