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What Are the Pros and Cons of Blue Light Therapy for Acne?

Blue light therapy offers a non-invasive acne treatment, targeting bacteria and reducing inflammation. It's painless, with minimal side effects, typically just temporary redness. However, it may not be effective for severe acne and can be costly over time. Have you considered how blue light therapy fits into your skincare routine? Explore its potential benefits and limitations further with us.
Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers

One method of getting rid of acne is blue light therapy, which kills the bacteria present on the skin and under the surface. Patients with mild to moderate acne are the most likely to see results, and they may even notice that scars from previous breakouts begin to disappear during treatment. Aside from these benefits, blue light therapy for acne tends to be painless and quick, unlike some methods patients may try. One drawback is that this method is not very effective for clearing up severe cases of acne, and it is usually necessary to undergo several sessions to see results. Additionally, this treatment can be expensive, especially when many sessions are needed, and few U.S. insurance providers pay for it.

Blue light therapy for acne is often best for mild to moderate cases, so while it is beneficial for many patients, those with severe acne should seek other types of treatment. In addition, it is usually only effective in killing the most common types of acne bacteria, so patients whose skin problems are caused by a less common kind of bacteria may not see results. Those who do get results may notice that blue light therapy for acne not only clears up their current skin problems but also often gets rid of scars from past acne.

A close up of acne.
A close up of acne.

While this method is often known for being quick and painless, some patients notice a few side effects. Redness and swelling may be present for a short period after the treatment, and many people find their skin to be particularly sensitive to the sun for a few days afterward. Some patients also find the quick stinging sensation during treatment to be too much to handle, in which case other methods might be best for them.

Blue light therapy can help clear up acne.
Blue light therapy can help clear up acne.

Patients who get blue light therapy for acne have to undergo several sessions for the best results. Even those who do not experience discomfort or side effects may find this inconvenient, because they have to find the time to attend each appointment. Another disadvantage is that blue light therapy for acne is not considered cheap, which can make the requirement of several sessions even less appealing. In addition, insurance providers rarely pay for this treatment because it is not usually considered medically necessary. For this reason, blue light therapy for acne is often only recommended for patients who have tried other methods without success.

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Discussion Comments


I don't recommend blue light treatment for acne either. Not because it doesn't work because it did reduce my acne. I don't recommend it because it's painful, has side effects, costs a lot and it's only effective for the duration of the treatment.

After my face was 90% clear, I stopped going for the sessions and my acne came back full force. So I ended up paying a lot of money for no reason. And contrary to what most people think, the treatment is painful. It also causes redness, itching, peeling and flaking. I think the cons definitely outweigh the pros of the treatment. It's better to try something else.


@fBoyle-- I'm sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience. I also experienced some redness after blue light therapy acne treatment. But it worked for me and completely cleared up my acne in four treatments.

I had very stubborn acne that would not respond to any acne treatments so this was like a miracle for me. Not only did it clear up my acne spots, but it also made my skin even, smooth and soft. I have no idea why it didn't work for you. I guess blue light therapy works for some people and not others.


Blue light acne therapy did not work for me at all. It actually made things worse by irritating my skin. My face was extremely red after the treatment and I got sun-burnt very easily. I regret having this therapy done and I do not recommend it to others.

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    • A close up of acne.
      By: olavs
      A close up of acne.
    • Blue light therapy can help clear up acne.
      By: Gordana Sermek
      Blue light therapy can help clear up acne.