Acne treatment UK: Does light therapy really work?


2Some Protocols for Light Acne Treatment in the UK

Based on the idea that light therapy and PDT appears to be the next frontier in acne treatment. In the UK, three devices have either been approved or cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for light-based treatment of acne: the clear light blue-light therapy, which uses a noncoherent light source (405–420 nm), the cool touch Nd:YAG laser (1,320 nm), and the Smoothbeam diode laser (1,450 nm).

Mild Acne

To treat mild acne that has not responded well to topical or medical therapy, the use of clear light therapy device, a noncoherent light source (405–420 nm), or some device emitting blue light is recommended because it is perhaps the safest and most convenient procedure.

Moderate Acne

For moderate acne, any one of the three devices approved by the FDA is an option. If the patient has any acne scarring, the lasers are probably better because they may improve the scarring. If the patient has a darker complexion, blue light is better because such patients run the risk of pigmentation changes from the cryogen spray used with lasers.

Severe Acne

Severe acne probably requires laser treatment because the lasers may go deeper and damage sebaceous glands. Cystic acne needs isotretinoin, however, and even the lasers probably do not penetrate deep enough to be of use.


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