Light Emitting Diode-Based Therapy

William Abramovits, MD; Peter Arrazola, BA; Aditya K. Gupta, MD, PhD, FRCP(C)

In This Article


The Omnilux system (Alderm, NA, LLC, Irvine, CA) uses a panel of 2000 focused diodes in interchangeable heads to deliver 408 nm blue or 633 nm red light. These two can be used alone or in sequence. The red module may be beneficial in aging via the preferential degranulation of mast cells; release of glucosamines, heparin (a glycosaminoglycan) and histamine, which induce vasodilatation; the "strengthening" of capillaries; increased tissue oxygenation; promoting epithelial remodeling; and stimulation of fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin. Glycosaminoglycans replace water between collagen and elastic fibers, firming the skin. The use of the blue and red modules concurrently is claimed to be beneficial in acne as the red light module targets deeper-seated lesions. Treatment usually consists of two sessions per week for 4 weeks. A typical session takes ≈20 minutes.

The Delphia del SOL (Edge Systems Corp., Signal Hill, CA) is a three-in-one system that combines microdermabrasion, lymphatic massage, and LED light therapy. The LEDs can emit light at 430 nm (blue), 600-700 nm (red), and 700-1000 nm (infrared) in a nonpulsed, continuous wave. The LEDs are positioned on two handpieces.

TheMax7(Flip4Inc.,Sainte-Julie,Quebec,Canada) unites LED technology with an automated robotized arm. It can deliver seven wavelengths of visible light, ranging from 420 nm to 700 nm. The manufacturers claim that each chosen wavelength has a customized modulation program that ensures maximum skin rejuvenation. It has seven programmed polychromatic treatments and seven programmed monochromatic treatments designed for various skin types and various skin treatments, respectively. Manufacturers recommend a minimum of six treatments for most common skin conditions.

The Medilite (Inner Act LLC, Reno, NV) system delivers 405 nm blue light for the treatment of acne and 627 nm red light for skin rejuvenation in a tabletop unit. The light modules are removable and interchangeable with mixable blue and red wavelengths. The red light module is used to increase new tissue growth, speed healing, stimulate collagen, and reduce lines and wrinkles. It incorporates a computerized controlpanel for ease of use.

Gentlewaves is marketed as a photomodulation device that uses low-intensity LEDs in a proprietary pulsed "code" as antiaging therapy. It delivers pulsed visible yellow light (588 nm ± 10 nm) from two contiguous LED panels. It is claimed to "energize" mitochondria, send cell signals to cell receptors, increase/decrease gene activity in DNA, and thus reverse the appearance of aging and photoaged skin. It incorporates a skin care kit designed to enhance and maintain the results of the treatment, which includes a cleanser, a daily facial lotion, a nightly facial lotion, and sunscreen. The effectiveness of this device is documented by histology exhibiting new collagen formulation, high resolution ultrasound, and PRIMOS digital surface profilometry.[13]

The LumiPhase-R system (OPUSMED Inc., Montreal, Canada) features 18 linear LED array modules that deliver high power density 660 nm visible red light for skin rejuvenation. It uses a proprietary sequential mode that is claimed to trigger significantly higher procollagen secretion vs. control in human reconstructed skin models. It also claims to improve skin roughness, depth of rhytides, skin tone, texture, pore size, dyspigmentation and erythema; pre-and posttreatment PRIMOS 3D-micro-topography was used for these measurements. It has an optical positioning system to ensure optimal placement of the LED modules.

The Revitalight system (Skincare Technology Inc., Chicago, IL) claims to be a safe and effective way to help diminish the visible appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots on the face, neck, and hands by promoting collagen firmness by using LED photo pulsation technology. It delivers four specific wavelengths of light (420 nm, 590 nm [yellow], 625 nm, and 940 nm [infrared]) via handheld "pulsators." It uses an optical lens to focus the LEDs.

The Soli-Tone system (Silhouet-Tone, St. Albans, VT) is a two-in-one system that includes LumiLift and LumiFacial. LumiLift involves delivering 640 nm red LED light from handheld pieces placed on the skin. These pieces also deliver a "micronized current" and a "high-frequency polarized current" via electrodes placed in the handpieces. LumiFacial is comprised of a 400-LED panel situated above the skin. This panel can deliver four wavelengths of light: 470 nm, 525 nm (green), 590 nm, and 640 nm. It has a computerized control panel with preprogrammed treatments.