How Long Does It Take For Led Light Therapy To Work
To see significant benefits, you typically need to have a series of in-office treatments. You may need a treatment each week for about a month. Then you might need maintenance treatments every month or every few months.
Some at-home devices may also require a substantial time commitment. You might need to use your device twice a day for 30 to 60 minutes for four to five weeks. Other devices take just a few minutes a day.
How Do The Effects Compare To Visiting The Derm Though
While clinical results show that at-home devices can be just as effective at treating mild acne, they offer lower intensity than what can be achieved in an office, Dr. Zeichner explains. However, this also means that they can be used more frequently , and thanks to the small portable nature and affordable price point, are more convenient to incorporate into your routine. Not to mention, a typical treatment in a derm’s office can range anywhere from $50-$100 per session and patients are typically advised to come in twice weekly for several months, making it an expensive endeavor, Dr. Zeichner says.
What About Red Light
If you’re wondering why some visible light devices seem to give off more of a purple glow, that’s because some options on the market actually use a combination of red and blue light. “Red light has traditionally been used for anti-aging purposes because it helps stimulate collagen. At the same time it helps reduce inflammation, which is why it is useful alongside blue-light in treating acne,” explains New York City-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D.
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How Does Blue Light Therapy For Acne Work
You can think of light therapy devices like a topical skincare treatment that fights acne on two fronts. At the cellular level, blue light stimulates healthy cell functioning in multiple ways. In addition, light therapy helps destroy acne-causing bacteria.
Just like vitamin C, your skin cells have receptors for LED, Dr. Gross explained. Then the light enters a cell and performs its diverse functions. For example, it can enter the fibroblast cell and stimulate your skin to make more of its own collagen, which is the only way one can truly build back firmness. Also, it can work on the cells of the blood vessels and have them diminish their size and thats why you see reduced redness with LED light.
Blue light targets P. acne bacteria the bacteria that causes pimples and breakouts. Once the light penetrates the bacterial cell, it destroys the cells DNA, stopping it from turning into a pimple. Essentially, blue light kills acne breeding bacteria.
What makes light therapy for acne an innovative treatment is that unlike other topical acne treatments, you dont have to worry about LED over-drying your skin. You can also find at-home devices, like the DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, that incorporate both red and blue LED light, Dr. Gross said. Red LED stimulates collagen production and reduces inflammation. Used together, you can simultaneously target acne and other skin aging concerns like fine lines and wrinkles.
The Best Device For Pain Relief Therapy
The neoprene wrap and the full body panel tie for pain-relief first place device choice. This will come down to preference that ultimately is between portability and power .
I am partial to neoprene wraps because Im terrible at sitting in one place for any amount of time. But I absolutely love the full body power of a high-quality red light therapy panel, and no matter how much I love portability, panels are just more therapeutic. You will get more energy-healing photons from a panel than from a pad, and you will get more convenience from a pad than from a panel.
Neoprene wraps are usually corded with an option to use a rechargeable phone battery for portability. Panels are always corded in order to output the photons at maximum power .
Use the info above or the summary table below to choose the device that make sense for your needs.
|Best Red Light Therapy Device Types for Hair Growth, Dementia/Brain Injury, Facial Skin Therapy, and Pain Relief|
|panel or neoprene wrap||Panels and neoprene wraps tie for first choice. If you want a lot of light right now, get a panel. If you need freedom of movement while treating, get a neoprene wrap.|
|handheld panel||Handheld panels mix the best of panels and wraps. Hold a handheld on the skin for maximum absorption. Get a portable battery to make the handheld a portable device.|
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What Is Led Light Therapy
LED light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that enters the skins layers to improve the skin.
In the 1990s, NASA began studying LEDs effects in promoting wound healing in astronauts by helping cells and tissues grow.
Today, dermatologists and estheticians commonly use LED light therapy to treat a range of skin issues. Skin specialists often use LED light therapy together with other treatments, such as creams, ointments and facials, to give you the best results.
You can also buy an array of at-home devices that use LED light therapy, including LED masks.
What Is A Dermatologist
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in skin, hair, and nail conditions and treatment. Under this umbrella is acne, one of the most prevalent health conditions in the world.
A dermatologist will complete approximately 12 years of training in order to become board certified, including undergraduate education, medical school, and residency. From there, they can begin to treat acne.
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How Light Therapy Works To Treat Acne
Of all the colors out there, blue light is generally considered to be the most effective option for acne, given that it has three different mechanisms of action that target breakouts:
- Antibacterial Properties:“Blue light sets off a chemical reaction that eliminates acne-causing bacteria, P. acnes. That bacteria produces a protein called porphyrins, and when this protein is exposed to and absorbs blue light, a chemical reaction ensues, killing the bacteria,” explains Nussbaum.
