What Is LED Light Therapy?
LED light therapy is a treatment that involves placing light-emitting diodes onto the skin to treat a variety of medical conditions and cosmetic issues. This treatment is painless and noninvasive, and comes in many different forms, including handheld wands for spot treating areas of the skin, light panels, lamps, and masks.
Light therapy works by impacting the function of cells in your skin. As your cells absorb wavelengths of light, they produce energy more efficiently, in structures called mitochondria. Specific wavelengths of light impact the cells in different ways, including:
- Red light therapy: Red light is commonly used to decrease inflammation and promote healing by increasing blood flow. In addition to improving your skin, red light can also help reduce pain in your muscles. Red light treatments often contain “near infrared” wavelengths as well, and they are used to treat age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
- Blue light therapy: Blue light decreases inflammation. It can also kill bacteria and other microbes under the skin, and reduce activity in the glands that produce oil on your skin. Blue light is often combined with violet wavelengths and is commonly used to treat acne.
- Amber light therapy: Also called yellow light, amber light therapy targets the most superficial layer of your skin. These wavelengths reduce inflammation, skin sensitivity, and redness.
- Green light therapy: Green light targets both the superficial and deeper layers of the skin. These wavelengths stimulate healing and improve skin firmness. They also help decrease the production of melanin—the natural pigment that gives skin its color. Melanin can cause dark spots on your skin.
- Topical photosensitive drugs: In some cases, topical medications are applied to the skin prior to light therapy. This helps the cells better absorb the wavelengths during treatment.
Uses and Benefits of LED Light Therapy
- Acne (hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells)
- Psoriasis (skin disease causing itchy, red, scaly patches of skin)
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis, causing itchy, red skin)
- Vitiligo (colorless patches of skin from a loss of pigment cells)
- Rosacea (flushing and noticeable blood vessels on the face)
- Cold Sores (blisters that form from exposure to herpes simplex virus)
- Healing wounds
- Reduce scarring
- Actinic Keratosis (rough, scaly skin caused by damage from ultraviolet rays)
LED Light therapy is also used for aesthetic purposes, such as reducing fine lines and wrinkles and making skin softer and smoother.