LED (light-emitting diode) light therapy treats various skin conditions and concerns, such as acne, fine lines and psoriasis. It comes in different types, including red light LED therapy and blue light LED therapy, which are sometimes used in combination.
What is LED light therapy?
LED (light-emitting diode) light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that enters the skin’s layers to improve the skin.
In the 1990s, NASA began studying LED’s effects in promoting wound healing in astronauts by helping cells and tissues grow.
Today, dermatologists and estheticians commonly use LED light therapy to treat a range of skin issues. Skin specialists often use LED light therapy together with other treatments, such as creams, ointments and facials, to give you the best results.
You can also buy an array of at-home devices that use LED light therapy, including LED masks.
Are there different kinds of LED light therapy?
LED light therapy uses various wavelengths that correspond to different visible colors. Each color penetrates the skin at different depths.
- Blue light affects the uppermost layer of your skin.
- Yellow light penetrates deeper.
- Red light travels further into your skin.
- Near-infrared light penetrates deepest.
Different LED colors do different things. For example, experts believe:
- Red LED light therapy may reduce inflammation and stimulate the production of collagen, a protein responsible for younger-looking skin that diminishes with age.
- Blue LED light therapy may destroy acne-causing bacteria (P. acnes).
During treatment, skin specialists may use a combination of lights to treat your specific issue. At-home devices may also combine colors.
Does LED light therapy actually work?
Research suggests that LED light therapy can help reduce and improve some skin conditions and issues. To see improvement in your skin, though, you need to have regular treatments.
In-office LED light therapy uses more powerful strengths than at-home devices, which makes it more effective. With LED masks and other portable devices, you likely won’t see dramatic anti-aging or acne-reducing results. You might experience subtle improvements in your skin’s appearance, though.
What doesn’t LED light therapy treat?
LED light therapy doesn’t help with:
- Acne cysts.
How long does it take for LED light therapy to work?
To see significant benefits, you typically need to have a series of in-office treatments. You may need a treatment each week for about a month. Then you might need maintenance treatments every month or every few months.
Some at-home devices may also require a substantial time commitment. You might need to use your device twice a day for 30 to 60 minutes for four to five weeks. Other devices take just a few minutes a day.