LED therapy

Light emitting diode therapy, also known as LED therapy, uses light sources to deliver light of different wavelengths to the skin to target specific skin concerns. It’s sometimes referred to as Low Level Light (or Laser) Therapy (LLLT). 

What’s LED therapy used for, and what’s the difference between the different wavelengths of lights used? 

  • Blue light (405-420nm) is used to treat acne and congestion, by destroying the acne-causing bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes. Some research suggests that a combination of red and blue light may be more effective in treating acne than blue light alone. 
  • Red light (630-700nm) is used for skin rejuvenation, and can accelerate wound healing.
  • Yellow light (570-590nm) is used to accelerate wound healing and for skin rejuvenation, and may accelerate healing following laser treatment. 
  • Near-infrared light (830nm) is used for wound healing, recovery post-procedures and for skin rejuvenation. 

What does LED treatment involve? 

No preparation is required for LED therapy. During your treatment session, you will lie down, and your skin will be cleansed. The LED lamp will be positioned to best treat the area concerned. Once the treatment commences, you may feel a slight warm sensation. Treatment usually takes between 10 to 20 minutes, and can be performed up to several times per week. LED therapy isn’t painful, and there is no downtime. You can return to your usual activities straight away. 

How does LED therapy compare with laser treatment? 

LED therapy is much less powerful than laser treatment, so when used for rejuvenation, results may not be as dramatic as with other treatments such as laser. LED does not target concerns such as pigmentation, redness, prominent blood vessels or excessive hair growth. 

What are the advantages of LED therapy?

The advantages of LED therapy include that it is very safe, painless, with no downtime. It’s often more affordable than other treatment options. 

Do home LED devices work? 

Home use LED devices are available. However, these are usually much less powerful than devices available for use in-office.

Ablon G. Phototherapy with Light Emitting Diodes: Treating a Broad Range of Medical and Aesthetic Conditions in Dermatology. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018;11(2):21-27.

Opel DR, Hagstrom E, Pace AK, et al. Light-emitting Diodes: A Brief Review and Clinical Experience. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2015;8(6):36-44.

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Spotlight on Skin was created by award-winning Melbourne-based dermatologist, Dr Julia Rhodes.

Julia knows first-hand how overwhelming the skincare world can be, and that’s with over 10 years of experience practicing dermatology. Given that even she gets overwhelmed, she appreciates how hard it can be for those of you without a scientific background to make sense of all the information available, and choose products that are right for your skin…