Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
What is LED phototherapy?
LED is an acronym for light emitting diode. These are very small semiconductors that emit light when a current is passed through it. In the past few years, specialised therapeutic LEDs that have extra luminescence emitted through a very specific wavelength band, have been used for the purpose of skin rejuvenation. Unlike laser or IPL, LED phototherapy is non-invasive and non-thermal, and hence requires no recovery time after treatments. Also LED phototherapy involves the use of continuous light rather than pulses of light.
Different wavelengths of LED can be used to target various skin conditions from acne to ageing skin. Each wavelength will penetrate a different depth and have a different effect on the skin.
LED phototherapy should be differentiated from photodynamic therapy. Although both use LED light on the skin, photodynamic therapy requires pre-treatment of the skin with aminolevulenic acid (ALA) and this significantly changes the light reaction in the skin, and its uses. Photodynamic therapy and has significant recovery periods, unlike LED phototherapy which requires no downtime.
What is LED phototherapy used for?
LED phototherapy is used for a multitude of skin conditions. The red light (620nm) can be used for skin rejuvenation, to reduce inflammation, and to improve healing, for example, post-laser treatment.
The blue light is primarily used for acne treatment.
Both lights can be used as a part of photodynamic therapy, which is a much more invasive treatment due to the pre-application of a substance called ALA on the skin. Photodynamic therapy is usually used for the treatment of various skin cancers and acne. Once again, photodynamic therapy is a vastly different treatment to LED phototherapy and requires significant downtime/recovery period.
LED Light Therapy with Hyaluronic Delivery Mask
Hyaluronic Delivery Masks are a super hydrating treatment suitable for most skin types. They are cooling, soothing and with intense hydration the mask calms and nourishes dry and dehydrated skin. The mask has a soothing anti-inflammatory effect.
Blemished and ablated skins are not to be treated with this mask.
Key ingredients of the mask are:
- Hyaluronic Acid: super hydrating, found naturally in our skins.
- Arbutin: extracted from the bearberry plant in the genus Arctostaphylos. It inhibits tyrosinase and thus prevents the formation of melanin. Arbutin is therefore used as a skin-brightening agent
- Hydrolized Glycosaminoglycans: An ingredient that increases the elasticity and pliability of the skin. Widely used in skin care products and cosmetics because of their ability to bind with water efficiently and increase depth hydration, improving the elasticity and firmness of the skin
- Glycyrrhizic Acid: is a widely used anti-inflammatory agent isolated from the licorice root.
When used in combination with the LED lights the skin warms under the glow of the light and is even more receptive to absorbing the amazing ingredients that the mask has to offer. The results are boosted by the anti inflammatory and healing properties of the LED red light.
How does LED phototherapy work?
LED phototherapy works by using the properties of a certain wavelength of light to induce changes in the skin to treat a particular condition. There is no heat energy or tissue damage induced by LED phototherapy.
At Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we utilise two LED wavelengths, namely 415 nanometers and 620 nanometers. Each wavelength has a particular property and depth of penetration.
Blue light, treats one of the causes of acne, the bacteria propionibacterium acnes. It targets the metabolic product of this bacteria, porphyrins, and produces an oxygen free radical from these porphyrins that destroys the bacteria.
Red light (620nm) LED phototherapy induces a mild inflammation of the target cells and sets up an immune response that helps to regenerate these cells. This helps to rejuvenate skin and to help with skin healing. It can be used for skin rejuvenation, or post laser/chemical peel treatments to speed the healing process. Red and blue light LED phototherapy can be used synergistically to treat active acne, the blue light helping to reduce bacteria counts and the red lights helping to heal the skin.
Again, both blue and red light treatment have no side effects on the skin and require no recovery period.
How much does it cost?
We provide the service for $60 per session. Each session lasts about 20 minutes.
You can also incorporate a hydrating mask into your LED light session for a total price of $110. This additional treatment comprises of cleansing and exfoliation, followed by RED light therapy incorporating a Hyaluronic hydration mask. Designed for calming, hydrating and soothing the skin.
We also often use the red LED lights post laser treatment to help calm down the skin and reduce excessive inflammation from the laser. Depending on the type laser treatment, this may be included in the price of the laser treatment.
What is the difference between laser/IPL treatments and LED phototherapy?
Table: What is the difference between laser/IPL and LED phototherapy?
|Laser or IPL||LED phototherapy|
|Involves thermal energy and heating of the skin||LED phototherapy does not involve any heating of the skin.|
|Pulses of light energy||Continuous light energy|
|Causes a specific injury to the skin to induce a certain wound healing response and change/improvement in the skin||Improves skin by stimulating the skin cells metabolism without causing injury|
|Requires a period of recovery||No recovery required|
How many treatments are required?
For the treatment of acne, clinical trials have shown that a treatment twice a week for 8 weeks, followed by once a week for 4 weeks helps to reduce bacteria counts and inflammation associated with acne, and therefore reduce the number of active acne lesions. The red light and blue light LEDs are alternated each session.
When red LED light is used for facial rejuvenation, treatments can be done from 1 to 4 weeks apart, and the more treatments that are performed, the better the result. This can be incorporated into one’s skin maintenance regime.
The use of red LED light post-laser treatment to help to speed recovery requires a variable number of sessions, depending on the laser treatment performed. For lighter laser treatments, such as our Medlite laser skin rejuvenation treatment, only one session of red light LED is required immediately after the Medlite laser is performed. For more intense laser treatments, such as our carbon dioxide laser resurfacing, we tend to do it daily for several days post-treatment.
Case Study LED for Rosacea
This patient came to visit our Skin Therapy team with severe facial redness and breakouts that are often associated with Rosacea. Her treatment was simple, LED Red Light Therapy with Hyaluronic acid mask. The results have far surpassed the expectations of the patient with her skin maintaining reduced redness in it’s appearance and resolution to the breakouts of pustules associated with the Rosacea.
Case Study using LED for breakouts
This patient presented to Victorian Cosmetic Institute with concerns her skin breaking out. She had tried many different treatments and products prior to coming to our clinic. Our skin therapist, Dani Feiam, placed her on a simple skin care plan of Synergie Biocleanse and Priotiy B serum. The patient also has LED light therapy treatments. This is her before and after images following her 8th treatment.
Why choose Victorian Cosmetic Institute as your provider of LED phototherapy?
Our doctors specialise in light based treatments including LED phototherapy. We use this treatment in conjunction with other treatments available at our clinic to provide you with the best options for the treatment of various skin conditions.
Our LED lights are of the highest quality, and provide the best results.
Making that first phone call about any cosmetic procedure can be a confronting task – many of our patients have preferred filling out our online enquiry form. We can then contact you with an understanding of the results you are hopeful of achieving and ensure the treatment is appropriate.
Otherwise, you can phone us directly on 1300 863 824.