8/21/02 - Special Blue Light Designed to Zap Acne

The search for clear skin may seem never-ending for people who have acne, but a new treatment is designed to help folks put their best face forward with a special blue light. The ClearLight system was just approved by the Food and Drug Administration, as the first light therapy device, to help people who have moderate inflammatory acne. Acne is one of the most common skin problems in the United States, affecting more than 64 million teens and young adults every year.

A new tool may give teens and others who suffer with acne, the answer they're looking for with the ClearLight acne photo clearing system. The technology treats acne at its source, by using a high intensity blue light that penetrates into the skin's tissue, and destroys the bacteria inside pimples without damaging the surrounding tissue or skin.

The FDA approved use of the light based on a study of 48 patients, about half of the patients who finished the tests saw fewer pimples. Eight treatments, at fifty dollars a session, are needed for patients to get the full effect of the ClearLight system.

The treatments are painless and have no known side effects. ClearLight makers plan on sending the device to dermatologists immediately. It's not known yet whether or not dermatologists in the Heartland will be using ClearLight. But not all Heartland doctors are sure the new device is safe and effective because it hasn't been tested on enough people.