Mild to severe acne patients experienced an average 41.8 percent reduction in inflammatory acne counts after 12 weeks of using the Silk’n Blue (Home Skinovations Ltd) at-home device, according to a study published in the June 2014 issue of the Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications. Silk’n Blue is a 415 nm wavelength blue light emitting diode (LED), FDA-cleared device.
In the study, 15 patients learned how to use the at-home device. They were instructed to use Silk’n Blue daily, holding the applicator on affected areas of the skin for three minutes (or if tolerable, five minutes). While patients didn’t have in-office laser or other treatments during the study period, they were able to continue with any prescribed topical medications for their acne, according to study coauthor and New York City dermatologist Judith Hellman, M.D.
Researchers followed up with patients at one and three months. These were their findings:
- Inflammatory acne counts decreased on average from 41.26 to 24.46.
- At three months, 14 of the 15 patients improved with a decrease in acne lesions from baseline. Two patients had reductions of 61 percent and 67 percent.
- Three patients had an increase in lesions after the first month, but finished the study with fewer or the same number of lesions compared to baseline.
- Two patients with darker Fitzpatrick skin type IV reported minor pain and tenderness, which disappeared soon after the first few treatments. This suggests, according to Dr. Hellman, “… that maybe darker skin types are more sensitive to the infrared heat in the device, and maybe they should get used to the device more gradually.”
- Eight patients said in a survey they “liked” the device and found it to be effective. Four said they “loved” the treatment system and wanted to continue using the device.
- One patient didn’t see improvement and stopped using the device regularly.
- Four patients reported difficulty with maintaining a consistent schedule of use.
The authors concluded the Silk’n Blue device may be a safe and effective at-home treatment for mild, moderate and severe inflammatory acne.
Dr. Hellman says she recommends the Silk’n Blue both as a stand-alone option, as well as an adjunct to in-office acne treatment.
“I have patients who come in, who are not going to want to take oral medications or who are not going to want to do laser, and they have acne. Some patients are going off to school and cannot come back frequently enough, so they need something to help them,” Dr. Hellman says. “One way I use this treatment is to accommodate people who, for whatever reason, do not have other options besides a topical. The other way I use the device is when I have patients who do have laser treatment and need something to maintain their skin in between [treatments].”
Disclosures: Dr. Hellman has no disclosures to report, other than she conducted the research.
Source: Hellman, J. and Ramirez, C. Evaluation of Self-Treatment of Acne Using Silk’n Blue Phototherapy System. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications. 2014;4: 179-184.