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Facts on phototherapy treatment for scars

  • Acne phototherapy light treatment is a form of low level laser therapy
  • Low level laser therapy can improve mild cases of early acne scarring
  • A series of 8-10 treatments are recommended for best results
  • Each treatment takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Acne scar phototherapy is painless, as it does not heat the skin
  • The Acne Specialist Clinic uses medical grade phototherapy units to deliver red light in the setting of scar revision
  • Specialist dermatologists at combine a series of chemical peels with acne light treatments as part of the Clear Skin Program
  • Moderate to severe acne scars should be treated with other methods
  • Acne scars that are greater than 3 months old do not respond well to phototherapy, however may respond to RadioFrequency treatment
  • Red light phototherapy can be combined with laser treatments as part of the Synergy Program for acne scar revision
What types of acne scars respond best to Omnilux/Phototherapy?

Red acne scars

How does phototherapy improve acne scars?

Acne phototherapy treatment is a form of low-level laser therapy that can help with remodeling of early acne scars. Low emission laser does not generate heat nor break the skin’s surface, but given the correct wavelength and energy, it stimulates cells in the mid layer of the skin to produce collagen. Production of collagen early in the course of scar repair can assists the body’s natural repair mechanisms. Acne phototherapy is best performed early in the course of acne scar remodeling, and is not suited for scars more than 3 -4 months old.

How effective is light treatment for acne scarring?

This treatment is designed for early and mild acne scarring (less than 4 months old). Most patients will receive a noticeable improvement in skin texture and scars after 8 weeks. We recommend patients combine this treatment with natural Alpha Hydroxy Acid glycolic peels every second week as part of the Clear Skin Program

Acne scars greater than 3-4 months old, or moderate to severe scars are best treated by other methods including RadioFrequency, and Fractional Lasers.

What acne scar types will respond to acne light treatments?

Not all acne scars are suitable for acne phototherapy / low-level laser treatments. Only early and mild scarring will respond to this therapy, and best results are seen in combination with a medically prescribed Vitamin A cream AND Glycolic acid peels. The combination of all three modalities forms the basis of the Clear Skin Program

How do we perform low-level laser phototherapy treatments for acne scars?

Low-level laser phototherapy treatments are performed at Westside Dermatology in one of our procedural suites. Treatments take less than 10 minutes to perform and are completely painless. Unlike laser therapy, no heat is generated from phototherapy emission. The skin looks and feels normal after treatments. It often takes a few weeks before the positive effects are seen.

Some patients have a combination of AHA glycolic acid peels combined with low-level phototherapy. Glycolic peels combined with RED light phototherapy can have an additive effect to acne scar revision. Peels and light therapy are conducted in the one session. Each session is repeated every 2 weeks for a total of 4 sessions. This Clear Skin Program is completed in 8 weeks.

What are the side effects of phototherapy treatments for acne scarring?

None! This treatment is completely painless- no heat is generated and the skin is not broken. Eye protected is ensured by application of eye shields before each treatment. Red light phototherapy will not react with any medications or creams.

Can acne light phototherapy be combined with other acne and scar treatments?

Absolutely! In fact we combine Vitamin A creams and Glycolic acid peels with acne light to form the Clear Skin program. Combination therapy works best for early acne scarring.

We also use red light phototherapy as part of our Synergy Program for acne scars.

What is the difference between Omnilux blue phototherapy and red phototherapy?

The difference is in the wavelength of light delivered. Blue light lies in the 405-420nm wavelength and penetrates to the shallow levels of the skin. Red light has a longer wavelength (630nm) and penetrates to the deeper follicles of the skin. The deeper the penetration of light, the better the treatment.

Research has shown that a combination of red and blue light works best, as blue light as a higher ‘bacterial kill index’ for shallow acne pimples.

What is the cost of acne light treatment?

We recommend that acne light / low level laser treatment be combined with Glycolic acid peels as part of the Clear Skin Program. The cost of this 8-week program is $590, which includes 8 treatments: 4 chemical peels and 4 acne light treatments.

  • Individual phototherapy sessions are $55 per treatment, we recommend a series of at least 8-10 treatments spaced 1-2 weeks apart.
  • Package of 10 Red light phototherapy sessions $450
  • Red light Phototherapy is free on patients who complete the Synergy Program for acne scars

More on the Synergy Program for acne scars

Does Medicare cover phototherapy sessions for acne scarring?

Medicare does cover the entire cost of phototherapy for many skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema. Unfortunately acne phototherapy is not covered under Medicare.

Surgical scar revision and some laser procedures are partially covered by Medicare if performed by a Specialist.

How do we differ from other companies providing acne phototherapy treatments?

As Specialists we provide acne and scar treatments at the highest of medical levels, and will advise patients of the best method to treat acne and scarring. Additionally, with our team of over 10 Specialist Dermatologists and 5 laser nurses, we can keep our overheads low. That’s why phototherapy for acne and acne scarring is only $55 per treatment- even cheaper than a beauty clinic or laser clinic!

For an unbiased opinion in regards to acne and acne scar treatments, ask your GP whom they would recommend!

Will my acne scars be suitable for red light phototherapy treatment?

Acne scar phototherapy is an ideal starting point for patients who are completing their course of acne treatments or for patients who exhibit early and mild acne scars.

Phototherapy treatments may not be suitable for more severe cases of acne scarring or for old scars. Evaluation by a Specialist Dermatologist will guide patients as to who is most likely to benefit.

Call Westside Dermatology’s Acne Specialist Clinics on 07 3871 34 37 to find out more on the referral process and fees.

Specialist view on low level laser treatment and phototherapy for acne scars

Dr Davin S. Lim
Specialist Dermatologist
Westside Laser Dermatology

Low-level laser treatment in the context of acne and acne scar phototherapy has been documented to help in the early stages of scar remodeling with the first reports coming out in 1996.

In the context of acne scar revision and wound healing low level laser sources can stimulate collagen and provide a cascade of positive scar effects. Light sources can be either blue wavelength at 405-415 nm, such as OMNILUX blue, or red wavelength at 630nm, with OMNILUX Red, Crystalite or Aktalite sources. For scar remodeling we choose the red wavelength at 630nm as this penetrates into the deeper dermal layers of the skin- where scars lie. Patients should be aware that non- medically prescribed light emitting sources do not have the power to deliver treatments into the dermal layers of the skin- the area where scars lie.

It is important to note that not everyone with acne or acne scars will benefit from phototherapy. Early scars respond much better compared to old ones. This therapy has limited benefit for moderate to severe scarring, and should only be limited to treating early and mild cases.

Red light phototherapy is also used as part of our Synergy Program for acne scarring. I often place patients on an 8 week course of phototherapy after major laser resurfacing as this compounds collagen and scar remodeling.


"I wanted a natural solution to acne treatments during my pregnancy, and phototherapy and simple creams provided the answer."

- Lauren Z, Brisbane