Understanding Acne: Types, Causes, and Treatment

Acne is a prevalent skin condition triggered by the overactivity of sebaceous glands, leading to the accumulation of oils within the skin. These trapped oils often become colonized by skin bacteria, resulting in inflammation. At Santi London, we provide comprehensive solutions to address the various types and severities of acne, ensuring your path to clearer, healthier skin.

Types of Acne

Acne Vulgaris: This common form of acne involves the formation of comedones (clogged hair follicles), papules (small red bumps), pustules (pus-filled pimples), nodules, and cysts. These issues arise due to the obstruction of the pilosebaceous unit, which consists of the hair follicle and its associated sebaceous gland. While it predominantly affects teenagers, treatment options vary based on the severity of the condition.

Pathophysiology of Acne

Acne is driven by four major factors:

Excess Sebum Production: Overproduction of skin oils.

Follicular Plugging: Accumulation of sebum and keratinocytes within hair follicles.

Colonization by Skin Bacteria: Specifically, Propionibacterium acnes, a normal anaerobic skin bacterium.

Release of Inflammatory Mediators: Leading to redness and swelling.

Types of Acne:

Noninflammatory Acne: Characterized by comedones, such as blackheads and whiteheads.

Inflammatory Acne: Characterized by papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts, often associated with redness and tenderness.

Etiology of Acne

Acne can be triggered by various factors, including:

Puberty: Hormonal changes during puberty stimulate sebum production and increased keratinocyte proliferation.

Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or the menstrual cycle can influence sebum production.

Cosmetic Products: The use of occlusive cosmetics, cleansers, lotions, and clothing can contribute to acne development.

Environmental Factors: High humidity and excessive sweating may exacerbate acne.

Dietary Factors: Some studies suggest possible associations between acne and the consumption of dairy products and high-glycemic diets (sugars).

Seasonal Variations: Acne may improve during the summer months, thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of sunlight.

At Santi London, our experts offer tailored acne treatment plans, addressing the root causes and providing effective solutions for all types and stages of acne. Contact us to start your journey toward clearer, healthier skin.

How effective is blue light therapy for acne?

Blue light therapy has been shown to be effective in treating acne. This type of therapy involves the use of a specific wavelength of blue light to target the bacteria that causes acne. The light penetrates the skin and reaches the sebaceous glands, where the bacteria reside.

Studies have shown that blue light therapy can reduce acne lesions by up to 70%, and can also decrease inflammation and improve skin texture. Blue light therapy is generally considered safe and has few side effects, although some people may experience temporary redness or dryness of the skin.

It’s important to note that blue light therapy is typically used in combination with other acne treatments, such as topical or oral medications. It may not be effective as a standalone treatment for severe or persistent acne. Additionally, it’s important to consult with a professional to determine if blue light therapy is right for you and to discuss any potential risks or side effects.

What’s the science behind blue light therapy?

The science behind blue light therapy for acne is based on the interaction between the blue light and the bacteria that cause acne. The bacteria responsible for acne, known as Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), produce a pigment called porphyrin that absorbs blue light. When the blue light is absorbed by the porphyrin, it produces a reaction that ultimately damages the bacterial cell membrane and kills the bacteria.

Blue light therapy uses a specific wavelength of blue light, typically in the range of 405 to 420 nanometers, that is able to penetrate the skin to reach the sebaceous glands where the bacteria reside. The blue light is delivered to the skin via a device that emits the light, such as a handheld wand or a larger panel.

Research has shown that blue light therapy can effectively reduce the number of P. acnes bacteria on the skin, which leads to a reduction in acne lesions. The therapy also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne.

It’s important to note that while blue light therapy can be effective for treating mild to moderate acne, it may not be effective for more severe cases. Additionally, it’s important to use blue light therapy in combination with other acne treatments, such as topical or oral medications, for best results.

Blue light therapy is a non-invasive treatment for acne that involves exposing the skin to blue light wavelengths, typically with the use of LED lights. The blue light penetrates the skin and reaches the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing oil. The light interacts with a compound called porphyrin that is present in the bacteria that cause acne, causing it to release free radicals that destroy the bacteria.

LED light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to target different skin concerns. In the case of blue light therapy for acne, the blue wavelength used is typically between 415 and 450 nm. This wavelength is effective at killing the bacteria that cause acne, without damaging the skin.

Blue light therapy is usually administered in a series of treatments over several weeks, with each treatment lasting between 15 and 30 minutes. The treatment is painless and does not require any downtime, making it a convenient option for many people.

How many treatments are usually required?

The number of blue light therapy treatments required to see significant improvement in acne can vary depending on the severity of the acne and the individual’s skin type. In general, a series of treatments is required to achieve optimal results.

Most studies suggest that a course of blue light therapy for acne involves two to three treatments per week for several weeks, typically four to six weeks. Each treatment session typically lasts 15-30 minutes, and there is usually no downtime required after the treatment.

However, it is important to note that the number of treatments required can vary depending on the individual’s skin type and the severity of their acne. Some people may see improvement after just a few treatments, while others may require more. 

Is it a good idea to combine this with chemical peels?

Combining blue light therapy with chemical peels may be a beneficial approach for treating acne, but it is important to consult with a dermatologist or licensed skincare professional to determine if this is appropriate for your skin type and concerns.

Chemical peels are a type of exfoliating treatment that involves applying a chemical solution to the skin to remove dead skin cells and improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin. They can be effective in treating acne by unclogging pores, reducing oil production, and promoting cell turnover.

When combined with blue light therapy, chemical peels may help to further enhance the benefits of the treatment. The exfoliating effects of the chemical peel can help to remove dead skin cells and debris, allowing the blue light to penetrate more deeply into the skin and target the bacteria that cause acne.

However, it is important to note that combining these treatments can also increase the risk of skin irritation or sensitivity, especially if they are not performed properly or if the skin is already compromised.

Santi London, 33 Thurloe Street, London SW7 2LQ Appointments: 0207 5847000 info@santilondon.com

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