At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Light emitting diodes (LED) light therapy is used to promote healing of cells and tissues, as well as to help patients overcome some medical conditions and injuries. LED light arrays are set at specific wavelengths, often between 600 and 900 nanometers, allowing light to penetrate blood and water and reach the cells to aid in healing. The light penetrates the tissue to positively affect damaged cells and can help reduce pain and soothe aches. Phototherapy, as it’s also called, can be used for cosmetic purposes as well. Blue light therapy and red light therapy are often recommended by dermatologists to remove wrinkles and acne.
Some individuals benefit from the pain relief and healing that LED light therapy can provide. There are some LED light devices that are approved for home use, and individuals can purchase and use them without a prescription or oversight by a medical professional. A few of the medical conditions and injuries that it may be helpful in treating include ulcers, tendinitis, and diabetes. Each condition or injury requires the device to be set to a specific wavelength to work. There are also some conditions where LED light therapy has not been medically proven to be helpful, such as injuries that are underneath a bone.
LED light therapy is also an optional treatment for various skin conditions. Red light therapy is often used by individuals and dermatologists working with patients to reduce wrinkles. The therapy enhances collagen production, and as a result produces firmer skin. Fine lines and spotting due to aging are often eliminated or significantly reduced. Blue light therapy is used in the treatment of acne, but there is debate whether light devices for home use work. The blue light, which is really a violet light, is supposed to get rid of the bacteria that cause acne as well as reduce inflammation.
The devices used for LED light therapy vary. Some consist of the LED device itself with straps so that individuals can attach the device to certain areas of the body. Other devices are portable hand-held devices, such as a wand, that individuals use to hold over the injured area or portion of the skin that they want to treat. Among the hand-held devices are cordless or corded ones, and individuals can choose what’s most convenient. More elaborate devices found in medical settings include large overhead panels or upright panels that patients have to stand in front of to gain the benefits of the light arrays.