Blue Light Phototherapy Safe and Effective for Acne Vulgaris, Study Shows

Blue Light Phototherapy Safe, Effective for Acne Vulgaris

It’s no secret that acne is an unfortunate skin condition, but according to researchers, there’s hope! Blue light phototherapy has been found to be one of the best ways to treat acne vulgaris.

The Study

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), blue light phototherapy is the most effective way to eliminate the acne-causing bacteria known as P. acnes. It’s recommended by industry professionals, including NYC-based dermatologist Judith Hellman, MD.

Blue light is able to eliminate P. acnes, which cause inflammation of the skin. P. acnes are vulnerable to blue light, and the added presence of the infrared light (heat) causes the oil glands to decrease in size. After just a few treatments, the inflammation disappears and the skin returns to normal.

Hellman recommends the treatment for anyone suffering from acne, no matter their skin tone or the seriousness of their condition; however, she doesn’t recommend the treatment for those on Accutane (a medication taken orally). Blue light phototherapy is a great option for those who wish to avoid prescription medication.

A 12-week trial was used to test the effectiveness and safety of blue light therapy using particular photo-converter chromophores in the treatment of minimal to severe acne vulgaris. All patients were offered a skin cleanser and a non-comedogenic sunscreen to be used on the face during the duration of the treatment. Following the completion of a six-week treatment period, the patient was observed for another six weeks.

As a result of the treatment, acne inflammatory lesion counts were reduced by at least 40% after 12 weeks. The face treatment was considered safe and effective and also noted a decrease in pain associated with acne.

What This Means

As mentioned before, blue light phototherapy is an efficient and safe method to treat acne, no matter the severity. Patients have experienced better skin after use and have a higher self-confidence to match.


Antoniou, C. et. al., “A multicenter, randomized, split-face clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of chromophore gel-assisted blue light phototherapy for the treatment of acne,” International Journal of Dermatology, August 30 2016;