Photo rejuvenation is one of the latest innovative technologies in skin care.  Although light therapy has been used extensively for more than 40 years for the treatment of conditions ranging from jaundice to depression, it has only recently become popular as a means of rejuvenating the skin.  Lasers, intense pulsed light (IPL), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), are the common light therapies available today.

The different types of light are defined by their wavelengths:

ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT is invisible to the naked eye and possesses a wavelength of 0 to 400 nanometers (nm).  It is this type of light that causes skin damage such as sunburn and photo aging.

VISIBLE LIGHT is that which is given off by daylight and standard light bulbs.  This type of light is made up of multiple wavelengths ranging from 400 nm to 765 nm.  Combined, they make up white light that when diffracted, show the colors of the rainbow. 

INFRARED LIGHT, like UV light, is invisible to the naked eye with wavelengths measuring 765 nm to 10,600 nm.

The wavelengths that are most commonly used for skin photo rejuvenation are in the range of 400-10,600 nm.

Lasers and intense pulsed light are procedures that work by causing thermal damage to the skin and/or underlying tissues. They are potentially dangerous, very costly, and must be administered by licensed professionals.  Therefore, they are beyond the realm of discussion for this site.  In contrast, LED devices can be sold to and used by anyone.  Like lasers and IPL, they can be used to rejuvenate the skin although not as dramatically as the medical procedures.

LED therapy is a form of phototherapy  and may also be referred to as photomodulation, low-level laser therapy, low-energy laser therapy, or light therapy.  It is NOT the high-energy laser mentioned above that can be used only by trained professionals.  Its use for skin rejuvenation is based on the premise that when low energy laser light passes through the skin, different components of the skin and its cells are effected, stimulating beneficial outcomes. 

LED therapy activates the body’s own natural rejuvenation processes to counteract the signs of aging by:

    1.  Stimulating fibroblasts to produce collagen resulting in the improvement of skin elasticity, fine lines, scar tissue and skin thickness.

    2.  Promoting skin circulation.

    3.  Increasing lymph activity and reducing fluid buildup.  It is the lymphatic system that is responsible for helping the body eliminate waste products.

    4.  Stimulating the production of ATP, the energy source required for all cellular functions.

    5.  Stimulating DNA and RNA synthesis to improve the reproduction of healthy cells.

    6.  Activating the release of growth factors that stimulate cell growth and metabolism.

LED equipment for home use is now being manufactured specifically for cosmetic purposes.

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