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Is LED light therapy dangerous? LED light therapy is one of the latest therapy developments that have been used in the past few years for both medical and aesthetic purposes.
The earliest forms of LED light therapy were reserved for professional clinics, but as companies continue to develop at-home models that can be used without the need of a clinic, more and more people are eager to try out this new type of therapy treatment.
But does light therapy work and does it carry any risks?
Let’s take a closer look at what light therapy is and what, if any, side effects people can expect when using it.
What is LED Light Therapy?
LED Light therapy typically involves the use of phototherapy masks.
These phototherapy masks expose the skin to LED lights for a specified period of time; the lights are specifically set to a certain wavelength which is designed to penetrate your skin and reach the deeper layers of the skin than ordinary LED lights.
There are different LED light settings which can vary depending on the nature of the treatment.
- Red LED lights are used for anti-aging purposes; thee lights can help treat wrinkles and increase the amount of collagen production in the skin for skin that looks and feels smoother and younger.
- Purple LED lights are used for cell rejuvenation; these lights increase the amount of cell regeneration and renewal in the skin.
- Blue LED lights are used for anti-acne and teeth whitening purposes; these lights can destroy bacteria that cause acne and help whiten teeth.
- Cyan LED lights are used for soothing irritated skin; these lights help reduce swollen capillaries.
- Green LED lights are used for balancing skin complexion; these lights even out skin complexion for a more even tone.
- Yellow LED lights reduce redness; these lights reduce redness caused by sunburn, rosacea and inflammation.
- Orange LED lights revitalize skin; these lights help create a brighter, smoother glow to the skin.
- Infrared LED lights; these lights penetrate deeper into the skin to improve the results of the other light being used.
Each of these lights has a different penetration depth which controls just how far they penetrate into the skin. As a general rule of thumb, blue light penetrates the least while red light penetrates the furthest.
What to Expect from LED Light Therapy
How LED light therapy masks are used will depend on whether or not you are getting treated at a professional clinic or trying an at-home mask.
If you are being treated professionally, you can expect a mask which has much stronger wavelength capabilities and can generally provide more powerful and penetrative lights for better results as a whole.
Professional-grade light therapy will involve wearing UV goggles and having your skin covered in a chromophore gel which helps absorb light for even better results; whereas light therapy at home is considerably weaker and–depending on the machine in question–may not require these extra types of measures.
If you are going to a professional for your treatment, you can expect your session to last for less than 20 minutes.
Before the therapy session starts, your skin will be gently cleansed and then treated with the chromophore gel; the device will be moved over your face and kept there for the duration of the session. The therapy is non-invasive, relatively quick, and won’t leave your skin irritated or dry.
If you are using an at-home light therapy mask, however, the experience is different.
At-home LED light therapy masks are not as strong as clinical-grade equipment, and they are designed to be used daily as part of your regular skincare routine. In some cases, your clinician may recommend using an at-home mask in between professional treatments to achieve better results.
Dangers of Light Therapy? Side Effects to Consider
LED light therapy is a non-invasive procedure that does not have any significant side effects such as pain or scarring when it is used professionally and properly.
However, there are still some safety measures and precautions to be considered when you decide to undergo LED light therapy.
Unlike lights used in other forms of light therapy, LED lights do not contain UV rays, so there is no risk for damage to your skin when used on normal skin.
You cannot get burned or experience sun damage through LED light therapy, as the lights do not–and cannot–burn your skin.
If you have any active rashes, however, you should avoid getting LED light therapy as this may only irritate the rash. Some clinicians may recommend LED light therapy to treat psoriasis, but this is recommended on a case by case basis.
One consideration is that you should not get LED light therapy if you are actively using Accutane to treat acne. Accutane greatly increases your skin’s sensitivity to light and could potentially result in scarring if you use LED light therapy while the drug is in your system.
As a general rule, if you are using any medications or treatments which increase your skin’s sensitivity, you should avoid using LED light therapy.
Side effects after receiving LED light therapy are considered very rare; in fact, no side effects were noted during the clinical trials for LED light therapy.
If you experience any of these symptoms after light therapy, contact your doctor as they need to be looked at:
- Increased inflammation in the skin
Again, these side effects are exceptionally rare after LED light therapy and do not occur in the vast majority of people who undergo light therapy.
By contrast, light therapy is so non-invasive that it requires no recovery time at all and you can head out from your session to enjoy the rest of your day as you normally would.
If you are interested in LED light therapy for your skin, consult with your physician about the possibility of seeking LED light therapy treatments today. With the possibility of excellent results on the horizon, you will want to get started as soon as possible.
Disclaimer – The advice contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult a trained professional before undertaking any type of light therapy.