- Regulates Sebum Production: Second, it regulates sebum production, and we know that excess sebum can clog pores and is a key component in the acne cycle.
- Improves Inflammation: And finally, blue light also tones down inflammation and redness, a major boon when you’re battling breakouts.
This all makes for a great and effective solution for those who have easily irritated skin and may not be able to tolerate traditional topical treatments . The experts we spoke with agree that yes, ideally using light therapy in tandem with topicals is the ideal approach . Still, LED treatments offer a great alternative to the standard topical and oral acne treatments out there.
How To Use Blue Light Therapy For Acne
Another great thing about blue light therapy is that it only takes three minutes out of your day!
You should use your blue light therapy acne treatment device for three minutes per treatment area. Once the three minutes has passed, you can move onto the next treatment area if needed. If you are treating an area near your eyes, you should avoid pointing the light at your eyes or wear goggles to ensure your eyes are protected.
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What Are Your Options
The FDA has cleared several at-home visible light LED devices for mild to moderate acne. Some popular options? The Tria Positively Clear 3-Step Skincare Solution re-launched in the fall using the same technology they’ve had in their devices for years, but in a smaller package that’s great for getting into hard to reach parts of your face, and is cartridge-free. Then there’s the relatively new Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask which uses both red and blue light and clocks in at less than the price of a SoulCycle class and already counts Lena Dunham as a fan. Other options include the Me Clear Anti-Blemish Device that uses a combination of blue light, sonic vibration, and “gentle warming.” The LightStim is another red and blue light device that, in addition to reducing inflammation and destroying acne bacteria, also promises to increase circulation, along with collagen and elastin production.
While the length of time you’ll need to use each device varies , the time investment for most at-home devices ranges from about 6 to 20 minutes *daily* to see results . So, while it certainly adds a step to your skin-care routine, it’s definitely way less time than you spend in bed scrolling through Instagram on a daily basis, not to mention probably less time consuming than other at-home beauty processes you undergo on the reg, like a bikini wax.
Where To Do Light Therapy Treatments For Acne
Light therapy acne treatments are widely available in both professional and at-home settings. Phototherapy has become a very common and popular acne treatment among dermatologists . If you choose to see a dermatologist for light therapy, you could pay $40-50 per session, but depending on the area and prestige of the clinic, light therapy acne treatments can cost as much as $100 per session.
The problem with professional light therapy acne treatments is the cost in both time and money. Light therapy works much better when done consistently, ideally every day for skin conditions like acne and cold sores. For acne, you need light therapy sessions for at least a few weeks to see results. Daily or even weekly treatments with a dermatologist or salon add up quickly, and most people just cant spend thousands of dollars and hours of time on light therapy treatments every month.
The majority of people treating acne with light therapy prefer to use a personal, at-home device with a one-time cost . These are ideal for acne because you can do sessions every day in just a few minutes each. At-home light therapy treatments save a lot of money and time versus going to a dermatologist or spa, and they tend to be more effective because you can do them more consistently.
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Best Blue Light Therapy Devices For Acne
reVive Light Therapy® offers top-notch, FDA-cleared, medical grade light therapy devices for acne treatment. By combining blue light with red light therapy, our devices destroy acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation and uneven skin tone, minimize sun damage, and promote healing. From spot treatment devices to panels that offer broader coverage, our acne treatment collection has solutions for your unique skincare needs.
Blue Light Therapy Skin Safety
In a study assessing safety and effectiveness of blue light therapy for acne, researchers found the only side effect was dry skin. Blue light is close to ultraviolet on the electromagnetic spectrum. One study found similar cell changes under blue light as one sees under UV. Authors speculate that blue light is similar to UV in its ability to create wrinkles. Blue light can increase melasma symptoms.
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How To Incorporate Light Therapy Into Your Skincare Routine
You can use LED as part of your morning or evening skincare routine, but you should always use the device on clean, dry skin. If you apply products before using an at-home LED device, the light wont be able to penetrate and you wont see the best results. In addition to LED, you should add a gentle chemical exfoliator into your routine, Dr. Gross said. The most cause of acne is clogged pores. If you are consistently removing dead skin and debris from the surface of your skin, you are much less likely to clog pores, which causes acne. I recommend the Alpha Beta Daily Peels.
