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Will Blue Light Acne Therapy Cause Side Effects to Harm Your Skin?

Did you know that long-term research is not required by the FDA to approve such skin care treatments as blue light acne therapy since it is seen as procedure-oriented as opposed to drug-oriented?

I don’t know about you, but before I try any new or potentially controversial treatment on my skin, I like to know exactly what side effects that it could cause when it comes to treating my acne…

What Is Blue Light Acne Treatment?

According to, blue light acne therapy has been approved by the FDA as a surface treatment for the effects of acne on the skin. Blue light acne treatment is perhaps the most popular form of acne treatment advertised, and it works to kill the surface acne bacteria on the skin through the use of a high-intensity, narrow-band blue light acne therapy in the hopes of clearing up the skin for good. [1]

Blue light acne therapy is often recommended to relieve inflamed acne lesions that have not responded to other types of treatment. Fortunately, blue light acne treatment does not contain ultraviolet light, which was formerly used as a light therapy to treat acne and can penetrate the skin deeply with free radical damage to leave you at risk for premature aging and even skin cancer.

How Does Blue Light Acne Treatment Work?

Within blue light acne therapy, a patient will receive a series of treatments, normally eight sessions within a four week time period, where each session lasts roughly 15 minutes. However, since this blue light acne therapy deeply penetrates the skin, there are such side effects as changes in skin pigment, swelling, and surface dryness.

The bottom line when it comes to blue light acne therapy is that patients can expect to see a 55% improvement in acne in their skin.

Is that good enough for you?

I know that for many acne sufferers out there, 55% clearer skin may seem like a wonderful promise, yet it is important to point out that you can actually receive 100% clearer skin by making necessary dietary changes.

While blue light acne therapy has mild to moderate side effects that may be much less harmful to the skin than topical acne medications or prescription antibiotics, the treatment still misses the point by only focusing on the surface bacteria on the skin that is triggering an acne breakout.

However, the true cause of acne extends much deeper to a diet overloaded with unhealthy fats and excess sugar from processed foods that compromise the immune system and negatively affect digestion, resulting in long-term acne breakouts in the skin.

Let’s see what several acne sufferers from the forums had to say about blue light acne treatment:

I had 6 treatments consisting of levulan with the blue light after. Beforehand the aesthetician performed microdermabrasion and extractions. With all this there was NO IMPROVEMENT whatsoever.

I went to a top derm in Beverly Hills and paid for a set of 5 treatments followed by V-Beam laser spaced one month apart each. My skin has been getting worse since the start to the end of this treatment. I had mild acne and would now consider it moderate with some cysts. The doctor convinced me to keep going, but now after spending the money and the time, I regret doing it.

I have been battling 1 to 2 cystic acne on my chin per month mostly and the occasional one on my nose, but after having this treatment done 2 weeks ago I have 5 or 6 on my chin and 2 on my nose! My skin is dry and still stings too.

The Bottom Line on Blue Light Acne Therapy

In the same research referenced at, 31 patients were treated on only one side of their face using blue light acne therapy two times per week for a total of four weeks. The other side of the face did not receive any treatment, and the research showed that blue light acne treatment appeared to be effective UNLESS a patient had nodulocystic acne lesions, in which case, the treatment actually made the acne WORSE.

If you happen to be suffering from moderate to cystic acne, it is important to point out that while blue light acne therapy has the potential to partially improve your skin, it also has a great potential to make your skin worse.

The point is that you can tackle acne at its source by balancing your diet and eliminating triggers, which will be reflected in clear, healthy, and strong skin that is naturally resistant to acne and free from treatment side effects!


  1. “AcneNet Article – Are Laser and Light Treatments Really Light Years Ahead of Conventional Acne Therapy?” Web. 01 Feb. 2011. <>.

About the Author: Bethany Ramos is an aesthetician and makeup artist with a special interest in using nutrition to heal and alleviate a number of conditions in the skin. You can find out more skin care and makeup tips by visiting her blog at FacebyBethany.

FOCUS! Your Ultimate Guide to Clear Skin

FOCUS! Your Ultimate Guide to Clear Skin

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I’ve been trying a blue light at home treatment from tanda and I’ve actually seen a huge improvement within 5 days, though I do wonder if there is long term effects (I wouldn’t ever spend actual sessions in a scary machine) I do love the handheld device though!

the blue-lite with levulan burned my skin,16 mininutes treatment ,on my arms for keratosis. scaled and then shed like a snake. burned,itched, got folliculis,got antibiotica,then cortisone w/petro jelly,then got rash on underside of my arms,maybe a fungus.
this was all done at the VA hospital. i am still suffering. whats going on.

It seems you’ve done some damage to your skin by using the blue light therapy. The good thing is the body has a miraculous ability to heal itself given the nutrients it needs. Follow a proper diet to speed your recovery and to minimize scarring! More details can be found throughout this website and my book.

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