With over 5000 scientific publications over half a century, photobiomodulation has definitely
proven its effectiveness. It has however only recently started being used in medicine and aesthetics.
1. What is LED lamp treatment?
Although their metabolism is mainly chemotrophic our cells, like plant cells, are equipped with photoreceptor able to register cellular reactions. The Light Emitting Diodes (LED) deliver narrow spectral bands (inappropriately called “colours”) coming from the visible and infrared spectrum. Unlike traditional laser that lead to thermal damages, they do not act through the
destruction of a given target but through photobiomodulation (PBM). PBM involves the natural stimulation of selected intracellular targets, including mitochondrial, to “divert” the cell’s metabolism and force it to autocorrect.
2. What applications for this technique?
Here, we will only develop some aesthetic and dermatologic indications, however the LED applications are way more varied and used in almost every medical area.
- To soothe of stressed skin: LED’s are often used in aesthetics, immediately after an aggressive treatment (surgery, laser, peeling etc.) to reduce the intensity and duration of the treatment side effects.
- To soothe intolerant and/or suffering of erythro-rosacea. The relief is often immediate from the first session and will have to be maintained via monthly sessions.
- Remodelling of scars and stretch marks: the results are sometimes
spectacular, especially on acne atrophic scars! (Fig. 3)
- Skin rejuvenation
- Hair loss
- Body recontouring and cellulite
- Various skin diseases: psoriasis, atopic dermatitis…
3. What are the benefits?
- No contraindication besides very rare cases or claustrophobia, allergy to light waves or uncontrolled epilepsy.
- Painless treatment and excellent tolerance.
- Efficient, often in the most difficult or delicate situations.
4. What happens during a LED session?
The treatment zone must be free of makeup, jewellery and piercings. Eyes must be protected. The doctor (or his assistant, under his instructions), adjusts the settings according to the desired effect. No anaesthesia is necessary (no pain) unless the session is combined with an aggressive technique: PDT, roller, laser etc… Exposure to the selected radiation may last between 5 and over 30 minutes according to the indications. There is generally no significant after effect and the patient will potentially be offered some photoprotection after the session in case of dermatitis.