Light-therapy

Light therapy is one of the oldest therapeutic modalities used to treat various health conditions. Sunlight benefits in treating skin diseases have been exploited for more than thousands of years in ancient Egypt, India, and China. Solar therapy was later rediscovered by Niels Ryberg Finsen, a Danish physician and scientist who won in 1903 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in recognition of his contribution to the treatment of diseases, notably lupus vulgaris. Phototherapy involving the use of an artificial irradiation source was born.

Jump forward to 1993 NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) research came about as a result of the effects noted when light of a specific wavelength was shown to accelerate plant growth. Because of the deficient level of wound healing experienced by astronauts in zero-gravity space conditions and Navy Seals in submarines under high atmospheric pressure, NASA investigated the use of LED therapy in wound healing and obtained positive results. This research has continued and innovative and powerful LEDs are now used for a variety of conditions ranging from cosmetic indications to skin cancer treatment (as a photodynamic therapy light source).

What is LED Light Therapy?

LED Technology is based on semiconductor technology, there is a significant difference between lasers and LEDs in the way the light energy is delivered [optical power output (OPD)]. The peak power output of LEDs is measured in milliwatts, whereas that of lasers is measured in watts. LEDs provide a gentler delivery of the same wavelengths of light compared to lasers and at a substantially lower energy output. LEDs do not deliver enough power to damage tissues and do not have the same risk of accidental eye damage that lasers do. LED light therapy has been deemed a non- significant risk by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and has been approved for use in humans.

In short: LED devices use color light therapy (UV-free UV wavelengths is below 400nm) in specific wavelengths via tiny LED bulbs to increase blood circulation and promote collagen production, skin healing and acne reduction.

THE SCIENCY PART

In the same way that plants use chlorophyll to convert sunlight into plant tissue, LEDs can trigger natural intracellular photo-biochemical reactions. Light is measured in wavelengths and is expressed in units of nanometers (nm). Different wavelengths have different chromophores and can have various effects on tissue. Wavelengths are often referred to using their associated color and include:

  • Blue (400-470 nm)
  • Green (470-550 nm)
  • Red (630-700 nm)
  • NIR (Near Infra Red) (700-1200) lights

In general, the longer the wavelength, the deeper the penetration into tissues. At 660 nm, for example, light can achieve reaching a depth of 2.3 mm in the dermis, therefore covering fibroblasts (collagen stimulating) up to the reticular dermis.

Pulsing and Continuous Modes – Both pulsed wave and continuous wave (CW) modes are available in LED devices. Pulsing Mode has been shown to stimulate more collagen production than CW mode.

What can LED Therapy do for your skin?

Different wavelengths of LED can be used for to target various skin conditions from acne to ageing skin. Each wavelength will penetrate a different depth and cause a different effect within the skin. Applications can now be subdivided according to the wavelength or combination of wavelengths used:

1. Wound Healing – Early work involving LED mainly focused on the wound healing properties on skin lesions. Visible/NIR-LED light treatments at various wavelengths have been shown to significantly increase cell growth in normal human epithelial cells, decrease in wound size and acceleration of wound closure, accelerated healing of skin grafts along with speeding up healing of chronic leg ulcers. Wavelength: 660 & 850 combination

2. Acne – Clinical Trials have demonstrated the reduction of inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions using blue light in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Wavelength: 415

3. Inflammation – Can be the result of the oxidation of enzymes produced by the body’s defense mechanism in response to exposure to trauma such as sunlight (photodamage). Studies have demonstrated the anti-flammatory potential of LED treatment, it has also been shown to accelerate the resolution of erythema (redness) Wavelength: 630-660

4. Photo rejuvenation – Over time, skin gradually displays the effects of ageing. The collagen in the skin begins to break down and results in fine lines and then deeper grooves on the skin surface. Factors like sun, gravity, and hormones can speed up the ageing process. LED treatment can induce the restoration of the collagen deficiency by the induction of new collagen synthesis. In clinical studies, the increase in collagen production has been seen in association with improved appearance of photo damaged skin. Wavelength: 630-660

5. Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation Prevention (PHI) – Asian and dark-complexioned people are more prone to post inflammatory pigmentary response PHILED Therapy can prevent or treat PIH – substantial reduction or absence of PIH lesions in the LED-treated areas have been shown in trials. Wavelength: 660 nm.

