Blue light against pimples: can light therapies help with acne?

Blue light against pimples: can light therapies help with acne?

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Does light therapy really help with acne?

Acne is the horror of every teenager, but some adults also suffer from the skin disease. Many sufferers put a lot of effort into tackling the pimples. As an additional service, some dermatologists offer the so-called light therapy, which is sold as proven and with good success - but does the therapy really do what it promises?

There is an entire industry around the subject of acne, which offers care products and remedies to combat the unpopular pimples. Among the therapy offers you can often find light therapy for acne, which is offered as a self-paying service, for example by dermatologists or beauty farms. The American Academy of Family Physicians is now reviewing the effectiveness of this therapy. The results were recently published in the specialist journal "Annals of Family Medicine".

What is light therapy for acne?

Many dermatologists offer light therapies with blue and red light against acne. The light used is said to mimic sunlight. The blue spectrum is said to kill pus bacteria and the red light spectrum is to promote blood circulation to the skin and increase the skin's regenerative power.

What does light therapy cost?

The therapy is an individual health service (IgeL) and must be paid for yourself. The average cost is 5 to 15 euros per session. Usually eight sessions are offered over a period of eight weeks.

Feeling on the tooth

Since the effectiveness of this therapy is considered controversial, a research team from the American Academy of General Practitioners examined whether light therapy for acne is really recommended. To this end, the researchers performed a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled studies on light therapy for acne.

Effectiveness very limited

The conclusion of the investigation: Of the 14 studies examined, only three studies report significant improvements in acne. The majority of the studies do not provide sufficient evidence of the effectiveness of the therapy.

Can light therapy harm?

No disadvantages or side effects were found either. The panel concludes that blue light therapy can only be beneficial for a few patients. Further research is needed to identify which group the therapy actually helps.

Not the yellow of the egg

The medical service of the central association of health insurance companies comes to a similar conclusion: "Light therapy for acne shows neither benefit nor harm", according to the assessment of the health insurance experts from 2018. Patients should not have too much hope . A direct effect on the blackheads is rather not to be expected, especially not with severe acne courses. (vb)

For tips on acne, read the article: Home remedies for acne.

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Anna Mae Scott, Paulina Stehlik, Justin Clark, u, a ,; Blue-Light Therapy for Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Annals of Family Medicine, 2019,
  • Medical service of the umbrella organization Bund der Krankenkassen e.V .: Light therapy for acne shows neither benefit nor harm (February 2018),

Video: TESTING BLUE LIGHT THERAPY FOR ACNE. Funke Remi (August 2022).