Does Photo Rejuvenation Infrared Led Light Therapy Work?

Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

Infrared LED light therapy is a tool used by dermatologists and cosmetologists to help stimulate the healing processes in the skin. This can be used to reduce wrinkles, acne or scarring, and to heal and eliminate the appearance of broken veins in the skin. The infrared wavelength of light is one of the longest bands, and can penetrate up to an inch and a half deep into skin and adipose tissue. The goal for many is to stimulate the collagen and elastin producing cells in the body, called fibroblasts, who are responsible for smooth, healthy skin.

Light Therapy and Skin
Though we are not photosynthetic beings like plants, light on skin has been shown to have certain effects on the body. This is particularly true when it comes to vitamin D production, which is most efficient with sun exposure, as the ultraviolet rays in the sun help to generate this crucial vitamin. Sun exposure, as a result, is about much more than tanning. It is also about a lower risk of hormonal cancers like breast and prostate cancers, autoimmune diseases like MS, and denser bone structure. Infrared light has less well-researched effects on skin production, but there is some evidence that it can help to smooth cellulite areas and treat skin blemishes, scars, acne and capillaries.

What to Expect
A Photo rejuvenation therapy session is usually no more than 30 minutes, and requires a brief trip to a dermatologist or cosmetologist. The amount of treatment time is based on the area being treated. Wrinkles are usually a facial target, but if you are trying the therapy to eliminate scarring or capillary veins, it may be a different part of the body that you are interested in treating. The therapy is administered via a wand of LED lights that emit a long-wavelength light frequency. The light is held over the treatment area for a few minutes, and then either completed or moved to another area of treatment. The skin may feel slightly warm after therapy is complete, but no other side effects are commonly seen outside of healing. The treatment is very similar to laser light therapy used for hair removal or weight loss, as both of these use a similar device that is set at a slightly different wavelength to target different body parts.

Does it Work?
Of course, the big question is whether this therapy will work for you. Statistically, the answer is that it is likely to. About 80 percent of people who get the treatment looking for wrinkle reduction find that the therapy has helped them to various degrees. For those who are looking for some of the other healing benefits to smooth skin, reduce acne and scarring, etc, the results show a little over 50 percent effectiveness. Which category you fall into can vary, but early results should be rather quick, so it makes sense to only get a few treatments before deciding whether to pay for more.

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