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What is LED Light Therapy?

Daphne Mallory
Daphne Mallory

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.

A man doing LED light therapy.
A man doing LED light therapy.

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.

Blue light therapy can help clear up acne.
Blue light therapy can help clear up acne.

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.

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Discussion Comments


@miriam98 - It appears that LED light therapy for skin is effective and medically approved for a wide variety of ailments. However, I think you should be careful before trying out this treatment if you have certain preexisting medical conditions.

For example, if you have epilepsy, I wouldn’t recommend that you go for this treatment. The reason is that certain wavelengths of light might trigger a seizure, as has been shown to be true with cases of people getting seizures from video games and things like that.

This is not a medical opinion, it’s just something I think you should be aware of. At the very least, consult your doctor before going in for the treatment.


@miriam98 - From what I’ve heard you do the therapy around every two weeks. But the trick is “maintenance.”

In order to keep your skin looking smooth and tight, you have to go in for additional treatments every couple of months, at the most. If it’s that important to you, then I guess it would be worth it.

I’m less concerned about reducing facing lines than I am in possibly using it as a treatment for tendinitis, which I’ve had for the past ten years. I’ve been looking for a drug free treatment. I don’t want to get hooked on steroid injections or anti inflammatory drugs.

Exercise and ice packs have been helping, but it looks like these LED light therapy devices might do the trick. I like the fact that it’s completely safe. LED light does not produce radiation so you won’t suffer from too much exposure.


A lot of products on the market claim to reduce wrinkles and other facial lines. I’ve met most of these products with some degree of skepticism. I wonder how well the LED light therapy facial system works?

It appears that dermatologists vouch for its use, but if so, how long would it take for the results to appear? It might be a worthwhile procedure if other methods like creams didn’t work too well to reduce aging lines, and if it didn’t take months to reduce the wrinkle lines.

In my opinion, anything that took months to show results would be too expensive. I am assuming here that the home systems don’t work well and so you’d need to go with the professional service, which I don’t think would be cheap on a per treatment basis.

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    • A man doing LED light therapy.
      A man doing LED light therapy.
    • Blue light therapy can help clear up acne.
      By: Gordana Sermek
      Blue light therapy can help clear up acne.
    • Blue light therapy and red light therapy may be helpful in removing wrinkles.
      By: biancia
      Blue light therapy and red light therapy may be helpful in removing wrinkles.