LED light therapy has come up a lot in the skincare and wellness community in recent years. Typically LED light therapy is performed by a cosmetologist, dermatologist, physiotherapist or other manual therapist, however, in recent years LED light therapy masks and other devices for at-home use have become a popular item.
While it’s easy to want to jump on the lasted skincare or health trend we should be aware of what the benefits of this therapy actually are, so here are 4 benefits of LED light therapy:
Addresses Common Skin Concerns
In a spa, dermatology or cosmetology setting, LED light has been used to treat a variety of common skin concerns from acne and redness to the effects of aging. Different wavelengths of light penetrate our skin at different levels.
In the case of common facial concerns such as acne and redness blue and red light are used to ease oil gland production and kill off the bacteria that commonly causes acne. For anti-aging effects red light can stimulate skin cells to produce more collagen, something that tends to decrease as we grow older .
When used in conjunction with other treatments, LED light therapy may also prove effective for managing psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. However, patients should consult their doctor before beginning LED light therapy as certain medications can increase sensitivity to light.
Red and blue are the types of LED light that are found in at-home LED therapy masks and devices, though they are typically at lower light levels than are used in a professional setting.
Many physiotherapists and manual practitioners use low level light therapy (LLLT) to help ease pain and inflammation. While targeted LLLT is beneficial, FDA-approved LED light therapy beds like the LightStim LED bed available at Sweet Be Wellness and Skin Carecan treat concerns throughout the whole body. This makes LED light therapy beds beneficial for arthritic pain, general muscle aches and soreness, and some chronic pain conditions.
LED light therapy for pain relief uses multiple wavelengths of red LED light from light red through to infrared to raise tissue temperature and stimulate circulation. While these beds may look like tanning beds, LED light therapy does not involve the use of any UV rays and thus does not carry with it the same risk of skin cancers or other skin damage.
Aids in Injury Recovery
LED light therapy is often used to aid in recovery from sports and other injuries. In physiotherapy and other manual therapy settings, a targeted LED light is used to increase collagen, tissue temperature and blood circulation to bring beneficial healing cells to the area of concern. This therapy also reduces pain associated with injury and can relax muscles making manual therapy treatments more effective.
Red and blue LED light can also speed up wound healing and reduce inflammation. Multiple studies have shown that the use of LED light on a wound can speed up recovery due to a number of factors including increased collagen production and LLLT’s impact on keratin . Using LED light therapy on wounds significantly decreased the size of the wound over a week compared to using no wound healing interventions.
Are There Side Effects to LED Light Therapy?
LED light therapy is generally safe for most people but there are some concerns to be aware of:
You shouldn’t use LED light therapy if you’re using Accutane or other skin treatments that may increase sensitivity.
You should avoid LED light therapy if you have a skin rash.
Side effects are rare but you should speak to your doctor if you experience:
Hives or rash
Tenderness or pain
You should also always ensure you wear eye protection when using LED light therapy as it may result in damage to the eyes.
Before using an at-home LED light therapy device you may wish to have a professional treatment done to ensure that you respond well to treatment and don’t experience any adverse effects.
LED light therapy is a generally safe, noninvasive treatment option for a variety of skin conditions, pain, injury and wounds. If you think you may benefit from the use of LED light therapy you consult with your doctor or professional to determine if it’s right for you.