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Light Therapy For Skin

Light Therapy For Skin

As the name suggests, light therapy is a treatment for skin afflictions like acne, scars, rosacea, etc. Light therapy is an effective treatment, which helps maintain the elasticity of skin and stalls aging process.
Narayani Karthik
Skin is the largest organ of our body. We tend to ignore its health until annoyingly visible scars, pimples, and acne (and what not) erupt on skin, making the skin look atrocious. Creams and lotions guarantee temporary relief. Light therapy for skin is one of the technologies used in dermatology that uses infrared and ultraviolet rays to cure various skin conditions. They have been proved to be effective in many cases, and have provided long-lasting relief.

Light Therapy for Acne
Acne on skin can be a very pesky matter for a woman. Not only does it cause a lot of pain, but it also spoils the aesthetic look of a woman. Acne (also known as acne vulgaris, acne conglobata, acne miliaris necrotica, etc.) is a follicular papule on skin. These skin eruptions occur due to various reasons, such as hormonal changes during adolescence, unhealthy eating habits, excess secretion from sebaceous glands of skin, and external injuries. This is a painful skin condition which not only affects women, but also men. Many dermatologists suggest light therapy for such conditions.

In this treatment, a mixture of red and blue light is emitted from the bulbs fitted inside a lamp. The wavelength of the blue light is about 415 nm and that of the red light is 660 nm. The lamp is usually provided with a pair of protective goggles (as ultraviolet blue light and infrared light pose danger to the eyes). Usage of this lamp for 15 minutes a day will show effective results within a few weeks.

Blue Light to Treat Skin Cancer
Also known as Photodynamic therapy (PDT), blue light therapy is used in the treatment of skin cancer. This technology uses a photosensitizing drug (a drug that is activated by exposure to light) that emits activated oxygen molecules. Essentially, this therapy is a 3-step treatment.
  • Firstly, the photosensitizer (which could be a cream, a liquid, or an intravenous drug) is applied on the patch of infected skin.
  • Following this, there is an incubation period (which may last from a few minutes to a few days).
  • Finally, the photosensitizer is exposed to a specific wavelength of blue light which in turn activates the photo sensitizing medication.
  • Now the target tissue is exposed to the activated photosensitizer, which aids in destroying the infected sections of the skin tissue.
This method is effective only if the cancerous growths on tissue are close to the surface of the skin. Skin cancer treatments and cosmetic surgeries use this technique extensively.

LED Therapy
This therapy involves use of both infra red light and ultra violet light. It uses LED (light emitting diode) to emit the light. Using infra red light therapy and ultra violet light aids in tightening the skin and replenishing it with moisture. This therapy also enhances the cellular metabolism in skin. Infra red light travels at a wavelength which can pass through tissue that is 1 inch deep. Injured cells respond positively to LED light by producing more ATP molecules. These ATPs enhance the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) activity. Ideal wavelengths for LED light therapy are: 610-625, 660-690, 750-770, and 815-860 nm.

LED therapy has proved beneficial for the following skin conditions:
  • External sports injuries (in knees, ankles, shoulders, etc.)
  • Scrapes, burns, or cuts on skin
  • Acne and wrinkles
  • Bursitis
  • Dermatitis
In fact, this therapy helps in slowing down the aging process by stimulating the production of collagen in skin tissue. Collagen is primarily responsible for elasticity and firmness in skin. Hence, most of the time, this is done for improving the cosmetic look. Also, it helps in retain moisture within the skin.

This is one of the alternative medicines which has proved successful in curing many skin ailments. It is always better to get in touch with your dermatologist, who will assess your skin condition and suggest the appropriate therapy.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.