Light Emitting Diode-Based Therapy

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

In This Article


The level of evidence for the use of sub-intense fluences of visible light in dermatology is weak. As few randomized controlled trials have assessed the safety and efficacy of these devices, the dermatologist is left to infer the worthiness of incorporating LED-based technology from in vitro observations, anecdotal evidence, and commentaries appearing in trade (mostly non-peer-reviewed) publications.

The uncontrolled proliferation of services based on these devices at cosmetic/aesthetic locales where the personnel have little if any knowledge of dermatology and photobiology may be dangerous. Regulations that apply in many states to the use of lasers and intense pulsated light sources should be expanded to include these devices as the benefits (and risks) of their use in acne, rosacea, wound healing, aging, etc. (mostly medical diagnoses) relate to altering the structure and function of the skin, which constitutes the practice of medicine.