Skin Rejuvenation by Low-Level Light Therapy

Risk-Benefit Analysis

Forever Healthy Foundation gGmbH

Amalienbadstraße 41

D-76227 Karlsruhe, Germany

Low-level light therapy (LLLT) is the use of low incident levels of photon energy at a particular wavelength, targeting tissue to achieve a clinically useful local or systemic effect without the creation of heat (athermal) or damage (atraumatic) (Calderhead & Tanaka, 2017). LLLT has shown dramatic effects when used for wound healing, pain management, and various musculoskeletal conditions.

This review focuses on its potential use in skin rejuvenation. It has been shown that upon exposure to light, chromophores in the skin (mitochondrial cytochrome C, melanin, and protoporphyrins) absorb photons which lead to downstream alterations in physiology such as changes in cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, inflammatory mediators, and collagen production. It is supposed that these photobiomodulative effects have beneficial effects on the skin, leading to a more youthful appearance through increased collagen and elastin production, and a reduction in age spots and wrinkles. 

Key Questions 

This analysis seeks to answer the following questions:

  • Which benefits with regard to skin rejuvenation result from LLLT? 
  • Which risks are involved in using LLLT for skin rejuvenation (general and method-specific)?
  • What are the potential risk mitigation strategies?
  • Which method/device or combination of methods/devices is most effective for skin rejuvenation using LLLT?
  • Which of the available devices/methods are safe for use? 
  • What is the best therapeutic protocol available at the moment?