LED devices for home use can come in many forms:

  • Hand Held
  • Wearable Face Mask
  • Wearable Goggles
  • Flat – can be shaped to fit different areas of the body
  • Beds – to lay on

What results I can expect?

  • Plumped, glowing skin immediately after treatment
  • Penetrates deep within skin to build collagen -Firms skin
  • Evens skin tone and texture
  • Less wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin
  • Faster healing of acne – the blue rays are proven to kill acne-causing bacteria which results with:
  • Speedy elimination of acne breakouts
  • Prevention of new acne breakouts

How long does it take to see results? Some Brands report seeing results from as soon as 10 days and will continue to see results for up to 10 weeks when you start to see firmer smoother skin. (in a 10 week daily-use clinical study)

Can LED Therapy increase Serum penetration? According to Patrick Johnson CEO of BioPhotas who manufacture Celluma Devices in USA “There is nothing we can find to suggest a synergistic effect between LED Therapy and serum penetration” in short no.

Can LED cause hyperpigmentation? LED Therapy will not lead to hyperpigmentation. It’s both preventative and restorative so anyone can benefit.

Are there any side effects? No! there is no ‘skin downtime’, no heat, no pain and therefore no recovery. Some redness can occur after usage this is due to increase in micro-circulation due to the stimulation of the micro-capillaries near the surface of the skin. This is a good redness!

How long do you need to wear and or use the device? Each device and Brand vary, some brands state 3 minutes per day (continuous use) others up to 30 minutes twice per week. Skin Tip: LED Therapy can be used straight after Micro-needling to help with skin healing.

Who can use it? LED therapy is suitable for all ages, all skin types, all skin colours.

CONCLUSION Look for a Brand that can demonstraight Clinical Research // Trails. FDA or TGA approved means that it has been cleared as a safe device to use. This is not relevant to how effective the device is. The strength of the light (higher quality LED bulbs) is key for visible results. The weaker (and less expensive) LED devices may still work, but they require more time and patience before you see results.

A recent (2014) study concluded: The treated subjects experienced significantly improved skin complexion and skin feeling, profilometrically assessed skin roughness, and ultrasonographically measured collagen density. The blinded clinical evaluation of photographs confirmed significant improvement in the intervention groups compared with the control.

I have decided to invest in a LED Face Mask (see above image) device for home use, my area of concern being photo-damaged and ageing skin. It is an investment – as these devices are not cheap, so take your time and do your homework.

My personal research leads me to believe you get what you pay for! The cheap bargain found on ‘popular online shopping sites’ may not be the genuine article. Buyer beware. Have you tried a LED device? I would love to hear your experiences…

Until next time…

be human | be kind | be you

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GabbyGabrielle is the founder and creator of Human & Kind {Organics} The aim of my blog is to share information to educate the reader with the latest research on skin health. I believe we can all achieve beautiful, radiant, healthy, glowing skin without using products containing potentially harmful ingredients which will damage your skins microbiome. Certified organic (ACO) skin care is better for your skin health and the planet Earth.

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REFERENCES:

  • Gold MH, Andriessen A, Biron J, Andriessen H. Clinical Efficacy of Self-applied Blue Light Therapy for Mild-to-Moderate Facial Acne. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 2009;2(3):44-50.
  • Wunsch, A., & Matuschka, K. (2014). 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, 32(2), 93–100.
  • Light-emitting diodes—Their potential in biomedical applications Naichia Gary Yeh a, Chia-Hao Wu a, Ta Chih Cheng b,*  (2010)
Posted by:Human & Kind {organics}

Human & Kind {organics} Premium Australian Certified Organic Skincare | Gender Neutral | No Plastic | Cruelty Free | Skin Microbiome Safe | This is my BLOG to help Educate Curious People | be human | be kind | be you.

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