By Aliki Chatzilias, MSc.
Clinical Biochemist/Medical Researcher

In recent years, LED light therapy has gained significant recognition as an effective treatment for acne. As individuals seek alternative and non-invasive approaches to address skin concerns, LED light therapy has emerged as a promising solution. However, achieving long-term results requires more than just the initial treatment sessions. Maintenance treatments play a crucial role in sustaining the benefits of LED light therapy and preventing acne recurrence. In this article, we will explore the importance of maintenance treatments and delve into the frequency, duration, and combination approaches for optimizing LED light therapy outcomes.


Understanding LED Light Therapy for Acne

LED light therapy harnesses the power of specific wavelengths of light to target and combat acne. Red, blue, and combination (yellow/amber) lights are commonly used in LED therapy for acne. Each wavelength possesses distinct benefits that contribute to the treatment's effectiveness. Red light at a wavelength of 630-700 nm penetrates the skin to stimulate cellular activity, promoting collagen production and reducing inflammation. Blue light at 405-420 nm works by targeting and eliminating the bacteria responsible for acne breakouts. Combination light therapy combines red and blue wavelengths to provide a comprehensive approach to acne treatment. The safety profile of LED light therapy is notable, with minimal side effects and no reported long-term adverse effects. However, caution should be exercised in patients with photosensitivity or those taking medications that increase sensitivity to light.


Importance of Maintenance Treatments

While the initial LED light therapy sessions can yield significant improvements in acne, maintenance treatments are essential to sustain the results in the long run. Acne is a chronic condition influenced by various factors, including hormones, genetics, and environmental triggers. Maintenance treatments help maintain the skin's clarity by preventing the resurgence of acne. By continuing LED light therapy beyond the initial sessions, the skin's healing process can be further enhanced, reducing the likelihood of new breakouts and minimizing the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Regular maintenance treatments contribute to the overall health and balance of the skin, improving its texture and tone.


Frequency and Duration of Maintenance Treatments

The frequency of maintenance treatments for LED light therapy varies depending on individual needs and the severity of acne. Dermatologists typically recommend monthly or bimonthly sessions for most patients. However, it's important to consult with a dermatologist to determine the optimal frequency based on the specific condition. The duration of each maintenance treatment session is typically shorter than the initial treatment sessions. While initial sessions may range from 20 to 30 minutes, maintenance treatments often involve sessions of 10 to 15 minutes. This shorter duration ensures continuous exposure to the therapeutic light without overtaxing the skin. Adjustments to the duration may be made based on the severity of acne or the specific LED device being used.


Combination Approaches for Maintenance Treatments

To enhance the effectiveness of LED light therapy for acne maintenance, combination approaches can be employed. The synergistic benefits of combining LED therapy with other acne treatments are well-documented. For instance, combining LED therapy with topical medications such as retinoids or benzoyl peroxide can optimize the overall acne management strategy. LED therapy helps enhance the penetration and efficacy of these topical treatments, resulting in improved outcomes. Additionally, in cases of moderate to severe acne, combining LED therapy with oral medications like antibiotics or isotretinoin may be recommended. These combination approaches should always be carried out under the guidance and supervision of a dermatologist to ensure safety and efficacy.


Home Maintenance Treatments

At-home LED devices have gained popularity as a convenient option for acne maintenance treatments. These devices offer a practical and cost-effective solution for individuals who wish to continue their LED light therapy in the comfort of their own homes. When selecting an at-home LED device, it is crucial to choose a reputable brand that meets safety and quality standards. Look for devices that offer the appropriate wavelengths (red and/or blue) and have adjustable intensity settings. Before using an at-home LED device, it is advisable to cleanse the skin thoroughly and remove any makeup or skincare products. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer regarding treatment time and frequency. It's important to note that at-home LED devices may not have the same intensity as professional devices used in clinics, so consistency and adherence to the recommended treatment schedule are key for optimal results. It is always wise to consult with a dermatologist before starting any at-home treatment regimen.


Lifestyle and Skincare Tips for Enhanced Maintenance

While LED light therapy plays a significant role in acne management, certain lifestyle and skincare practices can further enhance the effectiveness of maintenance treatments. Making dietary modifications, such as reducing the intake of processed foods, sugars, and dairy products, can help minimize acne flare-ups. Additionally, incorporating stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, exercise, or counseling, can contribute to overall skin health. When it comes to skincare, choosing non-comedogenic products that are gentle on the skin is crucial. Look for skincare products containing ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which can complement the effects of LED therapy. It's important to cleanse the skin twice daily using a mild cleanser and follow up with a moisturizer suitable for acne-prone skin. Avoid excessive scrubbing or using harsh exfoliants that can irritate the skin and disrupt its natural barrier. Protecting the skin from harmful UV rays by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is vital, as LED light therapy may increase photosensitivity.



Maintenance treatments are integral to the success of LED light therapy in managing acne. By continuing treatment beyond the initial sessions, individuals can sustain the benefits and prevent acne recurrence. The frequency and duration of maintenance treatments should be tailored to each individual's needs, with guidance from a dermatologist.

Combining LED therapy with other acne treatments can optimize outcomes, and at-home LED devices offer a convenient option for continued treatment. Lifestyle and skincare practices, such as dietary modifications, stress reduction techniques, and using suitable skincare products, can further enhance the effectiveness of maintenance treatments. By adopting a holistic approach to acne management that includes maintenance treatments, individuals can achieve clearer, healthier skin and regain their self-confidence. Consultation with a dermatologist is always recommended to ensure personalized guidance and the best possible outcomes in the journey to acne-free skin.