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Does LED light therapy work research?

LED light therapy is an emerging wellness trend that has recently gained popularity. Proponents claim it can help improve various skin and health conditions. But does the science back up these claims? Let’s take a deep dive into how LED light therapy works and what the research really says. Find out if it’s worth the hype and expense.

light therapy research

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

What is LED Light Therapy?

LED stands for light emitting diode. LED light therapy involves exposing the skin to different wavelengths and colors of light using LED devices. Depending on the color of light used, it can have different effects.

Some of the most common LED colors used are:

  • Red light (630-660nm) – Stimulates collagen production, reduces inflammation and joint pain. Best for anti-aging and skin rejuvenation.
  • Near-infrared light (760-940nm) – Improves circulation and speeds cell renewal. Helpful for wound healing.
  • Blue light (405-420 nm) – Kills acne bacteria. Helps with inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Green light (520-550nm) – Calms redness and rosacea. Lessens sun damage.
  • Yellow Light (520-550nm) – Build new elastin and collagen to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It may also help with skin tone and pigmentation issues.

LED devices used in light therapy are non-invasive, painless and do not emit UV light. Sessions typically last 10-20 minutes per day. The light is simply held against the skin or focused on areas that need treatment.

How Does LED Light Therapy Work?

LED light therapy works through a process called photobiomodulation. Here’s a quick look at how it works:

  1. LED light penetrates the skin at targeted wavelengths and is absorbed by mitochondria in skin cells.
  2. This absorption stimulates increased ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the main energy source for cells.
  3. Higher ATP levels allow cells to function better through improved metabolism and more efficient tissue repair and regeneration.
  4. Specific wavelengths target different cell and tissue types, causing various benefits described in the next section.

Here’s a quick summary of what happens when different wavelengths of light are absorbed by cells:

Red and Near-Infrared Light

When red or near-infrared light is absorbed by cells, it interacts with the electron transport chain in mitochondria. This helps increase ATP production and energy availability in cells [1]. Red/NIR light also stimulates responses from cells that result in increased collagen and elastin production in fibroblasts. This enhances skin structure and elasticity [2]. The light acts as a signal that decreases inflammation and promotes tissue repair. Red/NIR light can reduce oxidative stress and help damaged cells heal more efficiently [3].

Blue Light

Blue light is able to penetrate into sebaceous (oil) glands and kill P. acnes bacteria responsible for acne [4]. This makes blue light therapy a targeted treatment for inflammatory acne. The wavelength of blue light used in LED devices does not appear to damage skin cells or DNA. However, excessive exposure to higher frequency blue light from sunlight and digital devices can contribute to photoaging over time.

Green Light

Green light reaches the dermis, but does not penetrate as deeply as red or near-infrared light. Green LED therapy has been shown to reduce the number of headache days and duration of headaches in migraineurs [5]. The gentle wavelengths also soothe sensitive or irritated skin.

How Does LED Light Therapy Work?

Source: The picture comes from the Internet

other Benefits of LED Light Therapy

Decades of research have shown LED light therapy can provide the following benefits when used correctly:

1. Skin Rejuvenation and Anti-Aging

Red and near-infrared light boost collagen production and improve skin elasticity and firmness. LED phototherapy has been shown to rejuvenate skin by:

  • Reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet
  • Improving skin texture, pores, and irregular pigmentation
  • Helping diminish signs of UV skin damage and photoaging

In clinical trials, participants had improvement in skin roughness, elasticity, hydration levels, and collagen density after regular LED therapy.[6]

2. Healing Acne and Skin Conditions

Blue light targets acne-causing bacteria, while red light reduces inflammation. This one-two punch makes LED phototherapy effective for:

  • Clearing up mild to moderate inflammatory acne
  • Supporting acne scar healing and remodelling
  • Improving rosacea, psoriasis, dermatitis, and hypertrophic scars

Green light therapy calms irritation and flushing from rosacea [7]. It also helps fade red acne marks and spots by improving blood flow in the dermis.

3. Wound, Burn, and Surgery Healing

The anti-inflammatory and tissue repair benefits of red and NIR light make LED therapy helpful for:

  • Accelerating wound closure for burns, abrasions, and ulcers
  • Reducing pain and scarring from cuts, incisions, and C-sections
  • Speeding up recovery from surgeries and cosmetic procedures

Phototherapy supports regenerative processes and optimal healing after invasive treatments.[8]

4. Pain Relief and Injury Recovery

When applied directly over joints or injury sites, red and NIR light can:

  • Significantly reduce arthritis pain and stiffness
  • Improve recovery from sprains, strains, and musculoskeletal injuries
  • Ease pain and swelling after intense exercise

By decreasing inflammation and oxidative damage, LED therapy supports faster healing and recovery.[9,10]

5. Hair Growth

Red light applied to the scalp has been shown to stimulate hair follicles and increase active growth phase duration [11]. LED devices may help treat pattern baldness and alopecia by:

  • Increasing hair density and stimulating dormant follicles
  • Reducing hair loss from chemotherapy and other causes
  • Improving hair thickness, growth rate, and texture

Is LED Light Therapy Safe?

