Acne is a common complaint for teenagers and people of all ages and can be devastating for sufferers. It makes people self-conscious about their appearance and can cause long-term problems in the form of permanent scarring. There are a variety of treatments for acne, but most of them use strong, dangerous chemicals and are still only marginally effective. A safer option is the use of polarized light. This is a natural therapy which has been shown to help heal acne affected skin without harsh chemicals. Because it encourages better healing it can also help to cut down on scarring. To learn if this therapy is right for you, we’ve created this guide on using polarized light to combat this common and persistent problem.
What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. The blocked pores then erupt, resulting in whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. Acne usually occurs on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders and is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages. There are some treatment options that can be effective, but acne is a long-term problem that keeps coming back. Even with treatment, the pimples and bumps heal slowly, and when one heals, others seem to take its place.
There are a number of different types of acne including the following:
- Whiteheads, which are small white bumps on the skin. These are pores that have become blocked by oil and dead skin cells.
- Blackheads, which appear as black spots on the skin. These are blocked pores that are still open.
- Small red bumps that are sore to the touch, called papules.
- Pimples, otherwise known as pustules, which are papules with pus at the tips.
- Nodules, which are large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin.
- Cystic lesions, which are painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin.
Causes of Acne
Some people are prone to acne, whereas others will never get a single pimple. This is primarily due to genetic factors, with most medical professionals agreeing that if your parents had acne, there’s a high chance you will as well. But apart from the genetic factors, which you can’t change, there are four causes of acne that you should look out for:
- Excess oil production.
- The clogging of hair follicles by oil and dead skin cells.
- Certain strains of a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes.
- Increased production of the hormones called androgens, which occurs during puberty and can cause acne. Androgen production can also increase at other times during the life cycle and cause acne.
What Causes Acne Breakouts?
There are a number of things that can trigger or aggravate acne and cause a breakout. Some of the most common triggers are as follows:
- Androgen hormones, which are present in both men and women and increase during puberty. Androgens cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more oil, causing blockages.
- Certain medications such as those that contain corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium.
- Your diet. Studies indicate that foods such as skim milk and carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, bagels and chips may worsen acne. A lot of people also suspect that chocolate makes acne worse, and some studies on its effects would seem to agree.
- Stress can also make acne worse.
Traditional Acne Treatments
There are a variety of acne treatments you can try depending on the severity of your acne problem. You need to keep in mind that acne medications of all strengths and compositions usually claim to reduce oil production and speed up skin cell turnover, fight bacterial infection or reduce inflammation. Some of these effects may also reduce the scarring which can result from severe acne. Depending which treatment you try, you probably won’t see results for four to eight weeks, and your skin may get worse before it gets better. This means that it can take many months or years for your acne to clear up completely with most of these options.
The following are a list of acne treatments for varying break out severity:
- For mild acne, there are a variety of creams, tonics, and toners you can use. You can buy most of these in supermarkets and pharmacies, and some of them can be helpful in reducing mild outbreaks.
- For mild to moderate acne you can try a variety of OTC medications and skin treatments including benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and alpha hydroxyl acids. These can be a little harsher, so need to be used with caution.
- For severe acne outbreaks you can get prescription medications or creams from your doctor. This includes topical creams such as retinoids or antibiotics and various oral medications such as antibiotics, contraceptives and anti-androgen agents. You can also try steroid injections, which work well for nodular and cystic lesions and involves the injection of steroids straight into the site. This therapy can offer rapid improvement and even decreases pain levels.
Complementary Acne Therapies
If you don’t like to take medication or want to try other therapies at the same time, the following treatments can help as well.
- A chemical peel with salicylic acid, glycolic acid or retinoic acid. These treatments can work in the short term, but repeat treatments are usually needed.
- Extraction of whiteheads and blackheads that haven't cleared up with topical medications. This technique may cause scarring.
- Polarized Light Therapy, which is a 100% safe and clinically proven treatment to help cure and control acne. Ten to fifteen minutes daily with this medical device can successfully treat acne breakouts.
How Does Polarized Light Therapy Work?
Polarized Light is a safe, effective natural therapy that can be used in the comfort of your own home. It emits polarized light waves that are low energy and bathe the skin surface at a constant intensity. The special light helps with photobiostimulation, which is a process that stimulates skin tissue growth and repair and enhances the natural healing process.
Polarized light contains equal doses of light in the blue and red wavelengths combined within the yellow beam of light. The blue light wavelengths eliminate acne-causing bacteria and the red wavelengths work to calm the inflammation. Decreasing inflammation is particularly important because it also shrinks the sebaceous glands. When inflamed, these glands produce the excess oil that clogs skin pores and causes breakouts. The light also reaches deep into the skin, past the surface layers to the subcutaneous tissues to soothe the tissues and treat breakouts before they occur.
There is also a major added bonus of polarized light therapy. The specially designed light stimulates the production of skin collagen. This all-important substance can help to prevent and even reduce acne scars. It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles, so it also works as a quality anti-ageing device at the same time.
Acne might seem like a small, insignificant problem, but it can be devasting for your self-esteem and even your self-confidence. It’s often fairly resistant to treatment and worsens under stress, so bumps and pimples usually appear right at the worst time possible. That’s why natural remedies that really work are so important for sufferers. Polarized light therapy is simple to use, safe for your skin and your system, and it works. The light encourages increased healing, which can alleviate the pimples as well as help to eliminate scarring. It’s a great alternative to harsh chemicals and medications that strip the skin and can cause serious side effects.