Heat Therapy for Acne


    What is Acne

    • Acne is a skin condition that consists of breakouts, oiliness and inflammation of the skin. This is typically because the sebaceous glands are overactive, causing more oil to be produced than normal. This oil, or sebum, can clog the pores, causing more breakouts and skin problems to exist. Research has indicated that acne can also be caused by changes in hormone levels and can be hereditary.

    How Does Heat Therapy Work

    • Heat therapy, with pulsing light therapy, attacks the acne from the deeper layers of skin. Lotions and ointments typically treat from the outside in. Light is pulsed into the skin with heat. The heat kills P. acnes, a bacteria that causes inflammation and breakouts. The combination of the two shrinks the sebaceous glands, which in turn reduces the amount of sebum, or oil, secreted. This causes fewer breakouts to occur.


    • Heat therapy is considered a relatively new treatment for acne. It is created to not cause scarring, but instead to go into the deeper layer of skin without damaging the outer layer. Allow the professional treating you to treat one small area to make sure that no harmful side effects occur.

      Since heat therapy is not an established treatment, there is no research that lists long term benefits or risks associated with it.

      Heat therapy can be an expensive acne treatment.

    Side Effects

    • Heat therapy has been linked to a few side effects. Some patients may feel pain. This can be dealt with by using an anesthetic if needed. It can also cause soreness and redness, and in rare occasions, peeling. The peeling, just as with a sunburn, may cause temporary discoloration. Some recipients also report unwanted hair loss with the heat therapy.


    • In advance of any appointments made with your dermatologist, there are a few preparations to be made. Avoid the sun as much as possible before your appointment. Sunburn, or even a tan, can interfere with the pulse light therapy that is typically combined with heat therapy. Avoid the sun immediately after your appointment, as well. There are also numbing creams available should you want to eliminate any pain that may be felt with the procedure.

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