LED stands for light-emitting diode and is a type of light-based aesthetic therapy commonly used by dermatologists, cosmetic physicians, clinicians and skin therapists as an anti-ageing and skin corrective procedure to treat a number of skin concerns ranging from acne to wrinkles, redness, pigmentation, inflammation and photo damage. It also offers an effective treatment following laser and IPL procedures thanks to its healing and soothing properties and ability to speed up wound healing. LED light therapy is also known as photodynamic therapy or PDT for short.
The science behind LED
LED was originally invented in the 1960s, but it was in 1993 that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, famously known around the world as NASA, started developing the technology to help grow plants in space. Experiments showed that red LED wavelengths were able to boost the energy metabolism of cells to promote plant growth and photosynthesis. From there, these incredible findings quickly led to NASA investigating how LEDs could be used to increase energy in human cells and it was discovered that LEDs could not only help prevent loss of bone and muscle mass in astronauts but also assist with accelerating the healing process of wounds, which are slow to repair in a microgravity environment.
Thanks to these groundbreaking discoveries, people all around the world can now enjoy the regenerative and healing benefits of LED light therapy which has demonstrated its effectiveness for treating a whole range of skin concerns including wrinkles, redness, acne, pigmentation, inflammation and scarring.
How is it done?
Different coloured LED lights are applied to the skin depending on the skin concern (eg. – blue LED light for acne). These energy-producing wavelengths of light gently and painlessly penetrate through the epidermis to the deeper layers of skin to stimulate production of collagen and heal and renew skin on a cellular level.
The difference between LED and other light-based therapies
Two other common light-based aesthetic treatments are laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). Laser and IPL both use short, rapid pulses of light which heat up the skin, whereas LED uses a continuous application and even coverage of non-thermal coloured light. As LED light is non-thermal, it is suitable for treating all skin types and patients can enjoy the benefit of getting on with their day as usual following an LED session as no post-treatment downtime is required.
Why LED light therapy is on the rise
LED is an excellent all-inclusive anti-ageing, skin renewal and skin corrective treatment as even those with sensitive skin can reap the benefits of LED therapy without fear of pain, discomfort or irritation.