Skin Enhancements

While the benefits of light exposure to the skin have been known for millennia, the healing and rejuvenating benefits of red light therapy are just surfacing. Red light therapy is a non-invasive method to help combat a variety of medical conditions painlessly while reducing inflammation and cell death.

Light’s therapeutic power starts by giving skin a healthy look and feel and extends to wound healing, reduced inflammation, wrinkle reduction, and treatment of medical conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis and vitiligo.

Red and near infrared light penetrates more deeply than other light waves allowing their benefits to extend into the dermis, affecting soft tissues, blood vessels and nerves. The skin care benefits of red light therapy are vast but can be summarized as promoting healing, reducing inflammation, rejuvenating skin and reducing cell death.

Other therapies such as laser treatments and acids intentionally damage the skin before encouraging new growth, whereas the unique approach offered by red and infrared light therapy bypasses those destructive steps and immediately stimulates regenerative processes. Red light therapy combats medical conditions, inflammation, aging, and more without pain.

medical grade light therapy

Skin Enhancements

While the benefits of light exposure to the skin have been known for millennia, the healing and rejuvenating benefits of red light therapy are just surfacing. Red light therapy is a non-invasive method to help combat a variety of medical conditions painlessly while reducing inflammation and cell death.

Light’s therapeutic power starts by giving skin a healthy look and feel and extends to wound healing, reduced inflammation, wrinkle reduction, and treatment of medical conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis and vitiligo.

Red and near infrared light penetrates more deeply than other light waves allowing their benefits to extend into the dermis, affecting soft tissues, blood vessels and nerves. The skin care benefits of red light therapy are vast but can be summarized as promoting healing, reducing inflammation, rejuvenating skin and reducing cell death.

Other therapies such as laser treatments and acids intentionally damage the skin before encouraging new growth, whereas the unique approach offered by red and infrared light therapy bypasses those destructive steps and immediately stimulates regenerative processes. Red light therapy combats medical conditions, inflammation, aging, and more without pain.

Acne

For a long time, medical professionals have reported the benefical effects of sunlight for the skin. However, those beneficial effects come at the price of exposure to UV light, which damages skin (i.e. – sunburn). For many conditions, red & near infrared light therapy offers all the positive effects of the sun, with zero negatives that are typically associated with exposure to natural sunlight.

Dermatologists increasingly are turning to light therapy for acne, one of the most common skin conditions. Sunlight helps to reduce the hormones that produce acne secretions. Red & near infrared light therapy mimics those effects, and can stop overproduction of secretions from the sebaceous glands, a key cause of acne, and reduce inflammation.

Studies comparing the use of red light with a topical treatment on patients with acne showed a marked improvement among those using red light therapy, particularly for more inflamed lesions. [1]

Collagen Production

One of the keys to light therapy’s success is the production of collagen, the most common protein in the human body. Collagen is essential in forming connective tissue and is found in tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage and skin. It gives skin its elasticity and that famous “healthy glow.”

Several studies revealed that not only does red and near infrared light therapy encourage collagen production, but they can also discourage collagen breakdown. Boosting this one key protein is at the root of red light therapy’s effectiveness on skin issues including wrinkles, tissue repair, firmness and resilience.

Collagen also has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that not only combat inflammation related to skin conditions, but also joint conditions such as arthritis. Furthermore, collagen is essential in wound healing, forming a matrix in the wound bed over which new skin can grow.

Fine lines & wrinkle reduction

Among the most studied uses of red light therapy is the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

As skin ages, a number of changes occur at the molecular level: less collagen is produced, existing collagen fibers begin to fragment, elastic fibers start to degenerate, and more MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases, which are responsible for the degradation of collagen and other proteins) are produced. Physically, this translates to wrinkles, pigmentation changes, loss of elasticity and increased visibility of blood vessels, sometimes called “spider veins.” [1]

Photo rejuvenation is the use of light therapy to reduce many of these signs of aging. The therapy’s efficacy is attributed largely to its ability to boost collagen and fibroblasts. Collagen helps provide skin’s elasticity, while fibroblasts are critical in healing and maintaining tissue structure. [4, 1]

