Coupled Blue and Red Light-emitting Diodes Therapy Efficacy in Patients With Rosacea

Two Case Reports

Elisabetta Sorbellini; Maria Pia De Padova; Fabio Rinaldi


J Med Case Reports. 2020;14(22) 

In This Article

Discussion and Conclusions

Several therapeutic approaches are currently available for treating rosacea and they are mainly aimed at controlling disease symptoms.[40,41] The therapeutic plan has to be adapted to the rosacea subtype and tailored according to the dominant manifestations of the patient.[32,35] In general, the reduction of oral therapy in favor of topical or physical therapy is desirable in order to reduce side effects for patients and increasing the safety of treatment.[5,32]

The therapeutic approach described in this report aims at reporting the efficacy and safety of combined blue (480 nm ± 15 nm) and red (650 ± 15 nm) LED light-based therapy in patients affected by rosacea.

Previous research reported the efficacy of red and blue light coupled for the treatment of mild to moderate acne lesions.[42,43] Blue light (400–470 nm), due to its lower penetration, is useful in such skin conditions related to the epidermis layer of the skin;[44] therefore, it is also able to interfere with human sebocytes proliferation.[45] On the other hand, red light (630 nm) is reported to have a significant effect on sebum production.[46,47] The benefits deriving from PDT using LEDs are not limited to its efficacy but are also related to its safety and tolerance by patients; therefore, its advantages can be extended to a broad range of dermatological conditions.[48,49]

In fact, PDT is routinely used by dermatologists in the treatment of moderate to severe acne vulgaris[50,51] and perioral dermatitis.[18] Rosacea shares several features with other dermatological diseases, especially acne. In patients with acne, PDT has been supposed to act via modulation of the functionality of the pilosebaceous unit and this could probably also be applied to rosacea.

Previous to our work, several authors reported the efficacy of PDT therapy on patients with rosacea.[36,52–54] Moreover, an in vitro study on rosacea-like mouse skin[55] reported the efficacy of LED at 630 and 940 nm on the down-regulation of key inflammatory mediators of rosacea, such as cathelicidin (LL-37), TLR2, and kallikreins (KLKs). These results are in line with reported evidence on the efficacy of LED therapy also to interact with the host immune system. LEDs may also interact with skin microbiome[56–58] and this could also have as significant an impact on the etiopathogenesis of rosacea as on immune response modulation. A deeper knowledge of the implications of both gut and skin microbiome in rosacea is still needed; our recent research is aimed at evaluating the real effect of blue and red light LEDs on skin microflora in patients with rosacea and patients with acne.

In addition, the safety deriving from the use of LED devices encourages their ever-increasing use for the treatment of many dermatological conditions, including rosacea.

Nowadays, the treatment of patients with rosacea still represents a challenge for dermatologists. Conventional treatment of rosacea is either ineffective or results in the dissatisfaction of patients due to the need for continuous treatment.

The case reports presented in the current work show, for the first time, the usefulness of LED therapy combining blue and red light benefits for the treatment of patients with rosacea. This kind of treatment could represent an effective, safer, and well-tolerated approach for the treatment of such kinds of condition.