LED LIGHT THERAPY FAQ
LED stands for light-emitting diode. These lights have been in use since the 1960s, but people have only recently begun to use them as a skin treatment. NASA originally developed LED lights for plant growth experiments in space. However, since then, LEDs have shown promising results in wound healing and human tissue growth.
Different wavelengths of light in LED lights, including blue and red, penetrate the skin at different depths. This penetration may trigger biological processes that help the skin rejuvenate and heal.
Experts believe that blue LED light reduces activity in the sebaceous glands, which are small oil-producing glands in the skin. This reduction in activity causes the glands to produce less oil, possibly improving acne symptoms.
Blue light may also kill a type of bacteria that contributes to acne by causing inflammation.
Animal research indicates that blue light can improve the healing of third degree burns.
Red LED light may improve scarring and signs of aging, such as wrinkles. It may do this by acting on fibroblasts, which are skin cells that are responsible for collagen production.
Collagen is a protein in the skin and other connective tissues. It plays a role in skin healing. The body produces less collagen as a person ages, which causes the skin to show signs of aging.
Red light also reduces skin inflammation.
Uses and benefits
LED light therapy can help treat a variety of skin problems, including:
- dull skin
- signs of aging, including wrinkles and age spots
- sun damage
- wound healing
- other inflammatory skin conditions
One of the main benefits of LED light therapy is its safety record. According to research, LED light therapy has an excellent safety profile.
It does not contain UV rays, which can be harmful to the skin. Therefore, LED therapy is suitable for regular use.
Unlike chemical peels or laser therapy, LED light therapy does not cause burns. The treatment is also safe for all types and colors of skin.
In-office LED light therapy requires up to 10 sessions or more, each spaced out about a week apart. You may start to see minor results after your first session. Results will be more dramatic and noticeable once you’ve finished all of your treatments.
Even after you’ve achieved the recommended number of sessions, your results aren’t permanent.
As your skin cells turn over, you may lose some collagen and start to see signs of aging again. You may also start to see acne breakouts. This is why it’s recommended that you go back for maintenance treatments every few months or as recommended by your provider.
Home LED light therapy treatments aren’t as fast because the light frequencies aren’t as high in order to be safe for home use. You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
The results last as long as your skins turnover cycle which in most cases is up to 28 days.
LED light therapy is noninvasive and doesn not hurt at all, so no recovery time is required. You should be able to continue with your everyday activities once your treatment is over.
Overall, the American Academy of Dermatology deems this procedure safe. Since LEDs don’t contain UV rays, this is considered a safer form of light therapy that won’t cause long-term damage to your skin. The procedure is also noninvasive and has few risks.
Your provider may recommend LED light therapy if you have darker or sensitive skin. Unlike more invasive procedures such as laser therapy, LEDs don’t burn your skin. They also don’t cause any pain.
However, there may still be risks associated with LED light therapy.
If you currently use Accutane for acne, be advised that this powerful drug derived from vitamin A increases your skin’s sensitivity to light and may cause scarring in some instances.
Do not use LED light therapy if you’re using anything on your skin that makes you sensitive to sunlight.
You also might consider avoiding this treatment if you currently have an active rash. Talk with your doctor if you have psoriasis. Red light therapy could help but only if you use it in conjunction with your regularly prescribed treatments.
Side effects from LED light therapy are rare and were not noted during clinical trials. Call your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms post-treatment:
- increased inflammation
"Light therapy is good for all skin types, literally everyone, and incredible for rosacea."
"Blue light kills bacteria that causes acne and red stimulates collagen production and helps speed skin's natural healing process"
"In the past, Navy SEALs used LED light therapy to help heal wounds. The treatment led to improvements of more than 40% in musculoskeletal injuries in team members. It also reduced wound healing time."
"You may be a candidate for LED light therapy if you have these types of skincare concerns and haven’t gotten the results you want from over-the-counter (OTC) skin products. LED therapy is also safe for all skin colors, and it doesn’t cause any burning"