Clinical studies support red and near infrared light therapy’s ability to combat signs of aging showing almost universal improvements after photorejuvenation. In one study, more than 90 percent of patients showed a decrease in signs of aging. In another study, 90 percent of patients treated with light therapy reported softer skin texture and a reduction in fine lines. Other studies have shown decreases in wrinkles, increased elasticity, increased collagen production, smoother pigmentation and reduced MMPs. [2, 1]

Some scientists have even suggested red light can help prevent damage by UV light exposure by triggering the body’s protection and reparation responses to UV radiation. One study showed a reduction in sunburn after UV radiation in 85 percent of patients with fair skin or sun sensitivity after red light therapy, similar to applying SPF 15 sunscreen. [1]

Accelerated Healing

For decades, hundereds of clinical studies have shown that light therapy accelerates healing. Scientists now know that red & near infrared light therapy is effective with wound healing because of its ability to increase collagen production, reduce inflammation, encourage new tissue growth and improve wound contraction [7].

After a burn or injury, the body intentionally causes inflammation at the wound site as white blood cells swarm to remove bacteria and encourage repair. Cells called fibroblasts migrate to the wound site to produce additional collagen, which serves as a scaffolding for other tissues to build on.

Dozens of clinical studies have shown that light therapy encourages the formation of granulation tissue [8]. This type of tissue forms on the surface of a wound, covering the damaged area and eventually allowing a new layer of skin to form over it. Light therapy is one method physicians turn to for persistent wounds that have not responded to more traditional therapies.

Studies have shown that when used to treat cutaneous wounds (penetrating into the epidermis and/or dermis), light therapy reduced inflammation more quickly, sped up wound closure, and led to increased production of collagen and elastic fibers [9, 10].

Additional studies also have shown that treating third-degree burns with red light therapy resulted in a marked increase in collagen production and a significant decrease in inflammation. The studies also showed red light therapy accelerated wound closure, tissue repair, and formation of new skin after second-degree burns [11, 12, 13].

Minimizing Scars

Scars, whether from burns, injury or medical treatments or conditions, can have profound effects on overall quality of life, and ultimately a person’s self esteem with how they are perceived in society. Fortunately, in addition to helping heal new injuries and wounds, red light therapy also can help minimize existing scars.

Near infrared light therapy has been shown to help minimize the formation of hypertrophic scars and keloids, benign tumors, acne or other trauma. [8]

It can also help to reduce the visibility, pliability and height of burn scars, while encouraging new blood vessel formation. In one clinical study, 90% patients with burn scars saw a reduction in visibility and scar depth after treatment with red light therapy. [15]

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is caused by quick, excessive growth of keratinocytes cells. The result is an inflammatory reaction in the dermis, causing an outbreak. Light therapy helps to control that inflammation, resulting in a 60 to 100 percent clearance of chronic psoriasis in one study [6].

Alopedia Areata / Spot Baldness

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Multiple studies have shown red & near infrared light therapy to be effective in helping to regrow hair, with coverage of more than 50 percent in all patients in one study [6].

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a skin disorder marked by depigmentation of the skin and hair. The loss of pigmentation stems from the disappearance of functioning melanocytes (i.e.melanin producers) in the skin. Red light therapy has been shown to moderately increase repigmentation in those with vitiligo by stimulating melanocytes and other cells in the dermis and epidermis that produce collagen and keratin. [8, 5].

Herpes

In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial, it was concluded that light therapy significantly lowers the incidence and recurrence times of herpes simplex. The median recurrence-free interval for the treated group was 37 weeks, whereas the placebo group was 3 weeks. [16]

Given the noninvasive treatment method, red & near infrared light therapy has been suggested as alternatives to current medications and established therapeutic treatment options. [1]

medical grade light therapy

Acne

For a long time, medical professionals have reported the benefical effects of sunlight for the skin. However, those beneficial effects come at the price of exposure to UV light, which damages skin (i.e. – sunburn). For many conditions, red & near infrared light therapy offers all the positive effects of the sun, with zero negatives that are typically associated with exposure to natural sunlight.

