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What causes Acne?

Acne is a condition of the sebaceous hair follicles. The hair follicles (also known as pores) in the skin contain sebaceous glands which make sebum. Under normal circumstances, the sebum travels up the hair follicles and out to the skin’s surface. However with acne, sebum is trapped within the hair follicle and results in a clogging.

The bacteria commonly know to cause the condition known as acne is called Propiobacterium acne ( P.acne) and is present in everyone’s skin, usually lodged in the hair follicle. This leads to inflammation, redness and the formation of pimples (pustules). Acne may begin during puberty, and affects about 80 percent of all adolescents.

However it is now known that even women in their thirties are now getting acne due to stress. Acne develops on those areas of the skin where sebaceous glands are most numerous: the face, scalp, neck, chest, back and upper arms and shoulders.


Studies show that blue and red light at a specific wavelengths act together in clearing acne by combining antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity, and that blue-red light phototherapy is an effective and safe treatment for acne .

As published in the British Journal of Dermatology, Phototherapy with blue and red light was studied in the treatment of mild to moderate acne . After 12 weeks of 15-minute daily active treatments with a portable light source, a mean improvement of 76% in inflammatory lesions was observed.

Investigators and patients favoured blue-red light therapy, with more patients achieving marked improvement or clearance than in any of the other treatment group.

The researchers concluded that blue light and red light "act synergistically in improving acne by combining anti-inflammatory action, rendering phototherapy with blue-red light an effective and safe treatment for acne".

Based on the information in this study BeautySkin has taken these colours of light and combined them in a single lightbox which is easy to use at home, in the office or is portable enough to travel with you.

See a BBC article about light therapy and its effectiveness in reducing acne and skin complaints:

Light therapy, best for acne.
(18 July, 2000) click here to view article.


Conventional treatments for acne.

Millions of pounds is spent on acne medications and treatments each year. In many instances, the money spent yields less than satisfactory results and can cause troublesome side-effects.

Most prescription medications, such as antibiotics, require at least twelve weeks of continuous treatment before any improvement can be expected. Often, a second, third or fourth cycle of therapy is needed.

Over-the-Counter Products:

There are numerous products now available: acne cleansers, astringents, moisturisers and spot creams available at local pharmacies. Some help unplug whiteheads and blackheads while others help encourage the skin to shed. It's important to use all products as directed.

Many experts recommend giving over-the-counter products no more than six to eight weeks to work. If there is no improvement in acne during that time period, a dermatologist may be seen to explore other treatment options. Many over-the-counter products are available in stronger "prescription only" formulas.

Prescription products:

Topical Antibiotics:

These "prescription only" products help to clear acne by killing the bacteria that infect the pores. Sometimes acne may become resistant to the antibiotics, rendering them ineffective. Side effects can include dry, red skin and an increase in sun sensitivity.

Oral Antibiotics:

These systemic medications affect the entire body and therefore can cause very unpleasant side effects. Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline, need to be taken on an empty stomach. Side effects can include nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Vitamin A Derivatives:

These retinoid medications prevent skin cells from clumping together and encourage shedding. Usually applied once a day, these medications can increase sensitivity to the sun, so it's important that patients use a suitable sunscreen.

Side effects can include dryness, redness and irritation. One particular retinoid (Isoretinoin or Roaccutane) has been associated with some very unpleasant side-effects ( Reference BNF)

Oral contraceptive tablets Pills:

These are prescribed for women who have flare-ups that occur at the same time each month during the menstrual cycle. The pills help control the hormones that prompt oil production in the skin. Women should consult their physician to determine which birth control pills are most appropriate for particular skin conditions.

For more information about TENS and TSE drug free pain management, or other products from Sad Light Hire Company, please use the contact methods below:    
Sad Light Hire Ltd (medical light equipment specialists) SAD-SHOP - 16 Stanley Street - Southport - Merseyside - UK - PR9 0BY  
FREEPHONE - 0800 107 7951 | E MAIL -