To get the most out of light therapy for acne, Dr. Gross recommends using the devices daily, since blue LED treats existing acne and prevents future acne from forming. I always tell my patients that prevention is the best treatment, Dr. Gross said. You should always be working to prevent acne before you see a blemish appear. Its important to remember that the breakout youre seeing now actually started forming beneath your skins surface two weeks ago. By using a full-face LED mask, you are continuously killing acne-causing bacteria and can avoid future breakouts. If you have a single pimple you want to target, there are spot treatment LED devices available, like the DRx SpotLite Acne Treatment Device.
If youre ready to give light therapy for acne a try, consider one of the at-home light therapy acne devices below.
Do Led Masks Actually Work
The research behind LED masks is centered on the lights used, and if youre going by those findings, LED masks can be beneficial to your skin.
For instance, in a study with 52 women participants published in the March 2017 issue of Dermatologic Surgery, researchers found that red LED light treatment improved measures of eye-area wrinkles. Another study, in the August 2018 Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, gave the use of LED devices for skin rejuvenation a grade of C. Seeing an improvement in certain measures, like wrinkles, can take some time, and they argue that more long-term research is needed.
When it comes to acne, a review of research in the MarchApril 2017 issue of Clinics in Dermatology noted that both red and blue light therapy for acne reduced blemishes by 46 to 76 percent after 4 to 12 weeks of treatment. In a review of 37 clinical trials published in the May 2021 Archives of Dermatological Research, the authors looked at home-based devices and their efficacy on a variety of dermatological conditions, ultimately recommending LED treatment for acne. That said, other research on blue light, such as a review in the Annals of Family Medicine in NovemberDecember 2019, are far less promising when it comes to blue lights ability to clear skin.
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Q Can I Do Light Therapy At Home
A. Yes, you can! When using an at-home device, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. These devices are typically in the form of a mask that is worn for a few minutes on the face, says Dr. Niketa Sonavane. When performing the procedure at home, she mentions, Wash your face before beginning light therapy treatments. Remove your makeup because the pigments and mica in beauty products can scatter light, rendering your treatment ineffective and increasing the possibility of reactions. SPF in foundation and other products can also help to block light waves.
Wavelengths For Dementia And Brain Injury
The short version of this story is that you should use 810 nm and 1070 nm infrared on the brain, and 633 nm, 655 nm, 810 nm or 1070 nm in the nose. There are no 1070 nm intranasal devices on the market yet. 633 nm and 655 nm will irradiate the blood vessels above the nose and before the brain. 810 nm and 1070 nm up the nose will spread photons to the frontal cortex. Both are effective in reducing the symptom severity of dementia and brain injury.
Red and infrared definitely relieve dementia and brain injury symptoms. The issue for red, though, is getting it to the brain. Infrared has better penetration, and so is more successful just for that alone. When red does make it to the brain or to the blood that reaches the brain, it relieves dementia and injury symptoms as well.
This is why you will find 810 nm and 1070 nm in the brain red light therapy offers. Red light will reach the capillaries above the nose without making to the brain, but this is actually still helpful in neurodegeneration and brain injury cases. That bloods mitochondria absorb the photons and carry the treated cells to the brain. Red is an indirect therapy, while infrared is direct.
When you study these wavelengths, keep in mind that the body and brain respond to ranges of colors. The 1070 nm really means anything between 1060 nm and 1080 nm. Get near the target and you will get a good wavelength for your need.
Evidence for Parkinsons extends these wavelengths to 660, 670, 810, 850, 904 and 940 nm.
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This Is What Happened When I Tried Light Therapy To Clear Up My Acne
Somewhere between my obsession with acid toners and the realization that I had to give up Retin-A thanks to non-stop peeling, I found myself searching for a new cosmetic trend to try. My 29-year-old facestill battling occasional breakouts and the beginnings of wrinklesneeded a boost. Then, this past summer, I saw a YouTube video in which a beauty blogger claimed that LED light therapy changed her skin .
LED light therapy started as NASA technology. LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, release energy in the form of photons and can emit different wavelengths corresponding with specific colors. In the early 1990s, a NASA-sponsored research center helped develop the technology to allow for plant growth on shuttle missions. This technique, they found, could also help heal wounds on human skin. Because wounds heal less effectively in space, this proved useful for astronauts on long missions.
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Thanks to that YouTube video, and armed with some basic knowledge of how it worked, I splurged on a $1,600 at-home Celluma LED light panel a few months ago in hopes of getting better skin. My device is a panel that can be placed anywhere on the body and has three modes : acne, anti-aging, and pain. Four to five times a week, I place the curved, mask-like device over my face for 30 minutes. Theres a warm sensation, and you have to keep your eyes closed or wear protective eye goggles, but otherwise its basically like taking a nap.