Dermatologists increasingly are turning to light therapy for acne, one of the most common skin conditions. Sunlight helps to reduce the hormones that produce acne secretions. Red & near infrared light therapy mimics those effects, and can stop overproduction of secretions from the sebaceous glands, a key cause of acne, and reduce inflammation.

Studies comparing the use of red light with a topical treatment on patients with acne showed a marked improvement among those using red light therapy, particularly for more inflamed lesions. [1]

Collagen Production

One of the keys to light therapy’s success is the production of collagen, the most common protein in the human body. Collagen is essential in forming connective tissue and is found in tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage and skin. It gives skin its elasticity and that famous “healthy glow.”

Several studies revealed that not only does red and near infrared light therapy encourage collagen production, but they can also discourage collagen breakdown. Boosting this one key protein is at the root of red light therapy’s effectiveness on skin issues including wrinkles, tissue repair, firmness and resilience.

Collagen also has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects that not only combat inflammation related to skin conditions, but also joint conditions such as arthritis. Furthermore, collagen is essential in wound healing, forming a matrix in the wound bed over which new skin can grow.

Fine lines & wrinkle reduction

Among the most studied uses of red light therapy is the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

As skin ages, a number of changes occur at the molecular level: less collagen is produced, existing collagen fibers begin to fragment, elastic fibers start to degenerate, and more MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases, which are responsible for the degradation of collagen and other proteins) are produced. Physically, this translates to wrinkles, pigmentation changes, loss of elasticity and increased visibility of blood vessels, sometimes called “spider veins.” [1]

Photo rejuvenation is the use of light therapy to reduce many of these signs of aging. The therapy’s efficacy is attributed largely to its ability to boost collagen and fibroblasts. Collagen helps provide skin’s elasticity, while fibroblasts are critical in healing and maintaining tissue structure. [4, 1]

Clinical studies support red and near infrared light therapy’s ability to combat signs of aging showing almost universal improvements after photorejuvenation. In one study, more than 90 percent of patients showed a decrease in signs of aging. In another study, 90 percent of patients treated with light therapy reported softer skin texture and a reduction in fine lines. Other studies have shown decreases in wrinkles, increased elasticity, increased collagen production, smoother pigmentation and reduced MMPs. [2, 1]

Some scientists have even suggested red light can help prevent damage by UV light exposure by triggering the body’s protection and reparation responses to UV radiation. One study showed a reduction in sunburn after UV radiation in 85 percent of patients with fair skin or sun sensitivity after red light therapy, similar to applying SPF 15 sunscreen. [1]

Accelerated Healing

For decades, hundereds of clinical studies have shown that light therapy accelerates healing. Scientists now know that red & near infrared light therapy is effective with wound healing because of its ability to increase collagen production, reduce inflammation, encourage new tissue growth and improve wound contraction [7].

After a burn or injury, the body intentionally causes inflammation at the wound site as white blood cells swarm to remove bacteria and encourage repair. Cells called fibroblasts migrate to the wound site to produce additional collagen, which serves as a scaffolding for other tissues to build on.

Dozens of clinical studies have shown that light therapy encourages the formation of granulation tissue [8]. This type of tissue forms on the surface of a wound, covering the damaged area and eventually allowing a new layer of skin to form over it. Light therapy is one method physicians turn to for persistent wounds that have not responded to more traditional therapies.

Studies have shown that when used to treat cutaneous wounds (penetrating into the epidermis and/or dermis), light therapy reduced inflammation more quickly, sped up wound closure, and led to increased production of collagen and elastic fibers [9, 10].

Additional studies also have shown that treating third-degree burns with red light therapy resulted in a marked increase in collagen production and a significant decrease in inflammation. The studies also showed red light therapy accelerated wound closure, tissue repair, and formation of new skin after second-degree burns [11, 12, 13].

Minimizing Scars

Scars, whether from burns, injury or medical treatments or conditions, can have profound effects on overall quality of life, and ultimately a person’s self esteem with how they are perceived in society. Fortunately, in addition to helping heal new injuries and wounds, red light therapy also can help minimize existing scars.

