By Aliki Chatzilias, MSc.
Clinical Biochemist/Medical Researcher



Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema can significantly affect an individual's quality of life, often requiring long-term management and treatment. One emerging and promising approach to treating these chronic skin conditions is LED therapy, which utilizes Light Emitting Diodes of specific wavelengths to target and improve skin health. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the science behind LED therapy and its potential in alleviating the symptoms and discomfort associated with chronic skin conditions.


Understanding Chronic Skin Conditions

Chronic skin conditions, characterized by their persistent and recurring nature, encompass a wide range of disorders that can cause itching, inflammation, and visible skin changes. Conditions like psoriasis involve an overactive immune response leading to the rapid turnover of skin cells, resulting in red, scaly patches. Eczema, on the other hand, is often driven by genetics and environmental factors, leading to dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. These conditions not only cause physical discomfort but can also take a toll on an individual's mental well-being, making effective treatment essential.


What is LED Therapy?

LED therapy, or photobiomodulation therapy, is a non-invasive and painless treatment that harnesses the power of specific wavelengths of light to stimulate cellular processes. LED devices emit light at various wavelengths, including red, blue, and near-infrared, each with its unique effects on skin cells. This therapy is founded on the principle that light can penetrate the skin's surface and interact with cellular components, ultimately promoting healing and regeneration.


The Science Behind LED Therapy

The effectiveness of LED therapy lies in its ability to stimulate the mitochondria within skin cells. Mitochondria are the cellular powerhouses responsible for producing energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). When exposed to certain wavelengths of light, mitochondria become more active, leading to increased ATP production. This boost in energy enhances the cell's ability to repair itself, which is crucial in managing chronic skin conditions.


Mechanisms of LED Therapy for Skin

Wavelength Specificity

Different skin conditions respond to varying wavelengths of light. For instance, red light (around 630-700 nm) is often used to reduce inflammation and promote blood circulation, making it suitable for conditions like psoriasis. Blue light (around 405-420 nm) is effective in targeting the bacteria associated with acne and may be helpful for some inflammatory skin conditions. Near-infrared light (around 800-850 nm) penetrates deeper into the skin and aids in tissue repair and collagen production, benefiting conditions such as eczema.


Cellular Signaling

Beyond energy production, LED therapy influences various cellular signaling pathways. It can modulate the expression of genes involved in inflammation and cell proliferation, helping to control the underlying mechanisms of chronic skin conditions. By fine-tuning these pathways, LED therapy can promote a balanced and healthy skin response.


Benefits of LED Therapy for Chronic Skin Conditions

The potential benefits of LED therapy for chronic skin conditions are extensive. Research and clinical studies have shown that this non-invasive treatment option can:

Reduce Inflammation: LED therapy, particularly with red and near-infrared light, can mitigate the inflammatory response seen in conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

Improve Skin Texture: By stimulating collagen production, LED therapy can enhance skin texture and reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes often associated with chronic skin conditions.

Alleviate Itching and Pain: Many individuals with chronic skin conditions suffer from itching and discomfort. LED therapy can help alleviate these symptoms, improving overall well-being.

Enhance Treatment Outcomes: LED therapy can complement other treatment modalities, potentially boosting their effectiveness when used in combination.


Types of LED Therapy Devices

When considering LED therapy for chronic skin conditions, it's important to understand the types of devices available:

Handheld Devices: These are compact, portable devices that individuals can use at home. They are convenient for self-administration but may have limitations in terms of coverage area.

Masks: LED therapy masks cover the entire face, offering more comprehensive treatment. However, they may be less practical for long-term use.

Professional Devices: These are typically found in dermatology clinics or spas and provide controlled and tailored treatments under the guidance of a trained professional. They offer the highest level of precision.


How to Use LED Therapy Safely

While LED therapy is generally safe, it's important to use it correctly to avoid potential side effects. Here are some guidelines:

Consult a Dermatologist: Before starting LED therapy, consult with a dermatologist to ensure it's a suitable option for your specific skin condition.

Follow Instructions: Whether using a handheld device or a mask, carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions for treatment duration and frequency.

Protect Your Eyes: LED therapy can be bright, so use protective goggles when necessary to shield your eyes.

Be Patient: Results may take time. Consistency and patience are key to seeing improvement.


Success Stories: Real-Life Experiences

To illustrate the potential of LED therapy, consider the story of Sarah, a 34-year-old woman who had battled with psoriasis for years. After incorporating LED therapy into her skincare routine, she noticed a significant reduction in inflammation and itching within a few weeks. Her skin began to regain a healthier appearance, boosting her confidence and overall quality of life. Stories like Sarah's highlight the transformative potential of LED therapy for individuals with chronic skin conditions.


The Future of LED Therapy in Dermatology

The future of LED therapy in dermatology looks promising. Ongoing research is exploring ways to optimize treatment protocols, refine device technology, and expand the range of conditions that can benefit from LED therapy. As our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind this therapy deepens, we can expect even more effective and tailored treatments for chronic skin conditions.



In conclusion, LED therapy is emerging as a valuable tool in the management of chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Its non-invasive nature, coupled with the potential to reduce inflammation, improve skin texture, and alleviate discomfort, makes it a compelling option. However, it's crucial to consult with a dermatologist, follow usage guidelines, and be patient in expecting results. With ongoing research and advancements, LED therapy holds great promise in the future of dermatology, offering hope to individuals seeking effective and non-invasive solutions for chronic skin conditions.