Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) is a fast-growing technology used to treat a multitude of conditions that require stimulation of healing,relief of pain and inflammation, and restoration of function.
Although the skin is the organ that is naturally exposed to light more than any other organ, it still responds well to red and near-infrared wavelengths.
The photons are absorbed by mitochondrial chromophores in skin cells. Stem cells can be activated allowing increased tissue repair and healing. In dermatology, LLLT has beneficial effects on wrinkles, acne scars, hypertrophic scars, and healing of burns. LLLT can reduce UV damage both as a treatment and as a prophylaxis. In pigmentary disorders such as vitiligo, LLLT can increase pigmentation by stimulating melanocyte proliferation and reduce depigmentation by inhibiting autoimmunity. Inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis and acne can also benefit.
The non-invasive nature and almost complete absence of side-effects encourages further testing in dermatology. Increasingly, non-invasive therapies for skin disease and skin rejuvenation are used, especially in Western countries where relatively high disposable incomes are combined with the desire for an ideal appearance fostered by societal pressures.
Although the skin is the organ that is naturally most exposed to light, it still responds well to red and near-infrared wavelengths delivered at the correct parameters with therapeutic intent.
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) was discovered in the late 1960s, but only in recent times has it been widely applied in dermatology.
The introduction of light emitting diode (LED) devices has reduced many of the concerns formerly associated with lasers, such as expense, safety concerns and the need for trained personnel to operate them. In fact, many LED devices are designed for home use and are widely sold on the internet. This review will cover the use of LLLT as possibly the ultimate non-invasive approach to treating the skin.
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