LED light therapy is one of the safest treatments available since it does not use UV light or heating devices. There are no harmful chemical such as glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide. It just uses varying wavelengths of light to create a natural response in skin cells.

However, there are some best practices to follow:

  • Follow all device instructions carefully and don’t exceed recommended treatment times.
  • Protect your eyes by wearing provided safety goggles. Never look directly at the light.
  • Use moderate light intensity to avoid burns or irritation. Lower intensity if skin feels sensitive.
  • Apply sunscreen if using light therapy before sun exposure to prevent synergistic damage.
  • Consult your doctor before use if you take photosensitizing medications or have a condition triggered by light exposure.

How to Use LED Light Therapy at Home

If you want to give LED light therapy a try, here are some tips for use:

  • Choose the right device: Pick a device from a reputable brand cleared for home use. Opt for combination red/blue/NIR lights to target multiple concerns.
  • Cleanse skin: Wash and dry your face or treatment areas to remove oils, makeup and debris that may block light absorption.
  • Protect eyes: Wear provided safety goggles and avoid looking into the light.
  • Cover treatment zones: Expose all areas needing improvement but avoid excessive overlap.
  • Maintain improvements: After an initial course of treatment, continue periodic maintenance sessions to sustain benefits long-term.
  • Follow protocols: Most brands provide specific treatment guidelines. Stick to recommended times, frequencies and intensities tailored to your skin type and condition.

Why Consider RedDot for Your Light Therapy Needs?

RedDot LED devices are rigorously tested for safety and efficacy. here are some reason to choose RedDot LED device:

  • Safety certifications- RedDot LED Devices are FDA certified and safe for home use.
  • Warranty – 3-year warranties provide peace of mind and support.
  • Customizable: Just state your health and the wavelength can be tailored to meet your individual needs
  • Patented Design: Sleek, lightweight and adjustable, RedDot products deliver consistent hands-free treatment to hard-to-reach spots for maximum results.

While more research is still emerging, the proven benefits of LED light therapy make it worth exploring. Ready to experience the rejuvenating magic of light therapy for yourself? Shop RedDot LED light therapy devices to take your skincare and wellness to the next level at home.



[1]Karu T. Primary and Secondary Mechanisms of Action of Visible to Near-IR Radiation on Cells. Journal of Photochemistry Photobiology. 1999 Mar.

[2]David J Goldberg, Snehal Amin, et al. Combined 633-nm and 830-nm led treatment of photoaging skin. J Drugs Dermatol. 2006 Sep;5(8):748-53.

[3]Ryan Spitler, Michael W Berns. Comparison of laser and diode sources for acceleration of in vitro wound healing by low-level light therapy. Journal of Biomedical Optics 19(3), 038001. 2014, March.

[4]Akira Kawada, Yoshinori Aragane, Hiroko Kameyama, et al. Acne phototherapy with a high-intensity, enhanced, narrow-band, blue light source: an open study and in vitro investigation. J Dermatol Sci. 2002 Nov;30(2):129-35.

[5]Martin LF, Patwardhan AM, Jain SV, et al. Evaluation of green light exposure on headache frequency and quality of life in migraine patients: A preliminary one-way cross-over clinical trial. Cephalalgia. 2021;41(2):135-147.

[6]Daniel Barolet, Charles J.Roberge, 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 Dec;129(12):2751-9.

[7] Lee SY, You CE, Park MY. Blue and red light combination LED phototherapy for acne vulgaris in patients with skin phototype IV. Lasers Surg Med. 2007 Feb;39(2):180-8. 

[8]Fernanda Camila Ferreira da Silva Calisto, Sérgio Luís da Silva Calisto, et al. Use of low-power laser to assist the healing of traumatic wounds in rats. Acta Cir Bras. 2015 Mar;30(3):204-8.

[9]Bruno Manfredini Baroni, Ernesto Cesar Pinto Leal Junior, Thiago De Marchi, et al. Low level laser therapy before eccentric exercise reduces muscle damage markers in humans. European Journal of Applied Physiology 110:789–796 (2010).

[10]L Brosseau, V Welch, et al. Low level laser therapy (classes I, II and III) in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;(2):CD002049.

[11]Jimenez JJ, Wikramanayake TC, Bergfeld W, Hordinsky M, Hickman JG, Hamblin MR, Schachner LA. Efficacy and safety of a low-level laser device in the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss: a multicenter, randomized, sham device-controlled, double-blind study. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2014 Apr;15(2):115-27.

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