Near infrared light therapy has been shown to help minimize the formation of hypertrophic scars and keloids, benign tumors, acne or other trauma. [8]

It can also help to reduce the visibility, pliability and height of burn scars, while encouraging new blood vessel formation. In one clinical study, 90% patients with burn scars saw a reduction in visibility and scar depth after treatment with red light therapy. [15]

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is caused by quick, excessive growth of keratinocytes cells. The result is an inflammatory reaction in the dermis, causing an outbreak. Light therapy helps to control that inflammation, resulting in a 60 to 100 percent clearance of chronic psoriasis in one study [6].

Alopedia Areata / Spot Baldness

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Multiple studies have shown red & near infrared light therapy to be effective in helping to regrow hair, with coverage of more than 50 percent in all patients in one study [6].

Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a skin disorder marked by depigmentation of the skin and hair. The loss of pigmentation stems from the disappearance of functioning melanocytes (i.e.melanin producers) in the skin. Red light therapy has been shown to moderately increase repigmentation in those with vitiligo by stimulating melanocytes and other cells in the dermis and epidermis that produce collagen and keratin. [8, 5].

Herpes

In a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial, it was concluded that light therapy significantly lowers the incidence and recurrence times of herpes simplex. The median recurrence-free interval for the treated group was 37 weeks, whereas the placebo group was 3 weeks. [16]

Given the noninvasive treatment method, red & near infrared light therapy has been suggested as alternatives to current medications and established therapeutic treatment options. [1]

Sources & References

[1] Avci P, Gupta A, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Mar 2013; 32(1): 41-52.

[2] Wunsch A and Matuschka K. A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. Feb 2014; 32(2): 93-100.

[3] Barolet D, Roberge CJ, et al. Regulation of skin collagen metabolism in vitro using a pulsed 660 nm LED light source: clinical correlation with a single-blinded study. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2009 December.

[4] Kim HK, Choi JH. Effects of radiofrequency, electroacupuncture, and low-level laser therapy on the wrinkles and moisture content of the forehead, eyes, and cheek. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2017 February.

[5] Yu S., Lan CE, et al. Mechanisms of repigmentation induced by photobiomodulation therapy in vitiligo. Experimental Dermatology. 2019 February.

[6] Hamblin M. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation”. AIMS Biophys. 2017; 4(3): 337–361. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2017.3.337

[7] Gál P, Stausholm MB, et al. Should open excisions and sutured incisions be treated differently? A review and meta-analysis of animal wound models following low-level laser therapy. Lasers in Medical Science. 2018 Aug.

[8] Emília de Abreu Chaves M, Rodrigues de Araújo A, Piancastelli ACC, and Pinotti M. “Effects of low-power light therapy on wound healing: LASER x LED.” An Bras Dermatol. 2014 Jul-Aug; 89(4): 616–623.

[9] Güngörmüş M, Akyol U. The effect of gallium-aluminum-arsenide 808-nm low-level laser therapy on healing of skin incisions made using a diode laser. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. 2009 Dec.

[10] Pesqui Odontol Bras. 2003 Oct-Dec;17(4):307-13. Epub 2004 Apr 19. The influence of low-level laser therapy on biomodulation of collagen and elastic fibers. Pugliese LS1, Medrado AP, Reis SR, Andrade Zde A.

[11] Fiório FB, Albertini R, et al. Effect of low-level laser therapy on types I and III collagen and inflammatory cells in rats with induced third-degree burns. Lasers in Medical Science. 2014 Jan. 5

[12] Fiório FB, Silveira L Jr. Effect of incoherent LED radiation on third-degree burning wounds in rats. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2011 Dec.

[13] Trajano ET, da Trajano LA, et al. Low-level red laser improves healing of second-degree burn when applied during proliferative phase. Lasers in Medical Science. 2015 May.

[14] Current Dermatology Reports September 2016, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 232–238 | Cite as Accelerating Ablative Fractional Resurfacing Wound Healing Recovery by Photobiomodulation

[15] Gaida K, Koller R, et al. Low Level Laser Therapy–a conservative approach to the burn scar?

[16] Schindl A, Neumann R. Low-intensity laser therapy is an effective treatment for recurrent herpes simplex infection. Results from a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. J Invest Dermatol. 1999 Aug;113(2):221–223

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