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What is LED Light Therapy?

What is LED Light Therapy

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on May 20, 2022
LED light therapy is a skin treatment that doesn’t use ultraviolet light. Instead, it uses skin-safe, low-level light in different wavelengths and colors. These include:
  • Amber
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Green
These lights are used for lots of different skin conditions. Receiving light therapy from your skin care practitioner is a promising skin treatment.

Benefits of LED Light Therapy

LED lights have been available since the 1960s, but have only been used in the past few years to treat the skin. Different wavelengths enter the skin at different depths, making this helpful therapy to treat a variety of skin conditions, including:‌
Acne. Blue light is often used to treat acne. Studies show that blue light can kill the bacteria responsible for acne. It can also ease how much your oil glands make. This stops the hair follicle from becoming clogged and causing acne.
Red light is also typically used in combination with blue light to help ease inflammation and redness.‌
Aging- Red light stimulates skin cells called fibroblasts. This help makes collagen, which is an important part of skin recovery. Some studies have found that red LED light therapy tightens skin, reduces wrinkles and fine lines, and makes skin smoother and softer. ‌
Photodynamic therapy with 5-aminolevulinic acid and LED light also eases fine lines and makes the skin softer.
Wound healing. Red LED light stimulates collagen, which is important for healing wounds. People who have had surgery for skin resurfacing have also had red LED light therapy after the procedure. Studies have found that this form of light therapy lowers redness, swelling, and bruising, and speeds up the healing process.
Hair loss. Red LED light therapy can help stimulate hair growth for those with male- or female-pattern hair loss.
Psoriasis. Red and near-infrared LED light therapy can help lower redness and inflammation in psoriasis. One study showed that these light therapies also lowered psoriasis pimples and plaques, or red, itchy, scaly sores.‌
  • Skin cancers. Photodynamic therapy has been performed using both red and green LED lights to treat skin cancers. After the medication is applied to the skin, red and green lights have been used to treat Bowen’s disease and red light has been used to treat basal cell carcinoma lesions.
  • Overall, if you are concerned about your skin, you should talk to your skincare practitioner. LED light therapy at your practitioner’s office can improve your skin and health drastically over time.

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