Effect of Blue Light on Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Oct 19;21(20):6943. doi: 10.3390/s21206943.


Acne is a dermatosis that affects almost 90% of the adolescent population worldwide and its treatment is performed with retinoids, antimicrobials, acids, and topical or systemic antibiotics. Side effects such as skin irritation in addition to microbial resistance to antibiotics are the main side effects found. Phototherapy with blue light is being used as an alternative treatment. Our objective was to analyze the use of blue light to treat inflammatory acne. We conducted a systematic literature review, following the recommendation PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and MetaAnalyses), including in the sample randomized clinical trial studies that compared blue light with another intervention as control. The research was carried out in the PUBMED and WEB of SCIENCE databases and the methodological quality of the studies evaluated were made by the Cochrane Collaboration Bias Risk Scale. After the exclusion of duplicates, the titles and abstracts of 81 articles were evaluated, and 50 articles were selected for full reading, including in the review at the end 8 articles. Studies have shown significant improvements in the overall picture of acne. It is concluded that despite the great potential in its use in the treatment of acne, there is a need for more detailed trials on the effect of blue light on the treatment of inflammatory acne.

Keywords: LED (Light Emitting Diode); LLLT (Low Level Light Therapy); acne; blue light; photobiomodulation; phototherapy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris* / therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Data Management
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Phototherapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents