LED light therapy for acne, sun damage, wounds, and other skin problems is a popular non-invasive skin treatment.
People may choose to have LED light therapy in the office of a dermatologist, or use a device at home.
The procedure uses different wavelengths of light to cause the natural processes of healing the skin to fix the skin. It takes many procedures to see results.
In this article, we analyze how LED light treatment helps and who might be a good candidate. We also cover any side effects that may occur.
What is it?
LED stands for light-emitting diode. Such lights have been in use since the 1960s but people have started using them as a skin treatment only recently.
NASA originally created LED lights for experiments on plant growth in space.
Since then however, LEDs have shown promising results in wound healing and growth of human tissue.
Different wavelengths of light reach the skin at various depths in LED lights like blue and red. This penetration can trigger biological processes which can help rejuvenate and heal the skin.
Experts believe that blue LED light reduces sebaceous gland activity, which is small oil-producing glands in the skin. This reduction in activity causes the glands to produce less oil, and may improve symptoms of acne.
Blue light can also destroy a form of bacteria which causes inflammation to contribute to the acne.
Animal research shows that blue light can make third-degree burns healing better.
Red LED light can improve ageing scarring and signs such as wrinkles. It can do this by working on fibroblasts which are skin cells responsible for the development of collagen.
Collagen is a skin protein, and other connective tissues. It plays a role in healing your skin. As a person ages, the body produces less collagen which causes signs of aging to appear in the skin.
Red light also decreases inflammation in the skin.
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 key benefits of LED light treatment is its safety record. The LED light therapy has an excellent safety profile according to research.
It contains no UV rays, which can damage the skin. LED therapy is best appropriate for regular use.
LED light therapy does not cause burns, as opposed to chemical peels or laser therapy. Also, the treatment is safe for all skin types and colours.
Does it work?
Research shows that LED light therapy can be effective for healing wounds and other skin damage.
Navy SEALs had used LED light therapy in the past to help heal wounds. The treatment resulted in improvement in musculoskeletal injuries in team members by more than 40 percent. It also reduced cure time for wound.
A review of several studies on cosmetic procedures indicates that LED light therapy devices can improve a range of skin conditions including psoriasis and mild to moderate acne.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, with the use of LED light therapy, most people with acne will see an improvement in their symptoms, but they should not expect all acne to clear up.
Before you notice an improvement in skin appearance, you need to have several treatment sessions. People typically show the best results after their last treatment, several weeks later.
To maintain those results, it may also be necessary to have follow-up sessions.
Home devices generally have less efficiency than professional treatments.
Safety and side effects
LED light therapy is generally safe to use. The procedure is non-invasive, and does not cause pain or burning. Experts however warn that these devices’ long-term effects remain unknown.
Side effects at short notice are rare. They may include when they do occur:
- skin redness
Individuals should not use LED therapy if they are taking certain medications, such as isotretinoin (Accutane), for acne or use topical treatments that cause sunlight sensitivity.
Before having LED light therapy, people with skin conditions should speak to a dermatologist.
How to use
LED light therapy can be carried out with a home device in a professional ‘s office or at home.
The dermatologist may ask the person to lie down the LED lights during a professional treatment, or they may use an LED wand on the skin.
Each session will last about 20 minutes, and may require up to 10 sessions.
After that, a person may need to return for maintenance sessions periodically.
At-home LED devices may be more convenient given that no appointments are required. They can however be less successful than professional therapies.
It’s necessary to obey the manufacturer’s instructions when using an at-home computer. Typically, these devices come in the form of a mask that a person applies to the face for a few minutes, or a wand that they use on the skin.
LED light therapy is suitable for use on any part of the body, including the face , hands, neck and chest.
No recovery time is expected after treatment.
LED light therapy seems to be a safe treatment for a variety of skin conditions including acne, skin aging, skin wounds and other issues.
Research shows that this therapy offers promising results, although people should not expect an improvement of 100 percent. The results are also not always permanent so follow-up therapies may be necessary.
Usually, professional therapies are more successful than the therapies at home.
People who want to learn more about the LED light therapy should talk to a dermatologist.